How to Become an Advertising Freelancer

There are essentially three kinds of businesses in this world: Those that can afford to have an advertising agency handle all their advertising; those that can’t, but can do their own advertising and marketing in-house; and finally, those businesses that can do neither. That’s where an advertising freelancer comes into the picture.

 

A freelancer works on a project-by-project basis. No case too small. The benefit to the business is that they can have the freelancer work with their relatively low ad budget. The freelancer charges either by the hour or per project for their services. In doing so, they can provide professional advertising campaign management with a budget far lower than advertising agencies can feasibly work with. It’s becoming a better option for more and more businesses that simply don’t have the ability to do it on their own.

This creates an outstanding opportunity for advertising professionals who want to break out of the corporate conundrum, and get out on their own. Freelancers enjoy a greater amount of independence and self-determination than advertising professionals who work in a firm. They can take on numerous businesses as clients and have multiple streams of revenue. This means better financial stability for the freelancer.

So, say you’re an advertising pro and ready to cut the agency apron strings. Here are some simple, logical steps to get going:

1. Come up with a marketable name. Some freelancers make the mistake of working as a single person, (“Jane Schmo, Advertising Freelance”). This tends to “shrink” the freelance’s abilities in the eyes of a prospective client. Instead, come up with a professional company name (more like “Schmo Advertising and Marketing”). Present yourself more in the light of a project manager-type that will produce, supervise and manage a company’s ad campaign with the aid of other creative advertising professionals if needed. This will go a long way in projecting your image as an advertising professional who can take on any kind of campaign.

2. Once you have a name, have professional materials made up to build your image. This includes the obvious: business cards, stationery, brochures, etc. But also be sure to include other items such as advertising premiums – such as pens, key-chains, notepads, personalized calendars, and other “schwag”. You want to get your name and image out there and on the desks of the very business owners you want to work for. Image and name recognition is everything in advertising more so than any other segment of business. Get your name out there.

3. Produce an impressive info-pack – Be sure to include a detailed resume and history of past campaigns that you have worked on in your professional career. Be sure to highlight your more successful campaigns, the ones you think your prospects may have come across.

4. Put up a website – This is non-negotiable if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. You MUST have a website with a good, easy to remember domain name. Make sure ALL your materials have your web address. Your website will be your living, breathing resume. Don’t skimp on it, and update it regularly. Put up nothing less than a professional, clean and slick website and be sure to have your burgeoning portfolio on-line for your prospects to peruse at their leisure.

5. Determine your rates – Research your competition and see what the going rates are for the kind of services you will be offering. Price yourself somewhere in the middle. According to most advertising trade publications, freelance copywriters get anywhere from $350-450 per billable hour. Keep in mind that many business owners like to have a good idea of what the total cost of the project will be from the get-go. Look into pricing an entire project to get their business. Just make sure you don’t price too low and end up working way too much for too little.

6. Nobody can do everything great, so make sure your prospects understand that you have other professionals at your disposal. Such as, graphic artists, web designers and other creative specialists, to make their campaign a well-packaged success.

7. Know the ins and outs of on-line advertising! This is the future of advertising, and …

Advertising, Promotions, Marketing and Public Relations Managers

Public relations, advertising and marketing management are highly coveted jobs for the ratio of high wages to freedom of work environment. Those in these positions often can work from home, travel and have an office supplied to them. While many positions require a raw talent for marketing, some of the intricacies can be easily learned for a lucrative career

Job Duties

An advertising, marketing or public relations manager is responsible for the strategy, sales, promotion, pricing, public outreach, development and marketing of a product or company. Advertising managers focus on the ad campaigns and may work with the finance and promotional departments to find the most beneficial advertising campaigns available. A public relations manager is responsible for the design and implementation of public promotions including events on social media, through bloggers and writers and through the broadcast media.

Skills Required

This career path is full of schedule changes and requires an employee to be flexible as well as work under pressure. Anyone in the field of public relations, marketing and advertising must have excellent customer service skills as well as the ability to blend with special interest groups. Long hours, weekends and evenings are sometimes required, as are above average computer and media skills.

