Natural Flea Control (Well, you will at least have this for Spring!)

Natural Flea Control

By Diane Downs

Natural Flea Control Methods for Pets

For all our modern accomplishments, we are still searching for natural flea control methods, a safe, effective means to control fleas. Unfortunately, many flea products on the market contain ingredients such as carbaryl (Sevin), a nerve-paralyzing chemical that is endowed with a host of other side effects. DDVP (dimethyl dichlorovinyl phosphate), which is found in plastic flea collars, numbs an insect’s nervous system and sometimes has the same effect on a susceptible pet. Or there is that increasingly familiar synergist, piperonyl butoxide, recently used extensively as a booster in most all the new pyrethrum products. It has been associated with liver disorders. On the other hand, if fleas get out of control, your pet—particularly if it is very young, old or unwell—can die of flea-induced anemia.

Flea Control Alternatives

When an adult flea lays an egg, this whitish speck drops into a carpet, a crack in a wood floor, the upholstery or a dusty corner. After a period of time (which varies according to species), the egg develops into a larva which feeds on tiny amounts of dust, debris or other organic matter. Outdoors, this larva takes up residence in the yard, usually in a shady spot, where it feeds on vegetable or animal matter. The hairy, legless larva then spins a cocoon and eventually emerges as a hungry adult, ready to jump on the nearest warm body for a meal of blood.

Because the egg, larva and cocoon stages are of various lengths in various flea species (the general range from egg to adult is 28 to 42 days), your initial attack should consist of a conscientious three- to five-week program. In this way, you’ll gradually get ahead of the massive number of fleas and eggs now sharing your pet and probably your home. If your pets stay outdoors, you can probably follow only the instructions concerning the yard, the animals and their living quarters.

The first step in natural flea control—and one you will repeat often initially—is to vacuum your house thoroughly. Not just the carpets, but under throw rugs, all floors, corners, upholstery, pillows, sofa cushions, under couches, mattresses—the works! (And don’t forget the basement.) Then either immediately burn the vacuum bag or seal it securely inside a plastic bag and dispose of it. Remember, all that dust inside the bag makes a fast-food feast for larvae. After patting yourself on the back for already cleaning up hundreds, maybe thousands, of fleas, eggs and larvae, wash all throw rugs, pets’ bedding and your bedding in water as hot as the fabric allows.

At this point you’ve made encouraging progress, but unless the next steps are taken, you’ll soon lose ground. To kill the tiny pests the vacuuming missed, sprinkle garden-grade diatomaceous earth in rugs, under sofa cushions, under mattresses and in your animal’s bedding. After three to four days, repeat the vacuum-and-wash cycle (again destroying the vacuum bag) and reapply diatomaceous earth.

While all this activity is taking place, your canine or feline friend needs some immediate attention too. Cat or dog, a bath is in order, followed by a rinse water cooled to lukewarm—and you could add a few drops of a safe herbal flea repellent oil to that rinse. When your pet is dry, a thorough brushing, combing or even vacuuming (if the process is not too terrifying to Puff or Fido) is in order. (Pick up a special flea comb from a pet store. It not only removes fleas, but helps monitor the extent of your flea problem.)

Combating Fleas Outside the House

To permanently eradicate outdoor fleas requires both immediate and long-term activities. First, sprinkle garden-grade diatomaceous earth over the lawn, under bushes and in shady areas. The effectiveness of this natural product (made from the shells of tiny sea creatures called diatoms) comes from its ability to scratch the fleas’ exoskeletons and cause the insects to dehydrate and die. Reapply seven to 10 days later.

Other Weapons in the Flea War

Over the years, MOTHER’S readers have offered their own nontoxic means of flea control. Here are some popular remedies.

Feed your dog or cat one clove of garlic a day. In addition to discouraging fleas, it will prevent some types of worms. Don’t, however, give garlic to pregnant pets, because it sometimes causes spontaneous abortion.

Brewer’s yeast (also called nutritional yeast) is available at most health food stores. Give large dogs one tablespoon once a day mixed into, or sprinkled on top of, their food. Try one teaspoon for cats and small dogs. Some animals love it. Others take a while to develop a taste for the yeast, but most end up begging for it.

A touch of vinegar in your pet’s water is touted as a control for both fleas and mange. With all of the above, however, it’s best to start such dietary programs long before the flea season hits.

