Flea Arsenal

(updates are added at the end)


Last year in San Diego was the worst in its history for fleas. Since we didn’t have a winter with low enough temperatures, this summer will be worse. YES, I have them too for the first time. Flea Arsenal UPDATE is there to help everyone, no matter where you live. Lots of great tips like putting DE on Butter (my dog) before I take her out helps but a few get in and find a spot to repopulate. You will handle the problem more efficiently if you understand that the fight is constant.

At this point on Diatomaceous earth will not be enough, you must  consider it a tool in an arsenal in the battle of the fleas, not the war, that can never be won.

It has been very frustrating for me but now I know what many of you go through and I’m considering this an opportunity learn all I can. I have learned some new things. I knew Smart Choice would spot kill fleas and other bugs as well. Drops mosquitoes out of the sky and is very satisfying to watch.  Smart Choice is $10 (reduced to $7 on the website) dollars but there is a cheaper way to do it.  Lemon Juice, and Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother. See the story below. Ever night I put the faucet on as hot as it will go than put Butter (Butter is my dog) on the counter top that has a thin layer of DE on it to catch fleas that jump off.  Take here collar off and run the comb from top to tail. There will be fleas in the comb but you must get them into the glass quickly or they will just jump off and land on you, repeat. Rub the legs down with the juice as well. It should be 80/20 ration, lemon to water. I repeat throughout the day as needed. Use what works best for you. Use diatomaceous earth or Smart Choice or Cider Vinegar with mother. Fleas will differ in each house according to what you have used in the past and become resistant to it so use what works. I will be using all of the above for a heavy duty concoction!

I add a few drops of  Smart Choice to her drinking water to lower her Nitrate and Nitrite levels and a little cider vinegar to help repel fleas.

I have re-dusted my rugs with DE three times since moving her a year ago. I leave it on for a month now. Its the only way to keep the flea population down. This time I have moved furniture and done the closets as well. I probably would have to do this except for my cat. I can bath Butter occasionally if she is really bad but I can only comb my cat.

If you have good furniture and don’t want to use DE on it get some dryer sheets and rub them down. Stick the sheets in the crevasses.  These are toxic but it does kill and retard fleas. Be careful you dog does not chew these. If there is a way to slip them under or into the material of your pets bed without them getting to it…do it.

If you’ re are going to keep the chemicals and toxins away from your family and pets, you must be willing to fight for it. The toxins will stay in you…and your pet for 12 years. When you look at your pets face when you apply the spot flea treatment you will know you will be doing the right thing by using nature and the  Flea Arsenal  to win the  battle with nature. They know its a bad, you can see it in the expression on their face. The pill is a good way to get around this but it is just as toxic if not more. These meds …all of them are carcinogistic neurotoxins. This means they attach the nervous system of the flea but to us, it mean cancer of all types but especially those that attack the nervous system.  What? Did you think, it only worked on fleas? Do you think that the spot flea treatments only go through the dog or cats skin and not yours or your child’s? Surprisingly, this is what the general public thinks. Trans-dermal means it goes through the skin, your pets skin, your skin and you new babies skin the minute your done applying it to the family pet, it is still active and can go through the skin of the next person you touch.

Now you know the worst of it, and we can get down to the business of spending time instead of money on winning the ‘Battle of the Flea’ with the  Flea Arsenal.  I can’t stand it when my animals have even one flea, but I know what the alternative means.

When fighting a flea infestation you have to think Flea Arsenal. Use as many weapons as are available. FFO DE powder works well but it really helps to get it into your pet body…and yours. A healthy immune system will resist fleas heavy infestations. I carry exclusively a diatomaceous earth with more Calcium Bentonite which is the Heavy Metal de-tox factor in DE. Animals have three time the heavy metals that we do and has been a concern of mine for many years. I do what I can to educate people at the farmers markets but you are in a position to do so much more. You may not agree with some of the research and that’s ok. If I’m wrong in any area of my research I welcome substantiated corrections. Remember too that if taken on a daily bases it will be protecting you and your pets from radiation as well as heart and lung worm. I am attaching the benefits article as well since they are too numerous to mention here.

This is the number one defense , besides vacuuming, for flea control. A small glass filled with hot tap water. It will not hurt you pet as long as they have fur. To that ad a few drops of Dawn dish detergent and a couple of tablespoons of Smart Choice. Smart Choice kill fleas on contact but unfortunately does not have a residual effect.

Tools; a small glass with filled with hot water and 2T. of Smart Choice and a few drops of  Dawn dish detergent flea comb.

Still have fleas!?