Education and Requirements

A bachelor’s degree, preferably in a business administration, is typically required for marketing, sales and promotions manager. In fields that are dependent on knowledge of electronics, a degree in engineering or science is preferred. Required coursework for these degrees include classes in advertising, public affairs, speaking, communications and political science, among core requirements. Many successful promotions, public relations and marketing managers are fluent in multiple languages, and an extensive knowledge of social media is preferred.

Courses Required

Many colleges offer four-year degrees specifically in advertising, promotions and social media. Typical courses required include advertising and society, mass communication, media writing, principles of advertising, digital communication, brand solutions, social networks, search engine marketing and design in media. These courses teach a broad range of current trends in mass media including print, broadcasting and digital media. Technology, sociology and psychology courses are also suggested electives for any position in promotional media career paths.

Outlook and Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations will continue to grow by more than 13 percent through 2018. In May 2008, the average annual wage for an advertising and promotions manager was $80,200, more than $108,000 for marketing managers and $89,430 for public relations managers.

 
 

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, and Public Relations…

Green Methods for Removing Paint

Removing your old paint can be a messy and time consuming process-especially when chemical paint strippers are involved. But besides being a pain in the neck, chemical paint strippers and removers can pollute our land, air and water. No matter what type of painting removers you plan on using for your next home improvement project, be careful. Paint that was applied prior to 1978 can contain lead. You may need to hire a lead abatement service to prevent exposure to this deadly toxin.

Isopropanol Alcohol

This is one of the best paint removers for soft woods and other delicate materials because it doesn’t leave stains. This ecofriendly paint remover evaporates quickly, so any residue that’s left behind is only old paint-and not the stripper itself. Typical rubbing alcohol that is bought at the store for medicinal supplies might not be strong enough to use to remove more stubborn paints. Higher concentrations of rubbing alcohol can be bought when stronger and tougher paints don’t come off with conventional isopropanol alcohol.

Canola Oil

When latex paints or other light water based paints are being used, canola oil can help to remove them quickly, safely and eco consciously. To remove paint using canola oil, spread a small amount onto a terry cloth towel or wash cloth. Rub the paint vigorously to begin the process of cleaning up the old paint. Canola oil shouldn’t be used on clear stained wood products as the heavy oils will permanently stain the wood. Older oil based paints have a hard time coming clean with canola oils.

Adhesive Backed Stripper

Exterior paint products that are stuck on difficult-to-clean material like stone, brick or stucco can be super tough to remove. That’s where adhesive backed paint strippers come into play. They help keep the messy paint chips and other paint materials from scattering all over the ground. By adhering to the paint with its super adhesive backing, it bonds permanently with paint-but not the materials underneath. Once hardened, peel it away and toss it in the trash.

Electric Heat Guns

These blow dryer looking devices work excellent for removing paint without any dangerous chemicals. These will peel even the most stubborn of paints away from their base material for easy and safe disposal. Electric heat guns should never be used on plastic materials that may melt under the extreme heat.

Citric Acid

This fruit based paint remover uses citric acid-typically found in oranges-to safely remove paint in an environmental friendly way. These materials are safe for all household cleaning as well as removing many paints from their substrate. Be careful not to use any citric acid-based cleaners that have dyes or scents as these can easily stain wood materials for good.

However, when I picked up the bottle of the new formula of Windex at the store last week, and it was simply labeled “vinegar,” I realized that all these years, I have been duped. I was about to pay over $3 for a small spray bottle of chemically enhanced vinegar and water! I promptly determined to go home and make my own green cleaners. So after some quick research online, I began using my trusty vinegar cleaner on everything, my glass tabletop, doors and windows, mirrors, kitchen countertops, stove top, and more! You would not believe my sparklin’ house, ya’ll! Even Juan was pleasantly surprised, it does not smudge, smear, or streak!

Here are a couple of quick tips for any first-timers out there wondering how to get started on making your own green cleaners. (I know I wasn’t the only one still buying those chemical cleaners, cuz the products are still on the store shelves!)

