Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 12:55 pm Posts: 5 Location: Amarillo, TX
In addition to spraying the usual soap, orange oil, and molasses on our yard, I have been using a 50/50 mixture of Murphy's Oil Soap and orange oil as a flea shampoo for our dogs this summer, with mixed results.
One is a Yorkie with a very short cut. He is very susceptible to the fleas our new neighbors brought with them. I have to say that, for him, it isn't working very well.
The other is a Sheltie with a short--but still dense--coat. The fleas won't have anything to do with him. I think that the thickness of his coat keeps more of the shampoo in it. You could spend a very long time rinsing him out.
My conclusion is that the residual oil and soap in the fur are big deterrents to the fleas; and, hopefully ticks. We will try this again next year when the Yorkie will have a longer, adult coat. I can tell by the way our neighbor treats his dogs that it will be necessary.
I'm fairly certain that our yard doesn't host the fleas for very long. As I stated earlier, I spray often. I also put nematodes down early in the year--before the new neighbors moved in. I will post my results next year, as well. FYI
Orange oil at that strength is a solvent and Murphy's oil soap is meant for washing wood, not dogs, so I wouldn't use it on my animals. I use a people shampoo and let it sit lathered on the coat for a few minutes (if I can get the dog to stay put) before rinsing off.
You may need to apply nematodes again if they're not working completely now - wait till a good rain or do it after you water, in the morning before it warms or evening after it cools some. The nematodes really can make a big difference and they'll help with other pests with a life cycle in the ground as well. Cutworms (a problem here this year) and fires ants, for example.
I use a veterinary prescription product called Revolution that primarily treats for heart worm and fleas, but also repels ticks. It's a monthly application on the dog's skin (shoulderblade area, so they can't lick it off.) It works very well; if the cost at your vet is prohibitive you can get a prescription and order from Canada; they ship from the UK but it costs half as much as the US vets will charge.
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