Me too, but I am able to reduce them to just a few. Vigilance in the battle cry of the Flea Arsenal.

My pets are my scouts, they spend all night capturing the enemy and bring them to me every morning. I use advanced interrogation methods and tools.

I use Smart Choice which kills bugs on contact. I put several squirts in a small glass filled with hot water. It will not hurt your pet.

Comb the entire animal. don’t worry it won’t harm your pet but be gentle. (see update at the end of the article)

After each stroke immediately dunk the comb in the hot water solution. If you don’t have Smart Choice, you can get it on sale for $7 reduced from $10 on the Flea Free Organically website. You can get a free bottle with the purchase of a large bag of Nutritional Diatomaceous Earth. Just be sure to mention it in an email that you would like the free bottle. You can also use Dawn dish detergent but it doesn’t work as well.

Update: I have streamlined how I comb Butter,(my dog, named after Mutter Butter Treats sold on Flea Free Organically site). Now I put a litte of the Dawn, Smart Choice mixture on the flea comb itself and just comb. Seems to immobilize the fleas once they hit it. Try it!

One thing I’ve learned after moving to San Diego is that you may need  to treat your rugs and furniture 2 or 3 times a year  instead of the once a year. This is the second, record year for fleas in San Diego and it probably won’t be the last.

Next tool is your bagged vacuum cleaner. Bagged, if you are using DE in your rugs, otherwise is will clog the cyclonic vacuums’. If you have more than a few fleas in your shot glass you need to vacuum.

I have my scouts bring in the enemy twice a day, morning and evening. If you think about it, even though they are breeding in your carpets you are stopping the reproductive cycle of every one of the fleas you catch, this is a  huge advantage in the battle of the fleas.

One nice side effect is that it very good for fur and softens it. You may not need to bath them as much either.

Arsenal List

* Electric outlet devices that mention fleas in the list of bugs that are affected by these types of units.

* Organic or electronic flea collars…buy themselves not very effective but helpful with arsenal

* DE on rugs and furniture and pet bedding, under furniture and in closets

* Dryer sheets to wipe down good furniture if you don’t want to use DE (Poisonous to dogs if they chew  on them so be careful not to let them have it)

* Vacuumed once every other day during the summer especially if you have a bad infestation.

* Dust before going on walks

* DE in food to raise immune system and avoid heavy infestations and kill worms and intestinal parasites.

* Neem oil in shampoo (1T) in 5oz (or use Dawn blue and salt recipe below) Neem oil is very effective but messy by itself….also add 2T of Apple Cider Vinigar, with Mother! You can find it at health food stores like Sprouts. and 4T. of Smart Choice. Use an anti itch shampoo if your pet is scratching a lot

*  New Product, which I am testing now. Ultrasonic  pet tag from ‘Love2Pet’ cheapest on Amazon, $30 but last for 10 month…down side, not reusable but worth it if it works. 4/15 update, Does Not  work!

By June of next year, we will have a new product…A Flea Biskets!….

Contest! if we use the name you come up with you will get a free month of the Flea Biskets.

* Try the handmade flea catcher described in the home tab. Its just a large flat pie plate with a candle in the middle. Light the candle and leave it in the dark over night. Put some Dawn or Smart Choice in the water.

* Organic lathering soap. If you leave the soap on for a 10 minutes it will kill the fleas. See shampoo recipes.

* Spread FFO anywhere you pets spend time and reapply FFO when they start scratching, usually two or three times a month in the middle of the season but in bad seasons you may need to do it once a day. The powder must stay in the rugs for 3 weeks to catch the hatching eggs. Cover their eyes and blow any dust away from their face. It is an eye irritant and not good to breath too much of. The only people who need to worry about breathing it in are people, like me who work with large amounts of it daily and thoes who do the actual mining of DE.

*  Use Nematodes in the garden FFO works, but it is  more expensive to use in the garden than Nematodes.. We hope to start carrying both castings and/or Nematodes this summer. We will be increasing the size of the small powder bags.

* Use   Smart Choice as a  pet shampoo.  It is vegan based safe if consumed, non toxic and kills many bugs. Mosquitoes spiders and fleas. Remember to use Cider Vinegar with ‘mother’ in it as well and neem oil. It will retard fleas for a week or more depending on your infestation. Note: Use a swab or dampen a paper towel with  Smart Choice to kill ear mites…..very effective!

* Use a flea comb dipped in  Smart Choice or Lemon juice, Dawn detergent also works well, mixed with a little hot water.

Nobody likes to see their pets bothered by fleas and ticks. Here is a recipe using four ingredients that can be used on your four legged friends as well as in the garden for repelling and killing fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, ants, spiders and other bugs and is recommended by holistic vets.

