Green Alternatives: Flea Treatment

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Last week, we were attacked. Or, more accurately, our cuddly mutt (half black lab, half whippet, we think) was infested; we were attacked not long thereafter.

Suddenly, the fleas were everywhere: on her, on us, on the couch, the rug, the bed. We all itched and scratched. One thing was clear: the fleas had to be stopped.

We weren't ready for the quandary at the pet superstore, however. And the green product we came home with didn't seem to do the trick.

Flea collar? Not recommended if your pet already has fleas. Frontline? Seemed like overkill. Was it better to bomb the house with pesticide or just commit to a twice-daily ritual of vacuuming everything and a few more days of paranoia and itching? We did not achieve enlightenment at Petco.

Befuddled, we went with the bath, the vac ritual, and a 3-pack of Sentry Natural Defense® Natural Flea and Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs & Puppies, a blend of peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, clove, and thyme oils. The package touted "quick killing action," which is exactly what we were after.

Bottom line: two days later, the dog had an intense aroma somewhere between Indian food and chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, she also still had fleas, albeit lethargic fleas (or were they just gorged?) which she may or may not have given to the neighbor dog. Kenai, if you're reading this, we're sorry.

So Frontline it was, and 24 hours later, there's nary a flea on the dog or in the house. A bit scary? Perhaps. Blissful? Absolutely.

For the future, we're wondering if the Sentry natural stuff will keep the fleas away so we don't end up with a full-on infestation.

AT:Green Home readers, what's your experience? How do you keep Fido flea-free?

(Bonus points if your stories involve hot neighbors and/or hunky exterminators.)

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