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Fleas and ticks are a concern for any dog owner. These parasitic critters set up home on our canine friends without being invited. Preventing this, and evicting them when they are already present, can be a headache.
Frontline Plus is an effective product which is widely available. However, its active ingredients are insecticides. This could cause a reaction in your pet and is unsuitable for some dogs. Or, you may simply not want to treat your beloved pet with chemicals.
Consequently, a more natural approach might be called for. Let’s look at some of the reasons you should consider a natural alternative to Frontline and some of the options available.
Why Go With a Natural Flea Treatment?
There is nothing, essentially, wrong with a treatment such as Frontline Plus. When used correctly, this type of flea-and-tick medication is very safe, and with a high success rate. Suffice it to say, such treatments are an effective way to rid your canine friend of pesky travelers jumping on board for a free dinner.
They do have some downsides, however, such as being costly and containing harsh chemicals. They can also cause side effects, including irritation, interaction with other medications and interference with the nervous system. Additionally, they could be harmful to humans, sometimes causing allergic reactions.
Another concern for many, as we become more environmentally aware, is the effect chemicals have on the world around us. Consequently, more of the population is making a move toward using natural products.
What Are the Alternatives to Frontline?
There are a few alternatives to using a chemical-based solution for fleas and ticks. These include commercial, yet natural flea products, as well as home remedies. Below, we detail five of the best natural flea treatments on the market and then look at some concoctions to make yourself.
Five Best Natural Alternatives to Frontline
This 100 percent natural treatment for fleas and ticks reached fame following an appearance on “Shark Tank” in 2016. The founders received funding as a result of the show to expand their retail business and bring their product to more pets.
Wondercide is a spray that can be safely used on carpets, bedding, and upholstery as well. The formulation kills fleas throughout their life cycle, from eggs to adults. It is available in four sizes: 4 ounces, 16 ounces, 32 ounces, and one gallon.
Depending on which scent appeals to you, Wondercide has the options of cedar, rosemary, lemongrass, and peppermint. However, the active ingredient in all four scents is:
- Cedar oil: This helps block octopamine, which bugs, like ticks and fleas, need to live as it regulates their heartbeat, metabolism, and movement. Cedar oil helps repel any critters that come close and kills those it comes into contact with.
Wondercide is made in the USA from ingredients fit for humans and is safe to use around children.
Many users have found Wondercide to be a good solution for fleas and ticks on dogs and in the home. They find that fleas drop off their furry friends when sprayed, and repeating applications every three or four days keeps them at bay. Some people find the smell of the spray rather strong, however.
Wondercide Flea and Tick and Mosquito Control spray seems to be a viable alternative to chemical treatments. The all-natural ingredients are suitable for use all around the home and are safe for pets and children. Nevertheless, you need to re-apply the spray frequently, for continued protection.
Vet’s Best spray, while designed for the home, is safe to use on dogs over 12 weeks old and it kills fleas on contact. When used as directed, it won’t harm any member of the family if they come into contact with it.
The spray will also repel mosquitoes with its active ingredients, which are:
- Peppermint oil: affects the nervous system of fleas and ticks.
- Eugenol from clove plants: helps repel tick larvae.
The spray is suitable for use around the home and in the yard. It will not stain bedding, upholstery, blankets or carpets, etc.
Many users who sprayed their homes found they were watching the fleas fall over and die. The smell, while pleasant, seems to be intense for some. The other issue that seems to arise is the size of the bottle. With the initial application, and repeating it every few days, the product is used up quickly.
Vet’s Best produces a range of products for the control of fleas and ticks. They are all natural and made in America. Using some products together may offer better protection for your fur babies and your home.
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally-occurring product. It is made up of remains of ancient, hard-shelled, fossilized, freshwater algae. Its tiny particles are very sharp, and cut through the outer skeleton of bugs and then absorb the water from their bodies.
