Fleas are pesky critters that can transmit a variety of diseases and illnesses and make life miserable for your pet as well. Getting rid of these pests is essential for a healthy, happy home for all of its two-legged and four-legged inhabitants. Here are seven easy ways to prevent and control the flea population around your house.
1. Prevention is Key
The best method in the fight against fleas is preventing an infestation in the first place. Since they thrive in heat and humidity, be sure to check your pet frequently during the hotter months as well as in the fall or autumn. Another critical preventative measure is keeping your yard trimmed and free of weeds and to keep the foliage pruned as much as possible. It’s also wise to wash the pet’s bedding in very hot, soapy water on a weekly basis as this is the most likely site for flea eggs and larvae.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Pet
It should go without saying that it’s necessary to watch your pet for commons signs and symptoms of a flea infestation. Keep an eye out for excessive biting and scratching, particularly around the tail and lower back areas. Watch for raw patches of skin where your dog or cat may have been scratching at fleas for some time. Another bit of evidence is “flea debris,” specks of dried blood that are black in color.
3. Ask for a Professional
Consult with your pet’s veterinarian for their thoughts on flea control. They can recommend a few treatment options for you to decide which would be best for your particular situation.
4. Flea Collars and Powders
If you have caught the problem relatively early, it may be possible to eliminate fleas by simply using flea collars and powders. There are several brands and types to choose from, and many contain a special comb with fine teeth that is designed to remove fleas from fur.
5. Flea Baths
It’s helpful to bathe your pet frequently using a specially formulated soap or treatment. It’s necessary to take into consideration the type of fur or coat your pet has when bathing. This is particularly true for dogs as some breeds have essential oils that shouldn’t be washed away with soap and water more than once or twice a year. If bathing in a flea bath isn’t an option for your pet, consult your vet for other alternatives.
6. Monthly Medication
There are pills available for your pet to take on a monthly basis that will prevent fleas from reproducing, but they do not kill the ones that have already reached adulthood. There are also multi-purpose medications and products available that are designed to prevent fleas from reproducing as well as controlling heartworm, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms.
7. An Unconventional Method
This simple home remedy is touted by many as a sure cure for a house infested with fleas. At nighttime, simply fill a few bowls of plain water and place them underneath a lit flashlight. It is said that the fleas will be attracted to the light, jump into the water and drown.