11.Electronic flea traps. These work by exuding small amounts of heat that attract fleas, which are then trapped on sticky paper. They can help but alone they are not effective for treating fleas. Garlic. Some believe this is effective for treating fleas. Studies have shown it does not work.
12.Acupuncture. Are you kidding? How do you acupuncture fleas?
13.Flea collars. Well, what can I say ... flea collars are not natural and they have their own story. To read the full story on flea collars, go to <insert link>.
14.Pyrethrum. This product is commonly used in veterinary flea products and is derived from the chrysanthemum flower. It can be toxic if used inappropriately.
15.Other Herbal Treatments and Such:
Yeast. Some believe this is effective for treating fleas. Studies have shown they don't work.
Vitamin B. Some believe this is effective for treating fleas. Studies have shown they don't work.
Lavender - Garlic. Some believe this is effective for treating fleas. Studies have shown that it doesn't work. It can be sprinkled around bedding. One good thing is that it smells good and most likely won't hurt anything.
Fennel - Garlic. Some believe this is effective for treating fleas. Studies have shown it doesn't work. Some plant it near kennels or catteries. One good thing is that it most likely won't hurt anything.
Sage and wormwood. Some believe this is effective for treating fleas. Studies have shown they don't work.
Rotenone is a "natural" product derived from Derris Root. It is considered toxic – even more toxic than many of the synthetic flea products.
One thing I'd like to point out is that many toxins come from something "natural". For example, some drugs that help us cure or treat cancer come from plants. Some would consider them "natural". When used inappropriately, they can be very toxic and kill. So just because something is natural, that does not mean that it is safe.
My Final Thoughts on Holistic Flea Medications
The most effective treatments are prescription medications from your veterinarian. They really are. I'm not getting one dime for giving you my honest opinion here. If an over the counter treatment that worked as well as these medications really did exist, I'd tell you. But it simply does not exist.
There are so many safe and effective products on the market that can really help that I don't think it is worth using natural treatments that don't work and can also be very expensive.
The Irreverent Vet is a columnist that regularly contributes to PetPlace.com. The goal is to add a balanced and alternative view of some controversial pet issues. As happens with all of us, veterinarians can't always say what they really think without offending some clients. This commentary allows vets to say what they think and give you, the pet owner, the opportunity to consider another point of view. All opinions are those of the Irreverent Vet and not the views of PetPlace.com and are not endorsed by PetPlace.com.