Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Natural Flea Trap

Living on a farm with dogs, fleas are one of those banes that we are almost never without. Cold weather brings a little respite, but with the first spring warmth the dogs start scratching madly and sharing their fleas with us. With a Jack Russell that thinks she’s a princess and insists on napping on the sofa whenever she can get away with it, that means fleas hopping on us just when we want to relax. I don’t get bitten much, but Youngest seems to be very attractive to fleas and reacts to their bites. It’s an all out war.

The big shot chemical weapons have lost their effectiveness. The toxic pill only works if you can control the environment and how can we control the several acres that our dogs regularly roam?  The collar doesn’t work at all. The spot on treatment hardly. Besides the fact that all these things are toxic and cost a fortune for four dogs. We’ve tried the natural alternative of using diatomaceous earth around the house and on the dogs. It may or may not have some effect, but it wasn’t the instant success I was hoping for. So I’ve fallen back on this.

This high tech and very sophisticated flea trap consists of a white bowl of water, with a drop of soap in it to break the surface tension. The lamp is left on all night shining on the water. Fleas obligingly hop towards the light and drown in the water. Diligently applied night after night in several strategic places, I’m sure it is making a dent in the flea population inside the house at least.

What I like is that it is quantifiable. I can notch up the death count on the door post in the morning and have the satisfaction of knowing that that many fleas won’t be perpetuating their species. And it is totally non-toxic flea control. I don’t expect to stop the dogs scratching altogether, but hopefully I can catch the newly hatched fleas before they feast on us.

Any other tips for natural flea control? I'd love to know anything that works for you.


  1. That's brilliant! I have never heard of anything like that. I will keep that in mind when the weather starts to warm up out here.

  2. What a great idea! I've never come across this one. We don't have dogs anymore, but what we used to do was pour some eucalyptus oil over them (in the bath). You can see the fleas literally jump off. Good luck.

  3. I caught more than ever last night after posting this, and some even jumped in the water before the light was switched on. Maybe it's the moisture they're after when it's hot and dry like it is here right now?

  4. Adele, Sounds a great idea - I know fleas don't like eucalyptus... I'm just worried that the fleas are all the more likely to jump on us instead if the dogs don't smell tempting!!

  5. Great timing - we don't normally have a flea problem, but my eldest found some in her bed after brushing her grandmother's outdoor dog two days ago. Waiting to see if any of them got away and started a colony. So far, no further sightings!

    When I mentioned it on Facebook, one of my friends sent this link, which mainly has to do with eucalyptus:

  6. Thanks for the link, Jennifer. I'm trying eucalyptus in the children's bedroom now.

  7. Feed your dogs brewer's yeast tablets! They will chomp them down like treats, and once they've been taking them regularly, their skin will start to repel fleas and ticks naturally. My mom uses it on her outdoor cats, works like a charm.


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!