Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Flea Market Has Come to Town

Well, today I had an interesting experience. Reba (on the right) has lived here for about 11 years and Malone (on the left) for 6. That entire time we've never had a flea or tick issue...that is, until today.

I'm very particular about keeping the pups tidy since they're indoor guys and used to be very diligent about rubbing them down with a lavender wipe whenever they would go outside. Fleas hate lavender and this simple wipe down keeps the pups clean and eliminates the worry of bringing critters in the house that don't belong (: I guess I should have continued that little habit.

The one thing my furry low-riders miss is a good roll in the grass. I know, I know. It's their way of leaving an "imprint" to announce their presence to the world, but I'd rather keep them clean. Isn't that selfish!

Well, a few days ago I had a lapse in judgement. I knew better, especially since I've been lax on the lavender wipes, but Miss Reba was so wanting to roll around in the dirt and for some reason those pouty little eyes got the best of me. When she started to dig I let her go to town! Her tiny wiener body whirled from side to side and those petite dachshund legs were reaching for the sun...she was a sight! Malone wasn't quite sure what to think (:

After Reba's romp, I dusted her off and we headed inside. She immediately was given a brush down (should have used the lavender wipes instead of a brush!!) and we went about the rest of our day. Fast forward a few days....I started noticing my sweet girl itching. Just once in a while, mind you, but scratching of any kind is very rare for her. I didn't think much about it and continued working until I saw this one lone flea right in the middle of her white blanket!

Oh no...I hope this is just ONE hobo flea that hopped a ride on the wiener express from our last walk and not a family moving in for the summer. And the search was on! I checked her fur and sure enough there were more! Fleas!! What in the world!! And into the tub she went...bless her heart (:

Thank goodness there was a great shampoo on hand! After her bath I added water and a few drops of lavender and tea tree essential oils in a spray bottle to create a carpet spray. The perfect thing to apply after each run of the vacuum. I washed and dried their pet beds and placed dried lavender bud sachets inside to ward off any fleas that might want to take up future residence (: Being proactive it essential!

So, lesson learned...no more grass rolling for these little ones and I'll be using those wipes again!! If you find yourself hosting a flea market in your home, give natural methods a try. Here are some steps to help get rid of those unwanted little guests should they make an appearance:

**The use of essential oils is only for dogs. Essential oils are dangerous for cats and should never be used with them**

1. Find a good natural flea shampoo with lavender or tea tree and wash your dog on a regular basis...I prefer at least once a week.

2. A flea comb is essential when you are in attack mode. The extra fine teeth will trap the fleas and lift them out of your pet's coat. Dip the comb in hot soapy water after each stroke to kill the fleas and rinse with cool, clean water.

3. Mix 10 drops of lavender essential oil in 8 oz. of water to make a spray that can be used on carpets, pet beds or any area where your furry ones visit often.

4. Vacuum and clean the floors regularly especially where your dog sleeps to kill any unseen developing fleas. Remember to do areas like under beds, around base boards and window sills.

5. Wash your dog bed in hot, soapy water and then dry on high heat. Adding 10 drops of eucalyptus or lavender oil to the wash will act as natural flea repellent.

6. Steam cleaning the carpets is about the best thing you can do because the heat kills the eggs that might be lurking. I do this once a week because I'm a little bit of a clean carpet freak (:

Good luck!

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  1. Oh, the wieners are so cute! I learned something today. We don't have a lot of fleas in Colorado and right now I don't have a dog, but some day I might. Thanks! Your bathroom is beautiful!

  2. It seems as though fleas and ticks are just so much more abundant this year. We have had several ticks ride in...and take a swirl ride out.

  3. what a great post. What would you use for cats?

  4. A safe alternative is a hydrosol - the aromatic water that remains after producing an essential oil via steam or water distillation. Hydrosols are sometimes also referred to as a floral water or distillate water. Hydrosols are not as concentrated as essential oils but still maintain the same healing properties as the oils. They can be spritzed on your cat and in your home for a flea or tick remedy (or even as a room deodorizer). I prefer lavender.

    If you have a cat, I would use hydrosols to scent your environment instead of essential oils or conventional room sprays since breathing in even the slightest amount can be toxic to your cat.

    Essential oils can be toxic to cats because their bodies lack the ability to properly metabolize the various compounds in essential oils, whether taken internally, applied to the skin, or simply inhaled. This means that they are not efficiently excreted by the body and can build up toxic levels.

  5. Hi! I noticed you became a followerer so I had to come check you out. I'll be returning the favor, I LOVED your post on gracious living. So much so I'm cutting some of it and pasting it somewhere I can see it everyday. I'm hitting forty in July and that is exactly how I want to live now. Oh and what pray tell is that beautiful something something on the side of your bathroom there? It looks to be sitting in a typical small bathroom and lookin cool! I hope your dog is flea free, I don't' think its a huge problem in Phoenix. I never hear anyone complaining at any rate. Ticks on the other hand, shiver.

  6. Oh my goodness!!!! I had no idea! I just love the scent of lavender and think it would be a great idea anyway! NICE! We don't have a dog BUT eventually we will! Awesome advice. I had NO IDEA that lavender was so wonderful. Super awesome. I'm so excited. I have been meaning to check your blog but it has been BUSY BUSY in my neck of the woods. I'm so glad you stopped by to leave me sweet comments! I can't wait to read more and am going to follow you back!

