Looking for Sustainability ideas

I thought I find a way to keep costs down while still trying to stay eco-friendly. Trying to keep striving for sustainability. This a record of that journey.

Sometimes blunt and straight forward then sometimes sarcastic

This frugal crunchy hipster single momma is doing what she can to save Mother Earth while not breaking the bank!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Adventures in flea control

First I found some info about Diatomaceous earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the environmentally friendly way to get rid of fleas, ticks, termites and Japanese beetles, however sometimes will kill the helper bugs like bees in your garden as well. It consists of the broken up shells of diatoms, fossilized silica shell remains of unicellular or colonial algae. What DE does is that it eats through the coat of the fleas causing dehydration and eventually causes death of the fleas. Larvae and eggs are not affected however just as any other flea treatment you should reapply when needed.
Diatomaceous earth can be found local feed stores, some health food stores, garden and hardware stores. Diatomaceous earth is approved by the USDA as an animal feed additive and will work as a de-wormer. Be careful however the Diatomaceous Earth used in swimming pool filters has close to a 60% crystalline silica content and food grade (that is the type you want to get) is close to 1% or less. Use ONLY FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth.

DE is a very powdery kind of dust, so you need to take steps to keep it out of your lungs and eyes. That's how it kills the fleas, it may not kill a human or pet but can cause pain and irritation. A paint or hardware store filter mask and a pair of goggles will help you keep it out of your eyes and lungs. When using D.E. on your pets, just avoid the face and eyes. One post on-line the woman used a old sock to help dust her felines. Any feline keeper will tell you that felines can be the worst to try use a combs on; let a lone a sprinkling of powder!!

For carpets sprinkle lightly. Make sure to get here your animals sleep or hang out the most. Leave in for 2-3+ days, make sure it get worked in when the fleas and bugs can hide. Then vacuum. *Do not use to much or you may have problems with your vacuum. * Many people used sprinkling can they made by punching holes in coffee cans or using a old spice jar. It is very fine so a little to much can cause a dust storm.

Daily recommended food grade diatomaceous earth feeding rates:
Kittens - 1/2 teaspoon
Cats - 1 teaspoon
Puppies - 1/2 to 1 tsp.
Dogs under 35 lbs. - 1 teaspoon
Dogs over 35 lbs. - 1 tablespoon

So my lazy behind didn't get to any garden stores so I went looking again on line for the answer to this problem. It's getting to the point the humans are getting bit. The flea shampoo my daughter got is running out and my sinus are going crazy from the smell of all this over the counter stuff.. My daughter and I fight about natural remedy's she doesn't like to have to keep applying them and rather get it over with using chemicals..

We are using garlic and brewer yeast on their food. They like to lick it off the food. Funny thing is they also like to lick the vitamin E oil I use on my hair and hands. I have let them lick some off their bowls, vitamin E is ok in small amounts for the animals...

I just ran across this recipe.

Oranges peels
and/or Grapefruit peels
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary OR 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 pint water

Put the peels in a large saucepan with about one quart of water and boil until the peels are soft. Let the peels cool in the water add rosemary, then blend the peels with some of the cooled water in the blender. Return the blended peels to the rest of the cooled water, then strain the mixture and funnel the strained liquid into a spray bottle. This mixture can also be sprayed on pets, furniture, bedding, carpets, etc. but unlike vinegar, this will kill actually kill the fleas as orange peels contain an ingredient that dissolves their exoskeletons.

But sadly this is not good for cats due to the citrus oils......

Natural Flea Treatment for Cats Recipe

3 teaspoons fresh rosemary OR 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 cup bottled or tap water

Note: You can often find fresh rosemary in the grocery store, even in the off season.

Add rosemary to one cup boiling water, cover and let stand 20 minutes to half hour. When cool, strain the rosemary from the water.

You can apply this with a cloth, but if your cat is not too squirmy, it works best when sprayed onto the cat from a squirt bottle. Can be refrigerated for a few days after making.

Hint: Rosemary also works for repelling mosquitoes!

But I have found that lemon was good for mange in cats and dogs. I had lemons and made a batch. They are dying but not soon enough... and the nice handled flea comb is MIA. So armed with a tiny flea comb and more than one cat than HATES to be combed we are combing them daily. Of course Whiskers our senior female loves to be combed. She is the beauty queen of the cats. She grooms herself so to have the softest fur. Don't take it personally she grooms herself after any human dares to pet her!! She doesn't mind the petting just that she has to make sure her hair is just perfect!! The little kitten freaks and runs like his tail is on fire when we start to comb, but lately well let us comb where the fleas are biting. We see him bite we get the comb and tell him this will make the inch feel better. So he is getting better. Angel just gives you a dirty look and leaves if you hesitate for a second. She has adventures of her own to go to. Mystical to fight with or tease.... The joys of felines.

Fleas are a pain.



  1. I am sad to say that you are a much better environmentalist than I am. I might get organic flea spray, but I am afraid that I would never make my own. I tried the brewer's yeast thing. It never worked for me.

    I'm following you from the MBC Under 100 Club. I look forward to reading more.

  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.





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