Dealing with Fleas in Your Home
Questionable Control Measures
Do a little checking around on fleas, and you'll probably come across a bunch of suggestions for products and approaches that don't involve chemicals, or that use minimal amounts of them. A few are somewhat effective. Most aren't. They include
Flea traps. There's no evidence to show that flea traps do anything to control flea populations. However, they can be an effective tool for monitoring adult flea levels.
Ultrasonic pest-repelling devices. Shown to be completely useless. Don't waste your money.
Natural dietary supplements such as brewers yeast, thiamin, sulfur, garlic, etc. None are scientifically proven for flea control, although lots of pet owners swear by garlic.
Plants and the oils derived from them, including fresh bayberry, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, and citronella. Again, there's little to no scientific support for any of them.
Flea collars — the old-fashioned ones that don't contain IGRs — are another questionable control measure that, sadly, many people rely on as they're cheap and readily available. They contain an insecticide that pets distribute through their fur when they groom themselves. Most don't contain enough of the insecticide to do much good, and they don't last very long.
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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