  7. Thanks for stopping by and following Applejack Lane. I thought your post was great! I am interested in the lavender wipes you refer to. Any special brand?

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog and being my newest follower! Hope you enjoy the silliness...
    I don't have dogs now but remember when my kids were younger and we had them. Good you know how to extricate the creepy little critters :)
    I'll become your newest also and try to stop by when I can. Love your look...

  9. Hi Joan (:

    "Thanks for stopping by and following Applejack Lane. I thought your post was great! I am interested in the lavender wipes you refer to. Any special brand?"

    I'm sure there are some out there, but I make my own. I cut up old 100% cotton sheets into 6x12 inch pieces and have then in a basket next to the front door. I used to soak them in a mixture of 10 drops lavender essential oil and 8 oz of water in a recycled plastic baby wipe container - making my own baby wipes of sorts (:

    Then I switched over to just putting the lavender water in a spray bottle and spraying the cotton wipes. Either works just fine, but I prefer spraying because I can also use it on the carpets, their beds and the room when I want a lavender pick-me-up (: I hope that helps

  10. Make sure you empty your vacuum after each vacuuming session during a flea or tick encounter, especially if you have a canister vac. They will reproduce in the vacuum!

  11. Your puppies are SO ADORABLE!!!!! I had a sausage dog when I was a little girl and I have always wanted another one since.

    They are pampered little poppets and so well loved. you are so kind and caring.

    The pic of one of your babies, with head poking up in the bath cracked me up!!! hilarious. What a cute puppy.

    I hope you have eradicated your flea problem. how thoroughly annoying.

    A cute post.

    Tracey at Velvetine Lily x o x o

  12. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! What cute pups! I didn't know that about lavender...where do you buy your wipes? I would love to try it on my dog:-)

  13. Hi! I love your site...so cheery :) This was a great post but I have a cat. Further reading gave me even more insight and I thank you for that. I will re-visit again.

  14. I was not aware that the Lavendar worked against fleas. Thanks so much for this information. Love the name of your little boy dog ;)

  15. Thank You for the heads up on the fleas. I did not know that they did not like lavender. Really good to know!

    About 2 1/2 months ago, I myself a weiner dog :) She looks like the one on the left side. She is so darn cute but soooooo very stubborn! We are having such a hard time training her. Do you have any tricks?

    I do have a pure bread mini poodle who is now 9 and we never ever experienced anything with her like we are with our little Allie girl. Don't get me wrong over all she is a good girl but it's nothing for her to look at you and squat and pee or do job #2. She was 4 months yesterday...

    Any ideas would be so grateful!

  16. Goodness I love your bathroom! I wish mine was big enough for storage like that :)

  17. I have one little poodle/Bischon mix and this is great info to have! I had no idea about the lavender/tick thing!!! Thanks so much! And I noticed you are a Michele with one L too! : )

  18. What adorable dogs, I love them myself but Mr. Wonderful won't allow them in the house (Allergies). Thanks for becoming a follower, I will return the kindness. Love your blog!

  19. Hi, Michelle! Thought I'd stop by & thank you for becoming a follower on my blog - hope you enjoy visiting.

    I don't have pets, unless you count 3 smelly, rowdy BOYS (LOL), but I use the lavender/tea tree spray instead of Febreeze ~ I prefer to go chemical free whenever possible ~ one thing I like to add...a couple tbsp of vinegar. It's a natural deodorizer & fabric softener (I use it in the rinse cycle, too). Might help if you're ever battling furbaby smells, if ya know what I mean! ;)


  20. Hi Michele,
    ice to meet you, am happy you have become a follower of my place!
    Will be catching up with your excitement as well.

  21. Hi Michele!

    Thank you for the visit and for following us on our "God Watch"! I appreciate your offer of prayer and will certainly reciprocate!

    Many Blessings,

    PS - I'm signing up as a follower of yours too!

  22. They are sooo sweet!! Thanks for the follow!! I am returning the favor!!

  23. Your dogs are too cute! I am a flea nazi too after having a very bad experience with an infestation in a college apartment (left by previous tenant - ewwh!). Love your tips!

  24. Those pups are precious!! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and following...I sooo appreciate it! I will be following you as well!

  25. Hi Sally! Your question about having any tricks for potty training a stubborn doxie...well, dachshunds are known for being intelligent and VERY stubborn (: I was blessed because both of my little ones were house trained before they were adopted. But here's a link that offers some great potting training advice for those with young doxies...although they do mention giving the dog a "swat" a time or two...please ignore this instruction. I follow the Cesar Millan philosophy so use a "shht" sound, a clap or a can with a few pennies inside to make a loud sound instead of "swatting" your pooch. Hope this helps and good luck!(:


  26. Katie, thanks so much for including the note about emptying the vacuum bag! I do it automatically and forgot to include that step for others (:

    Nora, great idea about adding the vinegar to the spray! Haven't tried that, but it makes perfect sense. I use vinegar in my rinse cycle too and it really makes things soft!

    Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments and suggestions! You guys are great (:

  27. Fleas are nasty little buggers! Thank goodness you caught them early on.


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