Treating your flea-infested pet to a bath in soapy water is first. Soap kills fleas, so you can leave those insecticidal soaps on the shelves and use regular soap. The soap and water mixture drowns the fleas but you need to lather your pet up and then leave him like that for a couple of minutes before rinsing him off. When your pet dries off, take it outside, and give it a good combing with a flea comb. You may need to comb every night for some time to rid the pet of all eggs and larvae, but your pet will love the attention and this is probably something the kids can help with.
Vacuum your carpets regularly. If your pet has fleas, vacuum like your life depended on it, and then dispose of the vacuum bag by placing it in a plastic bag and putting it in an outdoor garbage container. It is recommended that during peak flea season (usually middle to late summer), you vacuum every second day. It is possible to get rid of fifty percent of the fleas with one pass of the vacuum.
An unusual method that many people use successfully is called a light trap. There are two main ways this is done. Firstly, you can try setting out a pie dish in each room every night for a few weeks. Pour some water in the bottom of the dish, add a few drops of dish soap, and place a votive candle in the middle of the pan. The light attracts the fleas, and when they jump in to the pan, they are killed by the soap and water. The second option works the same way but might take a bit more time to rig and is the best option if you are going away and the house will be empty of warm bodies. This option requires you to hang a light bulb six to twelve inches above a large dish of soapy water or sticky paper and turn it on. The fleas will be attracted to the heat of the bulb and hop to their death.
It is important to inspect your pet often for fleas. After all, prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you find fleas, dab them quickly with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, pick them off, and flush them down the toilet or drown them in a glass of water to which you’ve added cooking oil.
Regular washing and combing of your pet will help keep fleas off. If you ignore your pet’s needs for grooming and care, you’ll soon find that fleas will be thankful of your inattention!
By Jean Morgan
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