1. To make the vinegar and water cleaner, simply put half water, half vinegar into a spray bottle ‘” Voila! No really, it’s that easy ‘”

2. When I first start wiping the vinegar with newspaper, paper towel, rag (your choice ‘” you already know what’s greener!) it looks as if it is going to smear ‘” keep wiping, and you will see the shine!

3. There is a great green bathroom cleaner you can use ‘” hydrogen peroxide and water ‘” see http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/ for valuable information on this green product, as …

Live the Green Life

While some people think that it is just too much of an effort to –think green and live green–the environment is
what will suffer and many animals are certain to become distinct. Playing a part in reducing the carbon fallout 
on the Planet Earth is a role that anyone and everyone can play, regardless of age or where they live.

 

Recycling- Newspapers

Sunday mornings are usually a time when the newspapers are read and poured over for all of the multiple 
advertisements they contain. They are read a section at a time usually with morning coffee, and then tossed 
aside. This can go on for almost an entire morning, depending on how many sections the Sunday Papers contain.

When finally they are finished being read many have a habit,(almost without thinking), of gathering them, 
section by section, and placing them in the trash. Stop! Save the earth by saving the newspapers and advertisement pages and using them instead to light the fireplace, outdoor grill, or place under the mulch in the garden.

Recycling-Torn or One of a Pair of Missing Socks

Socks are great to use for dusting. They work well when cleaning the blinds. Put your hand into one of the socks, place it on top of one of the slats, and dust both the upper and lower slat at the same time. For washing the slats dip your hand, with sock into a mixture of Baking Soda and water. Do the same thing to wash the blinds after being dusted. Use a dry sock to dry the blinds. Launder the socks and reuse them for another chore at another time.

Recycling-Old Cotton Tee Shirts

Torn Tee Shirts are great to use to wash the car. Take two buckets and fill one with water and the other with 
baking soda in water and a dry tee shirt. Use one to rinse the car, the other to wash and the third to dry. Tee 
shirts are reusable so instead of throwing them out clean them and hang them to dry and use again.

Produce-Fruits and Vegetables

Buy home grown produce whenever possible. Purchasing them from the local farms or growing them in 
back yards will keep our farmers recycling the soil. We will be assured of eating fresh produce minus all 
those chemicals being sprayed on them. Even those that do not have large gardens can plant tomatoes, small green onions, radishes or a variety of herbs (usually purchased) in boxes outside on the patio.

Cleaning Products

Buy and use Baking Soda and Vinegar in place of store bought disinfections and spray deodorants to help keep chemicals out of the atmosphere. Both are very inexpensive and clean most anything using little effort. Open a box of baking soda and keep it in each bathroom. It eliminates odors without using the spray cans that are tossed into the garbage instead of being recycled. Baking soda and vinegar poured weekly down the drains, will result in having them smell sweet and clean.

There are many ways to Save the Environment – some take more effort than others – but the above suggestions take little effort, time or expense and anyone can do it-as long as they are not hospitalized.…

Eco-Friendly Homemade Mother’s Day Cards You Can Make

What is more personal on Mother’s Day than a gift you make yourself? Mom won’t miss those flowers when you give her a Pop-Up Bouquet Card. It’s easy to make and allows kids to be creative. Best of all, by using recyclable paper, you’re helping the environment.

 

The I Love You a Bunch! Mother’s Day Card lets kids have fun drawing with colored markers and getting their hands dirty with purple paint. Made with recyclable card stock, this colorful card is also eco-friendly.

Adults like to make their own Mother’s Day cards too. The Brown Paper Bag Card with colorful ribbon is easy to make. Glitter can be sprinkled on for a more decorative effect.

Pop-up Bouquet Card

Craft Materials

Brightly colored craft paper

Plain White Paper with no lines

Your favorite colored markers

Scissors

Glue 1. Take a piece of the colored paper and cut a 7 by 4 inch rectangle and a 4 by 1 ½ inch rectangle. Turn the small rectangle so that the short edges face the 
sides. Take a colored marker and draw a flower vase in the center.

2. Draw roses with broad stems and leaves on the white paper. Cut them out and glue the fronts of the leaves and stems to the other side of the vase.

