Every summer season, the debate rages on about the considerable dangers of topical flea and tick products. If you would like to avoid these toxins but still want to give your pet some protection, here is an easy recipe for a safe and effective flea and tick powder, using only three ingredients:
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
NEEM (dry form)
Simply mix the three together and rub the dust mixture into your dog’s coat. Use some caution with DE as it can irritate the mucosa. Once the dust settles however, there is no harm.
Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable, all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from microscopic skeletal remains of unicellular algae-like plants called diatoms. These plants have been part of the earth’s ecology since prehistoric times. It is believed that 30 million years ago the diatoms built up into deep, chalky deposits of diatomite. The diatoms are mined and ground up to render a powder that looks and feels like talcum powder to us. It is a mineral based pesticide. DE is approximately 3% magnesium, 33% silicon, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 2% iron and many other trace minerals such as titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium. Continual breathing of any dust should he absolutely avoided.
This DE is not the same thing as the DE used in swimming pool filters. Pool grade DE is treated with heat, causing the formerly amorphous silicon dioxide to assume crystalline form. Pool grade DE should never be used for pest control.
To insects DE is a lethal dust with microscopic razor sharp edges. These sharp edges cut through the insect’s protective covering drying it out and killing them when they are dusted with DE If they ingest the DE it will shred their insides.
For centuries the Neem tree has been known as the wonder tree of India. Because of its wide variety of applications it is commonly called the “Friend and Protector of the Indian Villager. Modern research studies have discovered that it contains both alkaloids and liminoids, each with an array of medicinal properties. For instance, oneliminoid (azadirachitin) has been found to be 95% effective when used as a pesticide and insecticide. NEEM is also useful
for wound healing.
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Yarrow acts as a repellant and also helps to soothe the skin.
Mix these three dry ingredients in equal parts and pour them into a shaker jar. To apply to your dog, ruffle the hair back to expose the skin and apply small amounts working your way from the rear to the front. If you are using this mixture for ticks, be sure to cover the neck area. Rub it in briskly. For a medium sized dog, you should only need to use about a teaspoon of the dust. Apply the dust to your dog every month.
If you are treating for fleas, wash all bedding and apply the dust to every animal in the house. Once bedding is washed, you can dust beds and any carpeting with the mixture.
This mixture will also work to repel flies and mosquitoes!