While lethal to fleas, it is safe to use around dogs and kids. Simply sprinkle it around areas where there may be fleas in the home or garden.
This organic solution contains:
- 89 to 95 percent amorphous silica.
- Less than one percent crystalline silica.
This food-grade product has worked for many in fighting against flea infestations. Some comment that diatomaceous earth is to fleas what kryptonite is to Superman. It is messy, however, and needs to be reapplied regularly, but discipline seems to pay off.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a good way to naturally rid your house and yard of fleas. You need to make sure you sprinkle it over dry areas and leave it for several hours before vacuuming it up. Remember to treat areas where your dog sleeps as well.
This natural flea collar is safe for dogs to wear and humans to handle. It is made from 100 percent natural ingredients and is ready to use straight from the box. It will keep fleas away for up to five months.
The active ingredients in this collar are essential oils, including:
The oils are injected into the collar via a patented process and slowly released through pores placed in the plastic. Fleas don’t like the smell of these oils and are repelled by them.
Users like the fact that this product is 100 percent natural, with no toxins or chemicals. They comment that the smell is strong but not unpleasant. They also like that the collar has a secure clasp and stays on.
Above all, this collar repels fleas from many dogs. It doesn’t, however, seem to work quite so well for ticks.
Be prepared to air this collar for 24 hours before placing it on your dog—the smell can be quite strong to some users. Apart from that, Arava Flea & Tick Prevention Collar is a good chemical-free flea collar for short-haired and long-haired dogs.
Essential oils make up this spray, which protects from fleas, ticks, and other bugs. It is safe for use on your canine friends and won’t harm you or your children. It can be applied daily to your dog, his or her bedding, and other parts of your home.
Supplied in an 8-ounce bottle, it contains ingredients from Brazilian rainforests. These oils also promote a healthy coat and skin, as well as killing and preventing fleas and ticks. They include:
- Lemongrass oil: fleas don’t like the smell of this oil and are repelled by it.
- Cinnamon oil: has a similar effect as lemongrass oil.
- Sesame oil, castor oil, and purified water: This is blended with the active essential oils, for a smooth delivery system.
Users find that this spray works well to control fleas and ticks. Similar to other products, it does need to be reapplied frequently, though. Another request from users is for a larger bottle.
If you like the idea of using essential oils, Dr. Mercola Flea and Tick Defense could be a good option for you. However, you will need to remember to spray it often. The bottle size is also smaller than similar products, so it may not last as long.
Listed below are some simple remedies you can try yourself at home to get rid of fleas.
Apple cider vinegar: This can be added to a dog’s water bowl, used as a spritz in water or in a sponge bath. For a spritz or sponge bath, use equal parts of vinegar and water. You can add it to your dog’s drinking water, using between one teaspoon and one tablespoon for every 50 pounds of body weight. Fleas don’t like the smell and will likely leave their temporary home on your dog.
Flea Combs: A flea comb can be used to groom your furry friend and find the fleas. The fine teeth of the comb will remove fleas, as well as their eggs and larvae.
Lemon: A spray containing lemon can help alongside other home remedies to repel fleas. It appears they don’t like the smell of this either. Boil a few sliced lemons in water, let them steep off the heat overnight, then bottle the liquid and spray. This can be used on your pet and their bedding.
This YouTube video describes a few ways to make homemade flea sprays.
Whatever your reason for deciding to go with a natural flea and tick treatment for your fur baby, there are plenty of options open to you.
Commercially-prepared products are a convenient choice, made from all-natural ingredients with no harsh chemicals. Although their use may need to be repeated more frequently, perseverance can pay off.
Home remedies are an alternative—possibly cheaper—route you can consider, to clear your home and canine friends of fleas.
There is no doubt that fleas and ticks are unwanted, uninvited guests. They need to be evicted from both your home and your pet’s fur and skin. There may be occasions when an insecticide-based product, like Frontline Plus, is necessary to achieve this. However, it’s good to know there are safe alternatives.