Contrary to popular belief fleas cannot fly, but are passed from pet to pet contact, or from furnishings or outdoors onto pets. Their bites start a nasty cycle of itching and scratching. In severe cases it can result in hair loss, skin inflammation or infection to your beloved furry friends. Some chemical solutions will cause allergic reactions and also resistance can be built up over time hence rendering them less effective. This is also true of spot flea treatments.

This homemade remedy uses four ingredients that are recognized as insect repellents.

Here is a brief description of each:

Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus citriodoro ) is a known natural bug and insect repellent. Eucalyptus oil is an effective way to get rid of fleas in your home. It comes from the seeds of the eucalyptus tree and produces a strong scent that fleas and other insects find unbearable. Studies have shown that it can be more effective than DEET. An additional benefit of this essential oil is that it is an antiseptic so can sooth the skin following insect bites.
(Please note this ingredient should be omitted if applying to cats as they are sensitive to many essential oils. Eucalyptus oil should not be ingested by pets. Do not allow your pet to chew on toys, collars or bedding that is treated directly with the oil).

Yarrow is a healing herb which can be used to treat wounds due to its anti-inflammatory properties and used to be a vital herb used in wartime. It has also been shown to have pain relieving properties and is anti-microbial. Pets that suffer from a flea infestation will often go on to get infected bites. Powdered yarrow can help heal and sooth the irritated skin helping to stop the itching/scratching vicious circle.

Neem is another herb which has been used for centuries due to it’s antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and blood-purifying properties. It can be used on pets in oil or powder form as a herbal insect repellent, repelling fleas, ticks, lice, mites, ants and mosquitoes (i) . It actually inhibits the metamorphosis of the larvae thus preventing the rapid breeding of these bugs. It is also moisturizing so it helps heal any dry skin or scaling which would otherwise occur from the skin irritation.


This is the cheapest and most practical way by which you can treat fleas in your pet. Cleanliness is perhaps the best way to get rid of them. Make sure that you bathe your dog regularly. Allow the dog to dip in a tub that is filled with water. This will allow the fleas to fall out naturally and easily since they do not cling on the hair shaft.

I hate having to read through long articles, and getting redirected and redirected. Marketing has gone too far. Finding something on the internet these days can be daunting, so, updates to the flea arsenal will appear after a proprietary list of flea weapons. Try to convince the cat that the comb is the mothers tongue and you will be successful with the most stubborn of cats


If you don’t mind the expense use your air conditioner and get a humidifier that takes out humidify. Fleas like dark moist warm places so learn to live without rugs and keep your home clean cool and dry.


This is also known as Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock consisting of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of microscopic hard-shelled algae, that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. DE particles are so small so it just feels like a fine baby powder to humans and pets. It is a simply a mineral silica.
Food grade fresh water DE is harmless to humans and pets because it is not a poison – the bugs do not ingest it. DE is crystalline in structure. It works by mechanically not chemically by scratching the bodies of the insects and causing them to dehydrate. Because Diatomaceous Earth can by very drying, Neem counteracts the dryness and helps protect your pet from excess dry skin and as discussed acts as a retardant for a day or so.
This food grade DE can be purchased at some plant nurseries BUT be sure and specify that you want food grade (not crystallized or filter grade). DE products are registered for use against bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, spiders, and many other pests. Flea Free Organically, Nutritional grade is better for ingestion in pets and humans. It is not as readily available as the pale food grade DE mined in the US but we do not charge extra for it and delivery is free to Point Loma, Hillcrest and Downtown areas.

More help…


While this one may seem an odd idea, banana peels will actually work in order to help you control fleas. Simply put banana peels in the floor or in your furniture. Many say that it is the potassium in it that kills fleas. Make sure to put the banana peel in an area that is hidden to avoid the possibility of having them eaten by your pets.


Salt is another kitchen staple that serves more than just a flavoring for food. To use it in the treatment of fleas in dogs. This will be applied not directly on the dog, but on the areas where flea eggs are, such as in your furniture. Simply have it sprinkled with rock salt, leave it for a couple of days, and vacuum afterwards. One general rule would be using finer salt as it can prove to be more effective.

Rosemary Flea Dip
Steep two cups of fresh rosemary in boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discard the leaves and add up to a gallon of warm water depending on the size of your dog. Wait until it cools but is still warm and pour over your dog until he’s soaked. Allow your dog to dry naturally. Works especially well on hot summer days.

Lavender Essential Oil
Wash your dog thoroughly and towel dry. Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to the base of the tail and another at the neck.

