BY:Mora Blackmarsh


Tired of your cat or dog scratching constantly? Don't want to use a flea powder from the pet store that warns you to wear gloves when you apply it to your pet or that says to keep away from their nose and mouth? Your question, what can I do that is safe?

There are many natural herbal flea repellents. With herbs the risks of harm to your animals are minimal. For animals with sensitive skin the risks are much lower with natural repellents of creating a sensitive skin reaction (and in some cases your only options). They are also the best answer if you have children, especially who love to cuddle with Fluffy or Spot.

There are both powders and oil based repellents. Some of the strongest repellents against fleas, lice, ticks, chiggers, mosquitos, gnats and flies (for both humans and pets) are citronella, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, rosemary, rue and wormwood. Note: Most cats do not like the herb rue. Some milder herbal repellents are basil, bay, lavender, peppermint, sage and lavender, peppermint , sage and thyme. (Yes, you will have Fluffy or Spot smelling like an Italian main course with this blend.)

If you use repellents on your animals, this will help to break the flea and tick's life cycle. Remember to do your pet's beds and anywhere else that might be a problem. Repeat every 7-10 days, for six weeks to get the adults larva and eggs. The essential oils are pure oil from the plant. The stronger ones should never be applied directly to the animal's skin undiluted. Dilute them with water, alcohol, a natural oil base, etc. If your pet has skin problems or any open sores, use a powder blend instead of oils.

When using powdered herbs, you can blend diatomaceous earth with it to increase the effects. Diatomaceous earth is a natural product and safe for humans. This is all non-toxic to the animals, children and adults. After all, who wants to use a product from a pet store that says to wash your hands after contact with your pet, and what child would remember to wash their hands?

Need more information? We will be glad to help you in the store. Remember to consult with your veterinarian before beginning any treatment program. Test anything you buy or make in small quantities before applying liberally to yourself, animals or the furnishings

Liquid, powder and loose herbal flea products, created by Dr. Donna DeBonis, a local veterinarian, and Linda Shrode, herbalist, are available at DragonMarsh. For more information, call Mora Blackmarsh at the DragonMarsh Apothecary (909) 276-1116.

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