You can also try a saltwater dip to discourage fleas. If you live near the sea, your dog might learn to love swimming in the ocean. Some especially energetic dog owners go so far as to provide small saltwater pools for their dogs to romp in.

Finally, our readers recommended putting a light six inches over a bowl of water containing a little dishwashing detergent. The heat attracts the fleas, which fall in the water and drown.

Since fleas are such persistent and prolific creatures, we recommend you combine all these natural remedies in your war against them.

 

MotherEarthNews.com

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Natural Pet Care for Fleas, Ticks, Bath Time and More

Natural Pet Care for Fleas, Ticks, Bath Time and  More

Our human lives are full of choices. We often obsess over the ingredients in  the lotions we buy and search for the safest cleaning products for our home. Our  pets, on the other hand, live a largely choice-less existence. Whether you shine  your floors with chemical cleaner or use a non-toxic vinegar and lemon solution  is not a choice our cat makes. In fact, she doesn’t get a choice when flea  season rolls around and the collars and ointments come out, either. And her  favorite bubble bath solution is left unknown as well. In the end, the choices  that affect your pets’ health are up to you, and many pet owners make  health-damaging mistakes.

For example, flea collars often contain tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) or propoxur,  which can jeopardize your pet’s immune  system and leave damaging lifelong effects. Flea collars that contain  these chemicals can damage the nervous system, negatively affect the brain and  even lead to cancer. These chemicals are especially damaging for children who  may be in regular contact with your dog or cat.

You can avoid toxic chemicals by taking the following natural and  preventive measures:

  • Give your pet regular baths.
  • Wash your pet’s bedding and clean the areas where your pet sleeps, such as  sofas or rugs. Clean these surfaces the same day as you wash your pet.
  • Use a flea comb in between baths.
  • Do not neglect your pet’s oral hygiene. Regular brushing is necessary not just for you, but them,  too.
  • If you have carpet, vacuum regularly and clean area rugs.
  • Boost your pet’s immune system with herbs.
  • Create a natural flea and tick rinse with rosemary, wormwood, southernwood,  lavender, pennyroyal or eucalyptus.

Taking the time to consider natural pet care choices is worth it for the  furry friends we love. Natural pet care is easier than you think and creates a  cleaner, greener environment for every member of your household.

Daily Feng Shui News for Jan. 24 – ‘National Compliment Day’

Today’s ‘National Compliment Day’ recipe will have them eating right out of your hands, or, more appropriately, drinking a magically complimentary elixir from your kitchen. This next recipe comes from ancient Indian texts and tells how we can say or think the sweetest things, and how we can get someone else do the exact same. You need a small amount of saffron, almonds and milk. Mix sliced almonds and some of the saffron together and then boil that in milk. The lore surrounding this secret recipe says that whoever drinks this will then be blessed and think only sweet thoughts and say only sweet words. This legend continues that drinking this mixture will also allow anyone imbibing to expel their anger and forget their woes. Got milk? I hope so.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Today’s I Ching Hexgram for Jan. 24th is 50:The Cauldron

50: The Cauldron

Thursday, Jan 24th, 2013

hexagram09

 

 

 

 

The cooking pot symbolizes nourishment and rejuvenation. Sooner or later, good comes to those who do good; joy comes to those who bring humor to others; opportunity comes to those who persist in their dreaming. Rejuvenation is a returning to innate desires — and a re-charging of batteries through the fulfillment of these wishes. This reading suggests nourishment and transformation for people of goodwill. Great good fortune and success are indicated for nourishing relationships.

Healthy, regular sustenance is important, as symbolized by the cooking pot, which provides nourishment to all. When a cycle of humanity reaches its peak, each person’s sustenance comes in the form of his or her deepest needs and highest aspirations.

Rejuvenation means that men and women of talent and insight are being properly nourished and valued. When a society or group is functioning properly, these people are supported, and encouraged to contribute to their best abilities. A fresh approach to old habits is indicated in a period of rejuvenation. Look for ways of putting new life in old forms. Only when great vitality is present can breakthroughs be achieved.

Your Animal Spirit for January 24th is Turkey

Your Animal Spirit for Today
January 24, 2013

turkey

 

Turkey

Has turkey gobbled his way into your life today? If so he brings a message of sacrificing for the greater good. To some indigenous tribes, Turkey represents the spirit of the giveaway–a ceremony where those who have more give to those who have less, thus “sacrificing” for others. If Turkey helps you feel the spirit of giving, who can you help?