Brewer’s Yeast
Add a small Brewer’s yeast tablets to your dog’s food. Much like prescription meds (but much healthier), this is excreted through Fido’s skin making him less attractive to fleas. Check with your veterinarian for the proper dosages depending on weight.

Apple Cider Vinegar
A spoonful of this stuff added to your dog’s water makes their skin more acidic and not-at-all tasty to fleas. If apple cider vinegar is not your dog’s cup of tea, you can dilute it 50/50 with water, pour into a spray bottle and use as a repellent.

20 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil (remember to omit this for cats)
Half a cup of Yarrow Powder
Half a cup of Neem Powder
1 cup of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Simply mix all of the above together in a jar with a shaker lid. Sprinkle on to your pet along the spine whilst brushing the fur in the opposite direction to ensure the powder makes contact with the skin. Also rub it onto their belly, legs and tail always ensuring that it gets to the skin. It can help to rub in with a powder puff or cotton wool pad. Take care to avoid any contact with their eyes and nose.

When this is being applied as a preventative measure once a month should keep your pet bug free throughout the spring and summer months when fleas are most prevalent. However following a bath or they go out in the wet then you should reapply.
If it is being applied to treat an active infestation then apply every other day until you can no longer see any trace of the fleas. Then just apply as above for maintenance.
It is important to also treat your home to prevent re-infestation. You can apply this same powder to pet bedding, soft furnishings, windowsills and floors. Just apply with a sifter and leave on for three weeks to catch the hatching eggs. Vacuum with a bags vacuum as the cyclonic filters type vacuums will clog. Repeat once a week for the summer months. If we have a decent winter we may not have to go through this again, at least until the next non-existent winter.

Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is acidic, helps balance out pH levels and has antibacterial properties. ACV contains iron, potassium and magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals. For us humans add it to food as a salad dressing or take it straight from the spoon. It can also be taken in a drink by mixing with honey and hot water.

Apple cider vinegar can benefit your dog, cat and horse too by adding it to food and using it externally.

Why is it good for my dog?

It’s beneficial in so many ways – it’s a flea repellant, antibacterial ear cleaner, a tear stain remover, constipation botherer and all round superfood. Make sure it’s the right kind of apple cider vinegar though. You probably won’t find it on the supermarket shelf.  Why does it need to be organic, raw, unpasteurized and contain the ‘mother’?

Commercially produced apple cider vinegar is highly refined and processed and is not a truly traditional ACV. Most apple cider vinegars you find on the shelves are clear, like apple juice. This shows that the vinegar has been filtered and pasteurized. Unprocessed vinegar should be cloudy, with floating almost stringy matter swirling around in it. This is the all important Mother.

The vinegar with Mother, is a natural substance composed of mostly living enzymes created during fermentation of the vinegar. It also contains friendly bacteria as well as other healthy nutrients. The Mother contains most of the important minerals, vitamins and amino acids that are released or created during the fermentation process.

Internal uses

Arthritis – Added to food twice a week – in water or directly into food it will help break down calcium deposits found around the joints as dogs get older which cause stiffness and discomfort. Continued use will make joints noticeably more flexible and less painful.

Flea repellant – ACV keeps the pH levels in the blood slightly acidic which fleas dislike intensely so it helps keep the little blighters away.

Itchy skin – my personal favorite. Because it brings skin back to health, and itchiness is significantly reduced.

Skin and coat – if your dog has dry skin and a dull coat ACV will soften the skin and bring the fur back to it’s former glory.

Tooth decay – there is evidence that the acidity levels in ACV helps to breakdown plaque and tartar on teeth.

Upset tummies – add once a day to water if your dog has diarrhea and repeat every day for a week to relieve constipation.

(‘Just Benefits’ is in the blog if you want to see all of the benefits)

How much should I feed?


In water or food

Small to medium dogs – 5ml or 1 teaspoon in water

Medium to large dogs – 10ml or 1 dessert spoon in water

Ok, this is your arsenal. If you stick with these you can win battles….but I have to emphasize, Not the war. This nature arsenal for handling fleas is work but since the chemicals no long work why take the chance?

This is Diatomaceous Earth from Canada

It is different from  DE mined else ware. It has additional Calcium Bentonite which is a heavy metal detox. Animal have three times the heavy metals in their system than we do. To improve your  pets immune system, it need to be in their diet on a regular basis, year round.

                                60 + %  of these diseases that are on the increase….

