Warmer weather quickly approaches as winter comes to an end, and we head into spring and summer. With warmer weather and longer days, comes long walks in the park or on the beach with your family and energetic pets. This also means that your pet may be exposed to fleas and ticks. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks can cause considerable damage to an animal. According to Pet Central, fleas can cause pet diseases (i.e., tapeworms, murine typhus, cat scratch fever, feline infectious anemia, dermatitis from flea allergies, and etc.).

As you may know, ticks can also transmit certain diseases. In fact, experts report that ticks are parasites that transmit diseases to both humans and animals, including lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, tick paralysis, rocky mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. In contrast, there are several ways that you can prevent fleas and ticks from being attracted to your pets:

1. Keep your home clean
It is imperative that you keep your house clean in order to control the flea population in your home. This includes cleaning your pet’s beds, furniture covers, vacuuming, and sanitizing the floors. In addition, make sure to empty the vacuum canister or bag since fleas continue to live inside the container.

2. Regular bath time
One of the best ways to prevent fleas is to bath your pets about once a week. In fact, washing your animal with water and soap is quite effective. Since fleas don’t hold onto the hair shaft, they quickly fall into the water and drown. Use a gentle shampoo or a small amount of regular dish-washing soap plus a thorough brushing will help get rid of any fleas your pet may have. Make sure to brush your pet outdoors so that the fleas don’t fall into the carpet or floor.

3. Use citrus
Fleas and lice do not like any type of citrus such as lemons or oranges. In fact, citrus is an effective bug repellent used in a lot of products sold on the market. Simply, juice a fresh lemon or orange and lightly rub it into your pet’s fur. Keep in mind that lemon and orange essential oils are too harsh to use on your pets. In fact, citrus oil extract can irritate their skin.

4. Flea and tick repelling plants
Another way to repel ticks and fleas is to add certain plants to your landscape. In fact, according to Natural On, there are several plants that will help deter ticks and fleas:

  • Sage
  • Catnip
  • Lavender
  • Feverfew
  • Marigolds
  • Rosemary
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon grass
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Citronella grass

5. Natural predators
A wonderful natural predator to add to your garden for flea and tick prevention are nematodes. In fact, nematodes are a type of microscopic roundworm that loves to eat flea larvae. In addition, nematodes are beneficial to the garden. They help aerate the soil as well as control soil borne insect pests. Make sure to get beneficial nematodes that are members of the members of the Steinernematidae or Heterorhabditidae families.