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Homemade Flea Powder

I absolutely hated the idea of putting any sort of toxic chemical flea treatment on my dog. Those products are the #1 cause of pet poisonings.  Did you know that on those commercial flea and tick repellents, there’s a big warning to not let it come into contact with human skin. So somehow it’s ok to put all over my dog?!! I don’t think so!

I needed to do something and using toxic chemicals was going to be my very LAST resort.  Once I realized that we had a pretty major flea problem, I broke out my holistic pet care books (THIS and THIS) and consulted with a holistic vet friend.

And today I’m giving you my homemade flea powder recipe that I now swear by. This flea powder worked at getting rid of a pretty major flea infestation in our home.

And I didn’t have to use any toxic chemicals!!!! Bonus – this flea powder also works at repelling and killing ticks, flies, mosquitos, ants, spiders and other bugs. This is awesome stuff!

*Note: If you don’t want to make this recipe yourself, you can buy Buck Mountain Parasite Dust HERE – I based my homemade flea powder off of this product. But it is much more cost effective to make it yourself, especially if you have a flea infestation because you are going to need a lot of it.

Ingredient List and Benefits of Homemade Flea Powder:

This homemade flea powder is composed of Diatom Flour, Neem Powder, Yarrow Powder and Eucalyptus Oil. All 4 ingredients are traditionally used as very effective insect repellents and recommend by many holistic vets as a successful flea and insect killer and repellent.

Food Grade Diatom Flour (also called Diatomaceous Earth or DE)

Diatomaceous Earth is soft powder made up of fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Under a microscope, DE is very sharp, allowing it to puncture the exoskeleton of insects and causing them death by dehydration. Diatomaceous Earth kills insects by physical action, not chemical. It’s important to note that DE particles are so small so it just feels like a fine baby powder to humans and pets. It is a simply a mineral silica. Food grade, fresh water DE is harmless to humans and pets. For more information about the safety of food grade DE, see the end note at the bottom of this post.

Neem Powder

Neem is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine.  It has been used for centuries as a very effective herbal insect repellent, repelling fleas, ticks, lice, mites, ants and mosquitoes. Neem has a few natural active ingredients that make it so effective . For example, the compound in Neem, Azadirachtin, disrupts the metamorphosis of insect larvae. So by inhibiting molting, Neem keeps the larvae from developing and they die without producing a new generation. Azadirachtin is so repulsive to insects that they would rather starve to death than touch anything with traces of neem.  Another neem compound is called salannin and it’s equally as effective of a repellent. In a few studies, it’s even been proven even more effective at repelling biting insects than those repellents containing the chemical concoction of DEET.

Neem also has many moisturizing properties and helps get rid of excess dryness and scaling. It helps soothe irritated skin. The anti-bacterial properties of neem prevent development of any further skin infection. Because Diatomaceous Earth can by very drying, Neem helps protect your pet from excess dry skin.

Yarrow Powder

Yarrow’s most ancient use and most famous use in the herbal medicine world is as a natural wound healer. It’s also considered a sacred herb by many cultures around the world because of it’s healing ability.  Yarrow is a wonderful anti-inflammatory for skin conditions and soothes irritated skin. It is also anti-microbial and has pain relieving properties. Because pets with fleas tend to get secondary infections from flea bites, Yarrow protects your pet from those secondary infections and also helps soothe red, irritated skin.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil 

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus citriodoro) is a natural bug and insect repellent. There is evidence that the components in eucalyptus oil are as effective and sometimes more effective than DEET.  Eucalptus oil also has antiseptic properties for healing after bites.

 

Homemade Flea Powder from Primally Inspired (works on ticks and other bugs, too!)

Homemade Flea Powder Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (find HERE)

1/2 cup Neem Powder (find HERE)

1/2 cup Yarrow Powder (find HERE)

20 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil* (find HERE)  *Leave out the essential oil if using for cats.

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and put in a shaker top container. I used a mason jar with a shaker top lid (I got my mason jar shaker top lid at Christmas Tree Shop, but you could make your own by drilling holes in a regular mason jar lid).

Apply from head to tail along your pets spine in dry conditions. Brush your pets fur going the opposite direction so the powder comes in contact with the skin. Avoid the eyes and nose. Rub the powder on the belly and legs. Try to get the flea powder on as much skin as you can.

I have found that brushing the fur in the opposite direction and applying the flea powder with a cosmetic puff (like THIS) works really well. I also found the fleas seem to like the tail, the area right above the tail and the belly/groin area so I made sure to pay extra attention to those areas to get them well covered.

