Has anyone here used beneficial nematodes as part of their flea control efforts? I would be very curious to hear any experience with them, positive or negative.
We are being driven bonkers by fleas and I suspect that part of the issue is that since we are basically in the woods surrounded by wildlife, our efforts to remove them from our cat and home don’t make much of a dent. I can’t exactly go dusting the coyotes, raccoons and possums with DE, after all. Our cat is indoor/outdoor and I know from past attempts that she will not agree to be indoor only.
We have been endlessly vacuuming, washing bedding/fabric stuff, running a dehumidifier, flea combing, giving baths to the cat and eventually, had to resort to topical flea gick (advantage) out of desperation. Even with a couple months of warring against them thusly, we are still finding some fleas on her and getting bitten horribly in our bed. All the bedding on it has been washed numerous times. There had been a brief time where we thought the problem was managed, but in the last few days have gotten tons of bites at night.
Sadly, DE and essential oils are absolutely out of the question, seeing as our cat has asthma and has had an attack that became life threatening. We don’t want to use the gick, but are unsure what else to do given the aforementioned limiting factor.
The nematodes seem like they could help. They’re a bit pricey though and I wonder how effective they really are? After all, they do eat other insects, of which there are many. Who’s to say they’ll go after the fleas? I also wonder if they would end up getting poisoned since we had to resort to using the gick?
If they do work, I imagine the nematodes would still only be one part of the strategy. Are there any other solutions besides DE and essential oils I could try? I read through the thread, but maybe I missed something else? Any solutions that have worked for kitties with asthma would be especially helpful. Thank you!
"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, "You owe me." Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky."
Just wanted to add my 2c to this topic. The primary ingredient in the very expensive and prescription required Comfortis, a tablet for flea control is Spinosad, the very same product used to kill all types of worms in the garden (but it is broad spectrum so I don't use it in the garden). Spinosad can be found in the garden store, the farm store orthe fee store and if your local doesn't carry it, as the manager to supply it in the spring. I give my dog 1 tsp a week mixed in with some ROOM TEMP moist food once a week. This is like massively overdosed relative to the mg of the Comfortis product, but it is truly this safe. I don't give my dog a large dose at once, because it is offensive to his tummy. I continue feeding this until the fleas are gone.
This product also kills human head lice and NITS in one shot. It's a bacteria and harmless to humans. So, treat it like a bacteria and keep it from light, heat and cold. Humans could actually eat it with nothing more than allergic reaction, so it's way cool to get rid of headlice on the kids without worrying about getting it in their eyes or burning their skin. I drenched their hair in a dilution and wrapped their head in a towel for about 20. DONE in one shot.
because it is a bacteria there is chance that the environment might become immune over time if wide spread use should occur.
I sometimes get a dud bottle that doesn't work. The bacteria is probably dead, but buying another bottle is far far cheaper than any other alternatives.
I found your article humorous and informative. It does, however, make me wonder what you are doing that causes you to have such extensive experience with fleas? I am 52 years old, and I have only seen fleas twice in my life. I have only been bitten by them twice in my life. They are one of the few things I’m allergic to.
I’m guessing it must be your animals. I have never had animals in the house. That’s one major way of keeping fleas out
Wanna see my flashlight? How about this tiny ad?
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while