Summer is ending, and your pets are infested with fleas. You followed all of the instructions on the products that you used, but somehow they still exist. Walking through your home has become a nightmare as you try to two-step and shake the fleas off your ankles. If you are ready for a guide that will show you step by step how to get rid of these pests, then look no further.
The first key to ridding fleas is understanding them as a whole. Even though you assure yourself that your pet only had one flea on them when you did a thorough examination, that is entirely not the case. Adult fleas will nest on an animal, while their larvae (better known as flea eggs or pupae) will most generally be found elsewhere. Common places for flea eggs in your pet’s environment include bedding, carpeting, drapery, and under furniture (as well as on it). That one flea that you spotted on your pet was spawned from an entire community that is nested either inside your home in various places, or in your yard. In order to initiate an effective flea removal program, you must treat not only your pet, but it’s indoor and outdoor environment’s as well.
Treating the indoor environment effectively involves removing, killing, and preventing the further existence of fleas and their eggs. Start a strict regimen of vacuuming high traffic areas within your home daily, and lower traffic areas on a weekly basis. After each vacuuming, you should change or clean your vacuum thoroughly. If it has a bag, it is suggested that you remove the bag each time, wrap it in a plastic bag and tie it closed, then immediately dispose of it outside of your home. For bagless vacuums, be sure to wash the canister after each vacuuming with hot soapy water and air dry before replacing. Vacuuming alone has been shown to remove up to 50% of fleas and their eggs from the environment. Use products such as carpet powders, foggers, or sprays that contain Nylar (pyriproxyfen) or methoprene, known as IGR’s (insect growth regulators). Make sure the product also includes an adulticide to effectively kill and prevent fleas. Also wash your pet’s bedding weekly, and treat with a product that contains the above mentioned active ingredients. Remember to also treat areas that the pet might have been in contact with other than your home, such as your vehicle, garage, basement, and pet carrier.
Not only should you treat the indoor environment, but the outdoors as well. Fleas like to nest in damp shady areas that are warm, and prefer organic debris. Rake your lawn thoroughly to disturb any flea nests, then use an effective outdoor flea and tick product. This process should be repeated every 7 to 14 days at the minimum, and products should not be used in areas where the runoff would pollute rivers, lakes, or ponds. Following the directions on product labels will ensure the proper safety precautions.
Ridding your pet itself of fleas can be a rather daunting task. With a wide variety of options to choose from, research which method works best and is suitable for you and your pet. Even after treating your pet, you may still see some fleas on your pet from time to time, or around the house. Remember that in order for the fleas on your pet to die, they must actually come in contact with the flea product and absorb it. Persistence will rid your house and pet of fleas, as long as you are following a regimen and have the patience to follow through with it. Effectively ridding your home and pet can take anywhere from a month to a year or longer, depending on the size of the flea problem.
Flea combs and oral treatments are two non-invasive ways of treating fleas on your pets. When using flea combs, be sure to choose a comb with narrowly spaced teeth, and after each pass through your pets fur, rinse the comb in detergent water. It will effectively kill fleas in no time at all. Oral treatments are available in many different forms. There are treatments that only kill living fleas, and some that will kill only the eggs. Be sure to read the labels on the method that you choose so that you are aware if additional products are needed with it in order to remove all flea forms from your pet.
Other products available involve treating your pet directly. Sprays, flea dips, shampoos, collars, and once monthly topicals all fall under this category. The most effective, by and large, are the once monthly treatments such as Frontline. Applied to the pets back just under the collar area will keep fleas away longer. For the best performance, precisely follow manufacturer’s instructions on any product that you use.
The biggest factor in maintaining a flea free zone is prevention. Consistently following the above methods will keep you on track to making your pets life easier and care free. With proper action, you will notice in no time that your home and pet are much happier.
It is VERY important that you read all ingredients on the label of any product that you use to treat fleas. Beware of any product containing permethrins if you have cats in your house. Using this on or around your cat can seriously and fatally injure your pet.