This year seems to be a particularly prolific year for the fleas, ticks and tiny nasty biters. Izzy is wretched, the Boss Queen is wretched, Mack is wretched! In short, any animal that has been outside to pee has come in miserable! I started using diatomaceuos earth a few years ago, and it seemed to work fairly well. This season is different! Diatomaceous earth usually takes effect in a couple of days on the animal, barring any new infestations, and it was just fine in all preceding years. This year, it just is NOT enough. I am rubbing it on the animals daily without much of a dent in the biters. Yeah, baths help, but not for long. I mixed up a concoction that seems to be helping Izzy with her itchies that offers a temporary respite. I boiled 2 sprays of fresh lemon balm, a 5 leaved sprig of sage, 6 good sized pieces of thyme, and as much lavender as I could cut from the soon to be dead plant my mother placed in an unfortuitous location in vinegar which I diluted by half with water when the boil had cooled. I spray her before she goes outside and when she returns, as needed. This amounts to several times a day, and she isn't crazy about it. (Izzy hates all things of the bath or spray nature.) Her skin looks much better. I'm afraid to do such a thing to Mack or the Boss Queen, so they are stuck with the powder rub ins that take too long to work. I have been researching feverishly to find some way to kill the pesties in our yard without killing the bugs we love or poisoning the land and wild animals, especially our lovely toads. I ran across predatory nematodes that do their microscopic business in the fleas, and I am darn excited to try them! After we get through $735 of dental stuff for the daughter, the nematodes are the next mission. Here is a link to information about the fabulous natural killers of nasty little biters: www.fleabites.net/beneficial-nematodes-for-fleas-how-they-work/
The house rabbits are unplagued, and that is a super good thing! I will post an update on the nematode results as soon as we get to loose the million worm battalion.