                                                   * Birth defects     * Sterility

                                                   * ADHD               * Alzheimer’s

                                                   * Autism               * Cancers


                                                    ….are directly related to 

                            chemicals, chemical pesticides, & heavy metals


Update: USE your air conditioning. If you have central air and a lot of money to pay the bill you can keep the indoor fleas to a minimum.

The whole idea behind FFO is to reduce the household toxins but if you must use dryer sheet put them in the crevices of your furniture where fleas tend to propagate. That the least toxic use for these otherwise useless government sanction toxic fabric softeners. You can leave them there indefinitely to not only kill fleas but bacteria as well. Use them instead of DE if it is fine furniture. DE is very hard and may damage fine fabrics over time. Put them in the laundry basket to keep the smell down and reduce bacteria. If used like this they become less toxic than putting them in the dryer.  Softeners are also very toxic and should  be avoided.

Wherever you apply DE to your pet, first put down a thin layer of DE. Then use your flea comb. They will jump off the fur and the comb and either land on you, or on the surface with the DE and die on contact

Note: use a shower cap or wrap hair in a towel to discourage fleas from jumping on you.

Once they hit the DE there done. I put my dog, Butter, (Named for Mutter Butter Treats) in the tub. that way, whenever I take a shower i can scrub down the tub (will not damage the surface as it is used industrially a glass polisher) before I take my shower. Learn to use DE all over the house and you will drastically cut down on the chemical products you use.

Dr Mercola’s Flea and Tick Defense: This product works to repel fleas and is non -greasy. It does not work as stated but will work for a few hours. I use it to spray my hair, face and cloths so the fleas don’t latch onto me when I’m combing my pets. Pricy at $17 and pets really don’t like it. Smart Choice is cheaper and less offensive with a lot more uses and only a $7 investment.


A new one I plan on trying this weekend is boiling Rosemary  and mint,  and applying after it cools and after Butter’s bath. The results will be posted here.

Butter is a small white dog so she is easy to handle. I put her on a platform that has a good amount of DE on it. Wrap my hair in a towel so they don’t jump on me. Then I heavily dust her hind legs. Don’t know why but once I start using the flea come they all congregate on the legs. Sometimes I use Smart Choice mixed with some water and dip the comb. After the comb is no longer picking up any fleas i douse here with either Lemon juice, Neem oil  or Cider Vinegar, with Mother. These are all equally effective at retarding fleas. All are good for them if they lick  it off as added advantage to this kind of flea treatment.

Success….Its official. We have successfully managed a severe infestation. Butter is mostly white so finding and eliminating fleas wasn’t that difficult. I have left Diatomaceous earth on the rug for a full month remembering that the fleas outside are the main source of fleas coming into the house. They are also resistant fleas, i.e., resistant to herbs and other natural means however I did have had some success with boiled Rosemary water that I dip the flea comb in. The main weapon is a good flea comb. I cannot emphasize this enough. Butter is small so I put DE on the counter-top and had a small container for the Rosemary, large enough for the flea comb to fit in. When the fleas jump off they land on the DE and die. I put some on the floor as well. I live alone so having it on the counter was only inconvenient for me.  I changed the DE every week. You may want to use a tub to do this procedure or do it outside for larger dog. I use hot running tap water to kill the fleas and then dip the comb in the Rosemary solution. She gets combed twice a day. Vacuuming even after the application of DE is ever couple of days. Just remember to keep it in the rubs for three weeks. One other point about DE in your rugs is that it kills all bacteria in the rug.

*We will have a new product out in another month. Nutritional Diatomaceous earth in pill form for humans.

**Flea Free Organically is starting a new pet sitting service for the San Diego area. We train our pet sitters in animal CPR, medications and injections. We will also have background checks on all our sitters.

***We will be happy to send a copy of the Flea Arsenal with your order or email it if you prefer. You can also get a copy by going to the blog on the Flea Free Organically site.

Through all of this you have to remember that this is a battle. A necessary battle as long as you know the dangers of the alternative toxic methods which in the end stop being effective. By this time this happens you have compromised your pets health permanently. Whatever you decide, please be mindful of children. As a former nurse I saw too many children with cancer that had  their pets treated with toxic flea products.


Janelle Diters Owner | Operator



New Product: Organic Jan’s Flea Potion

I always research and try new things but I think I may have found an alternate to DE. I love DE don’t get me wrong but you need to dust them once or twice a day during the season. Its messy. Looks bad on white dogs and is cuddle resistant.

Keep your fingers crossed…this looks promising!



If you know a pet owner who would love to banish fleas and ticks without resorting to harsh chemicals then please feel free to share this information. It has also been permanently posted here:

Flea Free | 760-331-4525 | Janelle Diters


Leave a reply