Monday, March 28, 2011

Ready Made? Fleas to Chic

I recently stumbled upon the magazine READY MADE  when a frugal blogger was telling about cheap subscriptions.  If you are the type of person whose hips have never been caressed by a pair of jeans under $180 or only shop at upscale boutiques, then this might not be the magazine for you.  You need to embrace handmade objects and a certain tendency to collect secondhand items.  I received my first issue several weeks ago and I am in love! 

This magazine was right up my alley. It's filled with projects that primarily focus on re purposing or creative ways to use the materials you have readily available.  I am not saying that everyone will have old boat parts laying around, but most of the projects I have seen involve reusing items to create something new.  A hands-on-lovers guide to tinkering...

I am especially fond of one simple trick to get rid of fleas.  Our whole neighborhood has been fighting a flea invasion this past fall.  AND I don't mean the guitarist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I have treated and treated our dog with Frontline, but nothing would kill these pesky critters.  Frontline is usually wonderful, but the fleas kept coming back.  I abhor pesticides, but I was about to spray the whole house down in a final attempt to destroy the fleas.

I had already purchased an industrial size can of flea spray when I received my first issue in the mail.  Praise the Lord it came when it did.  Nestled inside the pages was a tip about treating fleas with table salt!  Salt!  I can buy 3 containers of table salt for $1 and it's not toxic.  I was ecstatic.

Apparently, fleas don't like salt and it dries up their eggs.  I didn't have much to lose.  At most, I had to vacuum the floors and I was out about 50 cents for the salt.  I grabbed the salt and began shaking around all the carpets and rugs.  We have wood floors throughout the house, but I sprinkled salt along the floorboards and under the furniture.  I was a woman on a mission.


My kids laughed and thought I had finally lost my marbles, but that didn't deter me.  I evenly covered almost every square inch of my house with salt.  I wasn't afraid of the children inhaling fumes or introducing harmful chemicals into our environment.  The worst that could happen was higher blood pressure, but that was only if we licked the floor.  The baby sat in his exersaucer while I delved into my termination plan.

I let the salt sit overnight and then I swept and vacuumed the crystals up.  I immediately threw out the vacuum bag and replaced it with a new one.  I rubbed down Teddy Kent, our Jack Russell Terrier, with a grainy sodium treatment and gave him a bath immediately afterwards.  He even thought I was nuts, but he didn't object to being loved and petted.  It was a "spa" treatment for him.

So far, so good.  I haven't seen a little critter in over a month!  I have went outside and sprinkled salt around the house and in the yard.  I bet people driving by thought I was out trying to ward off evil spirits with my salt, but I didn't care.  I told my neighbors and they are going to try it.  I don't want to have to go on a flea rampage ever again.

I still treat Teddy Kent with Frontline, but I think the salt was the determining factor in ousting them from our home.  Warmer weather is hopefully in our future and that means another flea season.  I am praying that it skips our neighborhood, but I am armed with my trusted iodized salt.  Now my house can be flea free and I can focus on trying some of those chic projects in my magazine.

Do you have any secret remedies?

I have included a link to READY MADE magazine for $6.99 a year if you are interested.