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We're in a battle. It's me against the fleas. In South Carolina, the weather is mild much of the year, which is perfect for fleas. We never get a hard enough freeze to kill the fleas. As a result, we're constantly battling itching pets, home infestations, and the tape worms associated with fleas. Among the worst states in the nation in terms of flea and tick issues are South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. The little critters thrive in the humid, moist climates of these Deep South states.

But I've got a few tricks up my sleeve after speaking with some holistic pet care experts. These pet remedies will supply ample ammunition in your war against fleas.

1. Ectopamine Spray


2. Nematodes

But it's usually not just the fleas on your dog that are the problem. It's the fleas that are festering in your yard. For that, nematodes are particularly beneficial, according to All About Pets. They work to rid your yard of fleas. Because applying poisons to your yard isn't good for you or your pets, try nematodes, which are little worms that naturally eat fleas.

Once you decide to employ these little critters in your natural battle against fleas, you have several types from which to choose. Beneficial Nematodes will kill fleas as well as other undesirable pests in your yard. Steinernema carpocapsae nemotodes are microscopic non-segmented worms. Not only do these nematodes attack fleas, they also feast on cutworms, sod webworms, and termites. Steinernema carpocapsae are suited for cooler climates while Steinernema feltiae are better for warmer climates.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Also consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth, also called diatomaceous dust, in your yard, particularly where your pup likes to hang out. Diatomaceous earth is comprised of microscopic sea shells that act like razor sharp wire to sever fleas. It sounds tough, but they're small enough that they won't hurt your pets or you while putting an end to those pesky fleas.

4. Boric Acid Borax is actually the potent ingredient in many commercially available anti-flea products. It's considered safer than other chemical strays and it lasts longer in your home, up to a year. It works by causing severe dehydration in fleas. There are reports of irritation to the skin and eyes, but it's actually very mild. The key to success with boric acid, or borax, as a flea killer is careful and vigilant application. First, vacuum all the target carpeted surfaces thoroughly to remove dirt and dust. All cushions should also be removed from furniture. Sprinkle the powder over carpeting and be sure to be extra careful around your pet's favorite spots. Use a broom to make sure the powder gets into every inch of carpet. Do the same with furniture and use a smaller brush to rub it in. Vacuum up all excess powder. 5. Vacuum Regularly "Vacuuming is likely one of your best tools for getting rid of fleas," Ric Sommons of Dolittle's Pet Store in Charleston, S.C. said in an article on Tonic. "Vacuum weekly, and make sure to change the vacuum bag. If you don't, the fleas will just hatch in your vacuum bag. Then, when you vacuum the next time, you'll end up releasing the adult fleas back into your living environment." Keeping a tidy home is one of the best ways to keep your home flea free. That means vacuuming the entire house, including the furniture once a week. If you don't, you are providing an inviting hatching ground for the enemy. 6. Be Vigilant This is likely the most important piece of advice. If you want to treat pets holistically for fleas, according to All About Pets, you have to be regimented like a military officer, which includes remaining vigilant. Treat your pet at least once a month with the Ectopamine Spray after washing your dog. Once the flea treatment begins to work, comb out the dead fleas and make sure that your best friend is groomed regularly. Make sure to vacuum and dust the house once a week. And treat your yard and home as well. Stay on it and you can win the battle.