How often to apply flea powder?

To use this as a general repellent (with no serious flea infestation), applying once a month during active flea season (end of spring/summer) is sufficient. If the pet gets a bath or gets wet, it will need to be reapplied.

If you have a flea infestation:

You will need to apply more often, depending on how bad of an infestation you are dealing with. I applied every other day until I saw no more traces of fleas (now I’m just using it as maintenance). Some are successful with applying as little as once a week, but others need it more often – it just depends on the level of infestation. Also remember to reapply if your pet gets wet (important!).

If you have a flea infestation, you will also need to apply this flea powder to your floors, windowsills, door sills, pet bedding, sofa, etc. Focus your efforts where your pet spends the most amount of time, since fleas and their eggs will be the most concentrated in those areas. Just apply a light dusting to the areas in your house and leave it there overnight. Vacuum in the morning or sometime the next day. Do this once a week for 4 weeks if you have a flea infestation.

This flea powder works amazingly, BUT, it will not work overnight if you have a flea infestation. You must be diligent about applying it to your pet AND applying the powder to your home and vacuuming at least once per week for 4 weeks in a row to get rid of an infestation.

You can even use this flea powder it in your yard to repel and kill fleas, ticks, spiders, ants, mosquitos, etc!

I also leave a little bit of this flea powder in my door and window sills  to prevent spiders, ants and other bugs from entering.

Based on my research and the advice of my holistic vet friend, I’ve learned some really great tips and other options about how to get rid of fleas naturally, including a few options that are holistic vet recommended that you can purchase if you are not a do it yourself-er. That is covered in PART 2 that you can read HERE (this post was already long enough :) ).

End Note: Is Diatomaceous Earth safe?

Somewhere along the line, a rumor was started that Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth was harmful to your lungs if breathed in.  This is true for Crystallized or Filter Grade Diatomaceous Earth where it can cause a disease called silicoses if breathed in for very long periods of time. But this is NOT true for food grade Diatomaceous Earth, which we are using (it’s very important to make sure your DE is FOOD GRADE!). Food grade DE is processed and shaped differently than crystallized diatomaceous earth and is not harmful to pets or people. Food grade DE is recognized as safe for animal and human use, safe for consumption and even safe for those pregnant and nursing. Like any dusty product, you probably want to wear a dust mask if you will be breathing it in for a long period of time such as when dusting your yard.

Has your pet ever had fleas? What worked for you? Have you tried any natural options before? Let us all know!

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An Evening with Lori Rubenstein August 14th, 2015 7-9pm

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How do you forgive the past and find the peace you deserve?

Lori S. Rubenstein, JD, CPC spent 18 years as a divorce attorney-mediator and will tell you she quickly ascertained that the court system is not a healthy environment for families. Her passion for helping others led her down the path of relationship and divorce coaching, where she realized Forgiveness was the cornerstone of all her work. As a Forgiveness Teacher, Divorce Coach, Mediator, Author, Regression Therapist and Inspirational Speaker, you will find Lori walks her talk.

Lori’s special gift is helping people to see new perspectives so they can step into a new, more empowering life. Lori has a unique ability to hold the space for healing to occur, and you will find she carries the torch of practicality as well as the spiritual aspects of forgiveness, acceptance and compassion. Her primary mission is to help people heal from the hurts caused by relationships or as Lori calls them, “spiritual partnerships.” Lori’s unique outlook on painful life experiences is enlightening and refreshing. She helps people see that what they call “tragedy” can in fact, be the soul’s greatest gift. 

Lori has been twice divorced and today is happily remarried, her children are grown and she lives a life filled with love and laughter. She is available to speak or lead a retreat in your community or to your group by telephone or webinar.

Lori’s 4-step Living with Forgiveness Process and her 30 years experience as a divorce attorney, mediator, coach and forgiveness teacher can put you solidly on the path to finding peace in YOUR life. Forgiveness helps clear the way and removes blocks that come with holding onto anger, hurt, frustration, guilt, and disappointment. Personal coaching helps you become the person you want to be, so you live your life in alignment in YOUR life purpose, not anyone else’s.

Wholeness in relationship starts with a self that is whole and healthy. As a coach, I have tools to help you heal those broken pieces and take down the walls that you’ve put up to protect yourself.