3. When glue is thoroughly dry, crease the vase and bouquet vertically. Take the small rectangle and fold back the short sides, about ½ inch from the edge. 
Next, fold the large rectangle in half, crease, and reopen.

4. Center your bouquet on top of the opened card and glue the side tabs of the small rectangle to the card. Take a brightly colored marker and print a special 
message to mom inside.

I Love You a Bunch Mother’s Day Card

Supplies needed:

Recyclable card stock

Purple paint

Medium size carrot with top removed

Colored Marker 1. Take marker and print out the grape leaf pattern.

2. Draw little smiling faces on each grape.

3. Fold the card in half and write your message to Mom inside.

Brown Paper Bag Card

Supplies needed:

Brown Paper from a grocery bag

Scissors

Hole Punch

Colored Ribbon

Colored Marker 1. Cut the shape you desire from the brown paper

2. Using a hole punch, make an even number of holes around the edges of card.

3. String Ribbon through the holes

4. Tie the ends in a bow,

5. Write your desired message on the card.

Sources:

www.enchantedlearning.com

www.jas.familyfun.go.com

www.daniellesplace.com/html/mothersday.html

www.sxc.hu…

Going Green

I just got back from the store. This is my green mode and I am choosing not to give more money to the oil companies. The weather is beautiful and usually I take my bike to get cigarettes and groceries. I haven’t had it down since last fall so the tires need pumping up and Mike has the compressor, so I decided to walk. Just a few miles, it’s no big deal.

The store for the cigarettes and lottery tickets (my personal vice store…It has cigarettes cheaper than the grocery) is a two blocks south and two blocks west. The grocery is 10 blocks north and two blocks west. I decide on the cigarettes first, throw them in my backpack and onward to the grocery, just in case I overbought. I got my prescription and I think everything that was compact and weighed over 5 pounds. $60 later I pack the backpack full and have two extra shopping bags…and am quite smug that I already stopped for cigarettes. As I push the cart out of the store, I decide the pack is quite heavy and shall leave it in the shopping cart until the last cart corral. I also think it a wise idea to open the Arizona ice tea and throw back a few gulps before I go. By now I realize the winter coat and gloves were too much for 65-degree weather and need some fluid.

I pause as long as I can and reload the backpack to my back. It really is heavy. In an effort to appear normal I smile as I trudge ahead, really wanting a cigarette, but feeling that I would look a little foolish puffing and walking. The backpack is starting to cut into my shoulders.

Two blocks are down and only ten more to go. Funny, last year the walk wasn’t quite as long as this. My wrist is starting to hurt from the additional bags hanging from it.

Four blocks down and I’m seriously considering sitting down and drinking the ice tea, instead of sipping it while I walk. I get a stitch in my side and realize all this movement has promoted a gas attack. I walk with my stride tamed down in an effort to keep my legs closed, at least until I’m far enough away from the neighbor working in her yard.

Six blocks finished and the thought of a bicycle seemed wonderful. Actually, a car was looking better and my determination not to use gasoline was waning. I was seriously considering stopping at homes under the ruse of missioning my religion so I could sit down, but they might ask questions and they usually make you wait on the porch, standing. Besides, if they did let me sit in the house, they might want me to give them literature and all I had was celery and cauliflower in the backpack.

Eight blocks down and I now question myself, “Just when did I become Amish?” There is no answer but I notice that my right arm is now numb.

Two blocks to go….I can’t quit now. I see all the neighbors and passing out is totally out of the question. Must smile….Tried to wave but the arm won’t lift…Grin and nod.

Front yard…cut across lawn. Gas isn’t such a crisis and what can one person do anyhow? Barely get the key in the door, push the cat aside and sit the backpack down. Dang. I unpack the groceries and go downstairs. I have done my bit for my body and the environment. Time to light up and finish the ice tea and I answer my emails.

First email to a friend:

Hi Lori,

Just got home. I walked to the grocery and the wonderful breeze and smell of spring in the air made it all worthwhile. I thought that I would pass this on to encourage others to save gasoline. It really is quite invigorating.