Today’s Tarot Card for January 24th is The Empress

The Empress

Thursday, Jan 24th, 2013

Traditionally entitled “Empress,” this major arcana or “trump” card portrays the energy of the Great Mother. She is Nature, around us but also within us, the ever-unfolding Source of life-giving power. She is often pictured as a pre-Christian Goddess, as the one whom the High Priestess is channeling down to earth for the rest of us.

In medieval Europe, the Empress card was painted to represent whatever Queen currently ruled the land, probably to satisfy the Inquisitors. But the scholars of the Renaissance and beyond had no doubt of her true identity, although she could not be fully revealed on Tarot cards as the “woman clothed with the sun” until after the French Revolution.

This supreme archetype of femininity also symbolizes fertility. It is She who provides us nourishment and security. She is also sometimes seen as delighting us with flowers and fruit. A potentially terrifying aspect of this archetype manifests itself whenever karmic mood swings wipe out our plans, like a storm that has come upon us. Whatever happens, the Empress is the Source of our Embodiment and of Natural Law. She might even be called “the Great Recycler.”

Your Daily Horoscopes for January 24th

It’s difficult to keep our feelings hidden today, even if we don’t want to upset the status quo. The passive Cancer Moon reflects our penchant for privacy, but her stressful aspects to shocking Uranus and passionate Pluto indicate a wild ride ahead. Additionally, the Sun’s energizing sextile to electric Uranus tempts us to try nearly anything that excites us. We must balance our immediate desire for novelty with our need for emotional security.

Aries Horoscope

(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Your motivation to explore new territory is countered by feelings of emotional self-restraint today. Your inner voice reminds you to be sensitive to other people’s needs over your own. However, all the cautionary advice in the world may not prevent you from acting on a brilliant breakthrough now if you have the chance. Just remember to temper your actions with kindness so you don’t inadvertently hurt someone you love.

Taurus Horoscope

(Apr 20 – May 20)

You may save the day by creating the ultimate plan that everyone has been waiting for from someone else. Ironically, your contribution might come at the very last minute. Nevertheless, your thinking is sound even if it’s unexpected and unconventional. Expressing your ideas with clarity encourages others to support your solution. Don’t be afraid to take charge; assume the role of leader until you are sure that everything is running smoothly.

Gemini Horoscope

(May 21 – Jun 20)

You are flying at top speed yet you still feel something pulling you down today. The experience of dragging an anchor might be connected with an unpleasant memory that raises issues of self-doubt. You won’t be able to go far as long as you are in denial. Luckily, you could change everything by simply being more aware of your feelings. The dead weight can be dropped instantly once you accept your past and move on.

Cancer Horoscope

(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

You want to express your needs in no uncertain terms today, and you expect others to sit up and take notice. There might even be a special someone you hope to impress, prompting you to do something impulsive that is completely out of character. This spontaneous behavior could attract the attention you seek now, but perhaps not in the way you prefer. Don’t try too hard; just be yourself and don’t worry so much about the outcome.

Leo Horoscope

(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

You want to help others now, but you prefer to do it sight unseen with the Moon visiting your 12th House of Secrets. Thankfully, you can accomplish something today that will mean a great deal to someone else without a whole lot of effort on your part. It may not seem like much to you, but your actions might bring deep healing to a loved one. Fortunately, grand gestures are not necessary; it’s your attention to the details that matters most.

Virgo Horoscope

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

There’s no reason to take responsibility for anyone else’s crazy behavior. If someone at work does something that catches you off guard today, just try to take it all in stride. Actually, a surprise could shock you just enough to reveal a new way of doing a routine task that you hadn’t previously considered. It may seem like a reach, but, ultimately, you’re the only one standing in the way of your success.

Libra Horoscope

(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

Your focus is being redirected toward others now while the Sun sextiles unpredictable Uranus in your 7th House of Relationships. You probably don’t mind a bit of anonymity, but it may be time to examine your insecurities if you’re having trouble with a lack of attention. Luckily, you could be more successful by using your talents to help someone else. There’s no need to be concerned if you don’t get the credit you deserve today; the spotlight will return to you soon enough.

Scorpio Horoscope

(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You might feel stuck by your previous commitments and there isn’t an easy way out now. You are willing to resign yourself to do what you said you would, even if you’re uncomfortable with the situation that has developed. Thankfully, everything can flip in an instant as an ingenious idea lights up your brain like a bolt of lightning. Prepare for positive change with cheerful optimism since your attitude can really make a big difference.

