What about Garlic as flea treatment?

Garlic flea treatmentPeople are always asking if they can give garlic to pets to help get rid of fleas.

Once again, people give out bad advice and say, yes.

No, NO, NO!

Don’t give garlic to pets for flea treatment.

First, garlic has not been proven to help fight fleas.

Second, according to the ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline–garlic is toxic to pets!

Now if you look around the Internet it is easy to find people who swear that it works.

There are also companies that add garlic to brewers yeast–but none of those anecdotes have been proven effective.

Is it worth these risks if you use garlic for flea control?

  • Vomiting,
  • breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia),
  • blood in urine,
  • weakness,
  • high heart rate,
  • and excessive panting.

I think not.

Garlic can cause gastrointestinal irritation that might result in red blood cell damage.

Cats are more sensitive while dogs need significantly more to react adversely.

The problem that concerns me is that I have not found anything about the long-term damage that can result from low doses given over time of this toxic substance.

I have to ask you, Is it worth your pet’s health?

There are those that will say that garlic has been used for eons without issue–but you can’t convince me to use a toxic compound that has not been proven to work (or to be safe) when there are other natural options out there that are not toxic to pets.

Why would you?

Garlic toxicity can also only be diagnosed over time, through clinical symptoms and with confirmation of Heinz bodies.

How many people are doing that?

So although an occasional sprinkle found in pet foods or pet treats might not cause problems, most professionals do NOT recommend giving pets garlic or food containing hefty amounts of garlic.

Try some of the other options discussed in the ebook or even Brewer’s Yeast tablets without garlic.

Also, adding apple cider vinegar to pet water or applying it as a topical spray (50% water) instead will help fight fleas on pets.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: photomequickbooth

Do fleas live in water?

One of our readers asked, “Do fleas live in water?”

Daphnia are commonly called water fleas although they are not fleas from the family Siphonaptera–which are the ones you are probably asking about.

Fleas have a waterproof waxy coating that is often called an epi-cutical layer. This waterproofing is why fleas survive and escape watery deaths.

To prevent escape people add a small drop of dish detergent to any solution place under a flea trap. The solution breaks down the protective coating and the fleas drown.

This is also why, if you use flea combs on your pet, the right way to clear them from the comb is to dump them into a light sudsy water solution.

People also will use a small amount of dish soap in a yard sprayer to help drown any fleas in the yard.

So, although fleas don’t actually live in water as their habitat, fleas can survive being dumped in water prior to their escape unless you take the precaution of adding a little suds to the water.