See you.

Sit back and wait, laughing to myself. Someone else will try it if I promote it enough. There is evil inside me.…

Women in Advertising

Advertising teaches us from a very young age how to act, dress, speak, and relate to others, especially the “opposite” sex. It is gender construction and stereotypes; it is there to sell us a line. And that line is that you are imperfect. Not only are you imperfect, but it is your duty, as a woman, to strive for an unrealistic perfection that you will never reach. When you fail to reach this imperfection you internalize the failure and see it as your fault, something you did. This contributes eating disorders, low self esteem among women, and even violence against women. Advertising is teaching American women to want to be sexually provocative but to be sexually provocative through the clothes they wear and how they look to the male gaze looking at them. I chose this topic because it affects everyone regardless of age, gender, race, or class and certainly some of those more than others.

Women are vulnerable in a culture that uses them for their body parts. Women are not valued for their actions, their intelligence or what they say, but how they look and how they wear their clothes. They are used to sell products. Their sexuality is exploited to sell, sell, sell. This exploitation in advertising leads to other much more dangerous exploitations such as domestic violence, harassment, child abuse, murder, and rape. Advertising is everywhere and in everything. The image of women portrayed in advertising and the media at large is how we have come to see ourselves “what we take ourselves to be is how we perceive ourselves to be perceived” (Reichert 185). It is so pervasive that women who claim to not be influenced by advertising still find themselves dieting nine months out of twelve and buying expensive cosmetics to cover their wrinkles, dye the gray out of their hair, and dress twenty years younger than they are to appear attractive to men. It is a male construction that only young females are attractive but we buy into it every time we buy that foundation, or promise to lose those ten extra pounds gained over Christmas. We are taught to think that is what we are supposed to do so that is what we do. That’s why I have chosen this topic, its very penetration into the core identity of all women.

 

Advertising has deep roots in America. The first advertising campaign began in the nineteenth century and was used to entice Europeans to come to this wild and foreign country describing America as “The Garden of Eden” (Sivulka 7). Advertising in Europe had its beginning in the 1440’s when Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press with movable type in Germany on which the first printed book was the Bible. After that the first form of ads were handbills, posters, trade cards, and newspapers, which were the first mass produced medium. In 1477, William Caxton, a London printer, printed the first printed advertisement in English selling a prayer book. Soon magazines and newspapers picked up ads and carried them into the surrounding community. It was not until the 1700’s that advertisements became the main source of revenue for newspapers and magazines. The first printing press in America was established at Harvard College in 1639 (Sivulka).

Benjamin Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1728 and was the first known American to use illustrations in his ads. He was pioneer in the advertising field using ads on the front page, using white space and headlines. During this period most ads were focused on land, runaway slaves, and transportation. But it was the demand for news about the American Revolution that inflamed newspaper circulation, but also worsened the paper shortage at the time. The Civil War gave rise to a consumer economy and Isaac Merritt Singer’s sewing machine became the first heavily advertised machine made for the American home. As is customary with every war in history America has been involved in women were active in the workforce during the war. In 1870, “1 out of 6 workers were women all young and unmarried with money to spend” (Sivulka 20). Due to this women were the primary consumer’s spending their wartime paychecks. This is …

Save $$$ and the Environment

These are practical, down-to-earth ideas that anyone, anywhere can use with success.

You will actually feel good about your contribution in saving the environment and will see your rewards in reduced utility bills! You will be setting a positive example utilizing these basic steps that anyone can perform with 100% success. Putting into practice these suggestions has been proven to reduce utilities bills by up to 45%, saving hundreds of dollars a year.

The biggest user of energy in your household appliances is the clothes dryer. For $15.00 or less you can easily purchase a metal clothes dryer that takes up little space and will normally hold one large load of clothes. It can be quickly folded up for easy storage. If you live in a dry climate you will undoubtedly appreciate the added humidity in your home and won’t need to run your humidifier anymore either, giving you double the savings. There are such a wide selection of fabric softener fragrances available that your home will be filled with whatever fragrance you choose, thereby, also saving you real money on air fresheners!