Sagittarius Horoscope

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

It may be difficult to fit into the standard box of a traditional relationship now as you’re pulled into your own world of unique feelings. Don’t be too self-judgmental because you have something very special to offer, and anyone close to you probably already knows this. If others can appreciate you for who you are, it should all work out — but first, you must learn to love yourself.

Capricorn Horoscope

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

The moody Cancer Moon in your 7th House of Partners places you in direct touch with your feelings by attracting highly emotional people into your orbit today. You often avoid revealing your vulnerability, but you might feel destabilized enough now to open up to someone you trust. Be willing to learn more about your own inner workings by tackling a tough issue. Thankfully, a difficult situation can rapidly change into a more pleasant one if you roll with the incoming waves.

Aquarius Horoscope

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You might be afraid that you’re headed for a major conflict now, when everything suddenly improves. Don’t try to control anyone’s behavior because your fear of a negative outcome could actually bring it into manifestation. Thankfully, you can sidestep an unnecessary dispute today if you remember that arguing won’t help you get any closer to your goals. Solve your current problem within your brilliant imagination before trying to affect positive change on the outside. The solution is within your mind’s grasp.

Pisces Horoscope

(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

You may be entirely safe jumping into the unknown today as long as you believe that everything will work out fine. Fortunately, you will likely have all the support you need now if you don’t lose sight of what’s most critical. However, your creative visualizations can only get you so far. The power of positive thought still needs to be reinforced with a concrete plan and solid effort.

Daily Cosmic Calendar for January 24th

Reminiscing about the good old days often occurs instinctively during the monthly lunar transit in Cancer. This is because this sign signifies the past, family ties, and ancestral roots. Look through photo albums, the basement or attic for long-lost keepsakes and memorabilia. Healing forces are back on the march as the Moon forms a flowing trine with Chiron in water signs (9:32AM PST).  Don’t let your overall productivity decline as the Sun makes a frictional, 135-degree tie with Ceres (2:52PM PST) while Venus makes an off-kilter, 150-degree link to Ceres (9:18PM PST). Cooking, baking and preparing your garden for the growing season are emphasized throughout the day.  Learn more about recent economic and market trends in order to increase the value of your investments as Mercury makes a trine to Vesta (6:25PM PST). Sisterhood and fellowship gatherings are promoted by the same alignment.  Let your spiritual willpower and mental concentration guide you as Mercury parallels Pluto (6:50PM PST). Revelations abound later on when the Sun forms a supportive, 60-degree alliance with lightning-bringer Uranus (8:47PM PST). Start preparing for Vesta making a station and going direct in Gemini as well as a potent Full Moon — both happening on Saturday.

Calendar of the Moon for January 24th

Calendar of the Moon

Rowan Tree Moon
Color: Orange-red

Element: Fire

Altar: Upon a cloth of orange-red set a row of red candles, Brigid’s cross, and a bell.

Offerings: Votive candles. Quicken a newborn idea into birth.

Daily Meal: Hot drinks with every meal. Keep food warm.
Luis/Gamelion Invocation
Call: Now is the quickening of the year.

Response: Now is the time of the first movement.
Call: Now the child stirs in the womb.
Response: Now the seed stirs in the earth.
Call: Now the plains flood and our fire is threatened.
Response: Now the cold water drowns our spark.
Call: Now is the time of the hard struggle.
Response: Now is the month of desperation.
Call: Now is the time of desperation to live.
Response: Now is the time of desperation to be born.
Call: We turn in our sleep as the earth turns.
Response: We dream with the sleeping earth.
Call: Each of our dreams is a lit candle in the dark.
Response: Each of our dreams is a single point of hope.
Call: They shine faint and alone in the night of struggle.
Response: They are alone as we are alone.
Call: Yet we are not alone in our dreams.
Response: We are not alone!
Call: We will keep our fires burning.
Response: We will burn against the night!
Call: We will warm our dreams with the force of life.
Response: We will not die alone in the cold!
Call: We will ward off all evil. Response: Only good shall pass our gates.
Call: We will care for each other.
Response: We will never cease to care!
Call: We will survive the winter.
Response: We will survive! (Repeat last two lines twice more.)

Chant:

Protect the flame that warms your dreams
And dreams shall never die.
 

[Pagan Book of Hours]