Some of you may have heard me referring to dealing with the buggies on and off for a bit now. We've had three different buggies. None of them pleasant. But all of them treated naturally. Most people opt for the insecticide/pesticide options. I knew that I didn't want to go that route for many reasons. The biggest reason was of course for our health. If you have buggies, then you are not healthy to begin with :-( No sense making it worse by coating yourself with poison. It is important to remember that our skin is the largest organ we have. What you put on your skin will be absorbed, and it goes to the blood stream pretty quickly. Below I tell you how we defeated two of the buggies. I will use a separate post for the third buggie.
First let me state that this is what *I* personally did. I can't tell you what you should do. I do suggest doing your own research to find what will work best for your family. Our latest buggie has been fleas. Oh, how fun! NOT! This, so far, has been the easiest to get rid of. I don't think we are free of them yet, I only started this approach, but we've had great success so far. Our animals have fleas. We've never had a problem with them in the past. As a matter of fact a lot of people I know are having issues with fleas like never before. I am assuming it has to do with the warmer than normal winter we had. What ever the reason, our animals have fleas. They got into the house because of the cat. The girls just couldn't resist sneaking him in for some snuggles. Unfortunately he didn't come in alone! Not too long after their little sneaky ordeal Moira came up with these itchy bumps. Over a 3 day period she had a total of at least 60! I thought she might have the chicken pox!! No such luck. I realized it was fleas. Our plan of action...
The first step was to give the cats a bath with the original blue Dawn dish detergent. I'm not sure how natural that is, but I am sure it is a LOT less toxic than a flea dip. Dawn really works. Maybe another soap would as well, but this is what I read, and I was sticking to it. The girls continued this for a few days in a row. I had the girls get everything off their bedroom floor. If it was cloth, it was put into the laundry. If not, it was put away, or into a bag to deal with later. I then vacuumed the floor. Afterwards I made up a mixture of diatomatious earth (food grade) and borax. Borax is poisonous to humans or animals if consumed!! Do not apply borax to animals or leave it out where a child can get into it. Because I was mixing this with the DE and I was sprinkling it onto their floor, I wasn't worried that one of the kids was going to eat it. I made sure that I got under all furniture and in their closet. Supposedly fleas like cool dark places (hanging out under beds and couches). The girls used pure DE on their mattresses. They rubbed it in and then put clean sheets on top (a face mask is needed as the powder can irritate the lungs). I have been going room by room through the house applying the DE and borax mixture to our carpets. The results? The next morning Moira only had 2 bites! Since then she hasn't gotten any new bites. I would call that a success. I plan on leaving it in our carpets as long as possible. After I vacuum I will reapply the mixture.
I also made sure that the girls coated the goats, dogs and chickens with the DE. Again, don't use borax, due to the fact that the animals may try to lick it off, ingesting the poisonous borax as they do so. I believe the girls gave the dogs a Dawn bath as well. Goats are very prone to developing pneumonia if they get wet so we decided to just stick with the DE alone. We are also raking up all outside hay and applying DE to the ground. A healthy animal/human will not fall prey to parasites/fleas and the like. I know that our animals diets need to change, but until that can be a reality we need to try to get rid of the fleas/parasites physically.
The second buggie that we dealt with was lice. I think I mentioned how we figured that one out! If not, the short of it was that Flannery told me her head was itching. I *never* suspected lice. I looked her over, didn't see anything. A few days later she was complaining again. I did a thorough search, nothing. It wasn't until a week or so later that I finally saw the nits. Oy. I knew I wasn't going to use the OT stuff. Not only is it poisonous but the lice are building a resistance to it. I can't remember what I was trying at first, but I wasn't seeing result fast enough. I did some research and found a product that is silicone based, that is supposed to suffocate the lice. It is non toxic. We bought it, at $10 for 4oz! Ouch. The instructions say that one application is supposed to kill them off and that you may have to do one more treatment if the first didn't work completely. I was not pleased with the results. We did two treatments and we still had them. Mind you I was doing the whole washing all our bedding daily and towels and clothing immediately etc. We really couldn't afford to buy more bottles of the stuff. I did a LOT of reading on this. Oh, I almost forgot I also bought a special nit comb called the Terminator Nit Comb. People were claiming that the comb was all you needed. Hmmmm, not too sure about that, I wasn't too pleased with pulling out wee buggies that were still alive. So what I did was have Jeremiah bring home a large container of vegetable oil. I put it on all of our hair and LEFT it on. I kept applying it each day, without washing the previous stuff out. Each day I used the nit comb. The life cycle of the lice is about 7 days in the egg until they hatch. They do not start laying eggs for at least 2 or 3 weeks. So we left the oil in our hair for 10 days. We did wash some of the oil out at times, but then after our hair dried we reapplied the oil. I've been combing through hair just to be on the safe side, and NO buggies :-) A large bottle of oil, and one special nit comb was all it took. Cheap and non toxic.
My next post will be about my battle with scabies. I HATE those things!!!!!! What I did wasn't complicated, but a bit more to write about, so I will save it for another day.
I certainly do not like sharing that we've had to deal with these very icky bugs. BUT if I can help just one person through their ordeal with it then it will be worth it. Again, I am only sharing what I did for my family. I am sure I am leaving some details out, so please do your own reading. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have.