If you are not in a relationship and want to be in one: The first step is self love and healing. The second step is to find clarity about what you want in a relationship. The final step, once you find that person, is to learn how to be in relationship, how to accept the other person, (flaws and all) how to not ‘lose yourself’ in the relationship, how to communicate and how to not have unrealistic expectations.

I assume you have had relationships before. AND, you might consider some of them less than successful. The most important thing to remember about past relationships is how to turn what you consider a “mistake” into an important life lesson. Then, there are no mistakes.

As a divorce attorney, I’ve seen thousands of clients move on and find true love, and happiness, again. I want that for you too! I’ve created a class to teach you everything YOU need to know about stepping into a new loving, healthy relationship. It’s really the BEST of everything I teach

 

Hippie Nonsense ?

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Essential oils are FAR more than just hippie nonsense – in fact, they are one of the most powerful tools on the planet for optimal health. Below are the top 5 reasons why essential oils are ESSENTIAL and you should consider adding them into your daily life.

First, what are essential oils? Essential oils are the aromatic compounds found in the seeds, stem, flowers, and rinds of plants. Often called the “life blood” of the plant, they help protect it from viruses and diseases and also help the plant reproduce. They are in essence the plants own medicine.

1. Essential Oils are 100% Natural

Since they come from plants, they are made from similar building blocks to our body. This means our body recognizes them and can easily metabolize them. Plant-based medicine dates back thousands of years. In fact Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, used essential oils in his practice.

Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, are synthetic and full of harmful additives, such as mercury and petrochemicals. They certainly have their place and can be great for short-term use or treating an illness that has already presented itself, but they are fundamentally SICK-CARE… you don’t get one until something has already gone way wrong. Essential oils can help you stay healthy, avoiding the unpleasant side effects and drug dependencies that pharmaceuticals so often bring.

2. They can Penetrate Cell Walls

Essential oils are made up of very small molecules that can pass through cell walls. What does the doctor tell you to do when you have a virus? Go home, rest, drink fluids, and that they can’t prescribe you anything. The reason is because antibiotics are made of large molecules that can address bacterial infections (i.e., bronchitis), but are too large to penetrate cell walls to deal with viruses. (ANTIVIRALS)

Uses-for-lavender-essential-oilThere is also evidence that essential oils can cross the blood-brain barrier and aid in repairing brain health and functioning, which is why they are being studied extensively. To read more on the scientific studies, you can check out this resource: aromaticscience.com.

3. They are Dynamic and Multi-Purpose

There is an essential oil for everything! They can be used to care for ailments, improve mood, clean your house, sleep better, calm your pets, help your teething baby and so much more! Look for future DIY blog posts from us on how you can make your own non-toxic beauty and cleaning products (and save money!).

4. Essential Oils Work on the Physical and Emotional Body

PHYSICALLY: Essential oils have tons of properties – many are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antispasmodic. They work on the ‘root cause’ of an ailment or condition and strengthen the immune system, correcting the body’s imbalance instead of just treating the symptom. Another unique aspect is that they can bypass digestion by being applied transdermally (on the skin). This is great news for people who have a compromised digestive system!

EMOTIONALLY: Essential oils directly impact brain chemistry. They enter the limbic system, which is responsible for mood and memory and promote a sense of well-being. Have you ever smelled some cookies or gotten a whiff of someone’s perfume and it reminded you of someone or somewhere? Scents elicit memory and emotion.

5. Essential Oils are Potent

peppermint_cups
In fact, they are 50-70 times more potent than herbs! Oils are very concentrated and sometimes it can take acres of plant material to make just one gallon of pure oil.

Here are some interesting facts about peppermint essential oil for example:

1 drop of peppermint oil = 28 cups of peppermint tea
Peppermint oil is made of over 200 chemical constituents making it useful for 50+ ailments very dynamic (advil has only two constituents for example)
Essential oils are adaptogenic in the body – for example, if you have diarrhea or constipation, you would apply peppermint oil to the stomach and lick a drop to find relief
Time to get your oil on! Essential oils can be used in multiple ways – they can be used aromatically with a diffuser, applied topically on your body or even taken internally (only if they have a supplement facts label on the bottle). Visit essential-essentials.com to learn more.

Safety Note

Essential oils are extremely potent, so it’s important to remember to dilute them for babies, children and small pets. Be aware of skin sensitivities and dilute with any carrier oil if you have a reaction. Pregnant and nursing women need to consult an aroma expert or reference book to see what oils are safe for use. We recommend only using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils (CPTG).

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