 

The next biggest user of energy is your dishwasher. It not only uses more water than you would by washing your dishes in the sink, but uses a lot more power in keeping the water hot and in drying the dishes. If it is sterilization you are particularly concerned about, you can simply add 1 tablespoon of bleach to your dishwater in your kitchen sink. This will ensure your dishes are clean and all bacteria will have effectively been eliminated, your sinks stay sparkling clean with no additional effort from you. The actual cost of the soap and rinse agents that are required to run your dishwasher far exceed the price of simple dish soap. You will notice a remarkable reduction in your electrical bill by simply eliminating these two appliances that are such substantial consumers of energy and in the case of the dishwasher, unnecessary water consumption.

Have you ever wondered how you could conserve more water? One of the biggest consumers of fresh water is the toilet. Older toilets use, on average, 5 gallons per flush. Consider changing your toilet to a recent model that uses only 6 liters or less per flush. A clear rule of thumb for flushing is “if it’s yellow, let it mellow”, in other words, use it a few more times before flushing, but “if it’s brown, flush it down.”

You can also conserve water by changing the shower head to a water conservation one. Showers typically use 1/3 of the water than a bath, so consider taking showers instead of baths. You won’t notice the decrease in water as you have your shower but the environment sure will! Put the plug in the tub prior to your shower. Save the water. In the chilly months the heat from the warm water will help to heat your home. Using a plastic juice container, scoop the water out of the bathtub and use it for flushing your toilet. It is simple, instead of pushing down the handle to flush the toilet, simply pour the water from the plastic container into the toilet. It will force the water and waste down the toilet. This will save numerous gallons of fresh water per month per person. The instant savings will be especially noticeable on your water bill. An added benefit to the water you have saved in your tub is using it to water your plants, both indoors and out. Plants love water that has soap in it, and bugs don’t like it, so your plants will be perfectly healthy and green and thriving while the insect population that is detrimental to your plants will be disappearing. If you are genuinely committed to saving water, you can also remove your dishwater out of the sink, instead of sending it down the drain and put it in a bucket. If you add the bleach to your dish water, this makes excellent water for flushing your toilet as it certainly will keep the toilet smelling fresh and keep it clean due to the bleach in the water.

These are just a few practical ways …

Simple Ways to Make Your Life Greener around the House

With Earth Day just around the corner we should all think about ways to make our lives greener. There are many simple ways to do this. Not only is it good for the environment but it is good for your wallet too.

 

Organizing carpools to work and school is a great way to start. Carpooling cuts down on gas usage, emissions and car maintenance costs. Another option is using a bike or walking if you are not going that far from home.

Turn off lights and electric components that are not being used. A video console left on idle constantly can use as much energy as two refrigerators over a year’s time. The cost of electricity alone should scare you into turning off that hall light that isn’t needed at the moment.

Try to eliminate harsh cleaning chemicals found around your house. You can use vinegar to clean windows. Use a mixture of vegetable oil and lemon juice as a wood polish. They work just as well as commercial chemical cleaners but are not as caustic. This is a great alternative especially if you have small children at home.

Set the water temperature dial on your washer machine to cold. Frankly water temperature has really nothing to do with how clean your clothes are. Your laundry detergent should take care of that. You can eliminate the energy use that is needed to heat the water.

Clean the lint trap in your dryer after every use. When the lint trap is full and clogged it reduces the efficiency of your dryer. In the late spring and summer use a clothes line to dry your clothes to eliminate the use of the dryer completely. Who doesn’t love the smell of clothes hung out to dry on a beautiful summer’s day.

Try to get rid of the use of disposable cups, plates and plastic silverware. Take your favorite mug with you to work for coffee to get rid of using Styrofoam cups. Drink filtered tap water instead of buying bottled water.

Purchase reusable grocery bags instead of using plastic or paper. You can find them practically everywhere now and they really aren’t expensive. Personally plastic really isn’t worth the hassle because they are flimsy and useless.

