garlic against fleas

Ihave heard that adding garlic to your pets food will cut down on flea attacks,any truth to it?

It’s always been common folklore in northern Canada that consuming garlic (for a person) kept the mosquitos and other biters away.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,
A garlic a day keeps *everyone *away.”

It is widely believed by those that trust their reasoning more than scientific research. I have never seen anything about it from a source I would count on the straight dope from. If there ever was a careful controlled study, I never saw the results. Yes there are many people that claim they give give their dogs garlic and never see a flea. Well, part of the time I don’t give my dogs garlic or any of the proven remedies such as Frontline, Revolution, Sentinel, etc., and I seldom see any fleas. I have gotten into trouble a couple of times. We took one unprotected dog to visit my sister’s flea bitten cats. We were months cleaning up that mess with OTC products. I checked Tux the night before and he was flea free. The next morning the vet at the state fair found him covered. The 4-H leader slipped him a Capstar and he was OK in time to take first place in his limited class. I think they jumped him when I let him relieve himself outside the cattle barn.

If your dog has fleas, I would talk to your vet. Most of the good stuff comes from them. Pull the hair at the base of the tail forward. If you see or feel dark reddish specks, you dog has fleas even if you don’t see any.

It might work, but why bother?

It’s more time & trouble than just buying flea treatments that are known to be effective.

And even just keeping track of where your pets go, and grooming them regularly will prevent most fleas. I have a can of flea powder at least 5 years old, and it’s still half full. I haven’t used any in the past years, since a new rescue kitten came to live here. I comb my cats frequently, and haven’t found any fleas.

I know quite a few garlic loving folks beloved by mosquitos, fleas and other biting/blood sucking insects (ie other suspect conditions being equal, such as wearing flowery scent, body odor, excessive sweat, and bright color clothes). It’s still a mystery to me why bugs are more attracted to some people.

Is there an equivalent for human head lice? Its one of my phobias (thanks to certain threads on this forum) about being around kids for any length of time

Rose, if you’re really looking for “natural” flea remedies, you’ll be a LOT better of with diatomaceous earth. It kills fleas - and any other exoskeleton-bearing creatures, such as, ahem, roaches - via mechanical action, so they can’t become immune to it, but it’s safe for warm-blooded critters as long as you don’t breathe it in or rub it into your eyes.

Sprinkle generously around any sleeping areas. Sprinkle generously into any carpets or rugs, then vacuum thoroughly - and immediately put the bag into a plastic bag, tie it off, and throw it away outside the house. Repeat frequently.

I don’t think so. Be great if there was. Give a flea infested dog a Capstar, and in less than an hour, all the fleas are dead. It does nothing to prevent reinfestations.

One problem with lice is that more hatch out from eggs if the person has been infested for long.

Rose, I wanted to find you a parasitology citation from a primary researcher that wasn’t limited-access, but couldn’t. Here’s a textbook page; note the last paragraph before the reference list.

Also note that large amounts of garlic, especially raw, can be toxic to dogs, causing a Heinz body anemia.

And like purplehorshoe, I’m a big fan of diatomaceous earth.

Seconding that garlic is toxic to dogs (and cats). It’s too risky for something that is not as effective as other products.

In olden days before Advantage I used brewers yeast and garlic tablets for my cats and it did seem to help. But in those days there wasn’t much that worked very well and it was all a lot of work (baths! for cats!). So I thought the tablets were great since the cats liked the taste. But with what’s available today I don’t bother.

Having talked with a lot of clients about this, I have yet to see anyone have actual success with diatomaceous earth or brewer’s yeast. Some people get lucky and don’t have problems with fleas much. But, folks I know with fleas have never solved it with diatomaceous earth or brewer’s yeast.
Also on the worthless list are flea collars, shampoos, and everything that you can buy at either the grocery store or Walmart.

Get a product that actually has science behind it like Advantage, Frontline, Comfortis, Revolution, First Shield. You will save yourself time, money, and frustration.

I agree that diatomaceous earth is an adjunct only, good for environmental control. The topicals we have available now (Frontline, Advantage, etc) are so much safer and more effective than what we used in the olden days. Be careful about using the way cheaper products (Hartz, Sargent), a lot of which are the more dangerous chemicals from the bad old days. The reason the drug companies can charge more for a product like Frontline is that it really is better.