On an average an infant will go through two to three thousand diapers a year. And approximately four million babies are born in America each year. So go ahead and do the math. That translates to a lot of garbage in landfills. Yes I will admit disposable diapers are convenient and handy. But if you are a stay at home mom or can find a way to use cloth diapers then by all means do so. They are actually better for your baby’s bottom.

My favorite tip of all is planting. Plant trees, flowers and vegetables. They are good for our air quality. They are good for your home value and can be good for your stomach. Freshly cut flowers brought into your home from your garden makes a wonderful natural air freshener.

Start a compost pile. You can get rid of grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps and egg shells this way. You can find instructions for starting a compost pile at www.diylife.com/2008/04/14/create-a-compost-pile-in-your-backyard .

These are simple and effective ways to go green. It is good for everyone to start using green ways. Not to mention taking a small financial burden off your wallet. If we do not start taking action soon, what kind of planet will we leave for our children.…

An Environmentally Safe Method for Ridding Your Home of Fleas

Many of us who have household pets share in a common problem of how to control fleas which are brought into and frequently infest our homes.

This is particularly a problem when pets alternate between indoor and outdoor living or for pets that are frequently boarded at kennels which are not adequately cleaned between guests.

An increasing number of pet owners are hesitant to expose our pets to harsh chemicals whether these be found in pet collars, ointments, creams, powders, and even injections which are said to protect our pets against flea infestation.

Even with the best groomed pet fleas can present a problem. This is because we can temporarily eliminate the fleas on our cat or dog, through frequent bathing and grooming, but we have not eliminated the flea population which may lurk in any of many flea friendly areas in our homes. These include pet beds, pet linens, carpets, and any area frequented by the pet in which the flea may hide temporarily during the grooming of the pet.

Fleas are tiny, but smart little parasites. Their host and preferred place of residence is your pet, but when fleas sense a threat, whether in be a combing of the pet or the application of a chemical or powder, they quickly abandon the pet and hide in the pet’s bedding or in a rug or carpet on which the pet sleeps.

If you have ever treated a pet with a flea powder (something I would not recommend) and have observed closely you will have seen hundreds of fleas ‘jumping ship’ in order to avoid the irritating powder (This is something your pet probably would like to do as well).

The problem is that these fleas, having escaped the local treatment of the pet now just lie in wait in the pet’s bedding (or other ares frequented by the pet) until it is safe to return, at which time they happily return to their host animal.

One environmentally safe method I have found for addressing and controlling fleas which inhabit the pet’s home turf is both simple and effective.

If you are troubled by recurring flea infestation please try this. You will be surprised not only by the simplicity, but by the results.

1. Begin by bathing and grooming (thoroughly combing) your dog or cat. (preferably outdoors, but if in winter in a bathroom or laundry room)

2. Next, identify all areas which the pet most frequents, and especially the area where the pets sleeps or naps.

3. Primary target areas would include the pet’s bed, rugs and carpets on which the pet sleeps, and furniture frequented by the pet.

4. Once these areas are identified simple ‘flea traps’ will be used to capture and eliminate the existing fleas and prevent them from returning to your pet.

5. ‘Flea traps’ will be deployed at bedtime.

Deployment of ‘Flea Traps’:

1. You will need one flea trap for each identified target area (pet bed, Carpet, rug, etc.). Depending on the size of the area you may need two traps. Typically you will need one trap for every 9 square feet of target area.

2. For each trap you will need one six inch in diameter dinner plate.

3. Fill the plate with enough water to reach within 1/2 inch of the rim.

4. To each plate add four drops of liquid dish detergent (Ivory, Joy, etc.), and stir.

5. At bedtime place one plate in the center of each identified target area.

6. Adjacent to each plate, and preferably over hanging the plate, place a light or lamp containing a 60 watt or greater bulb.

7. Turn on the light and leave on over night.

8. The next morning check the water in the plate. Flea infested areas will have anywhere from a dozen to a hundred or more dead fleas floating in the water. (these appear as tiny black or brown specks).

9. If after initial deployment no fleas are found in the water relocate the trap.

10. Repeat this process with a fresh water-soap solution until no fleas are found in the water.

This process works by taking advantage of the flea’s attraction to the light …