If you find yourself with a flea infestation, chances are your pets have tracked them indoors. Any pet that spends time outdoors or in contact with an infested animal has the chance to become infested with these annoying little pests. The first step in flea control should be focused on your pets and the areas they frequent in your home before you treat other areas.
Pet Flea Control & Treatment
Pet Flea & Tick Control - Flea & Tick Treatment for Dogs, Cats, & Other Pets
Finding the right treatment for your pet may necessitate a call or visit to your veterinarian. They will be able to prescribe the best treatment for you animal. Often times, people choose to give their pets medication for flea prevention. However, there are also many products available outside of veterinarians, including sprays, shampoos, dusts, and spot treatments. Many of these products contain insect growth regulators (IGRs) that inhibit reproductive development in fleas, keeping them from completing their life cycle. IGRs are a key part of any pet flea control regimen.
First, shampoo pet (in regular or flea formula shampoo) and then use a specialized nit comb to go over animal. This is time consuming but helps to rid the animal of existing adult fleas and loosens up eggs or larvae that may be on the animal.
Treat animal with your chosen method of treatment. There are some natural options if you are uncomfortable with using chemicals on your pet.
While your pet is being treated, their sleeping and living areas must be treated as well, as this is often a great source of fleas. Wash pet bedding in very hot water and dry on high hot cycle. Vacuum all areas pets spend time, focusing on all carpeted areas and fabric covered furniture. Steam cleaning adds another level of control, but is not necessary if unavailable to you.
If your pet spends lots of time outdoors, you may need to treat those areas as well, focusing on any area that doesn’t get full sun – like dog houses, gardens, under decks and porches and anywhere pets spend most of their time.
After pets have been treated, you can begin to apply a control product around your home. See our page on indoor flea control for a comprehensive guide to treating your home with the right products.
REMEMBER: Pet flea control can take months because of the different stages of the flea lifecycle that may be present in your home. Don’t be discouraged if you find more fleas after your application, just apply again.
Heath Concerns with Fleas and Pets
Fleas can be a source of disease and irritation for pets, since they scratch constantly while infested, roughing up their coats and causing sores. Animals can develop an allergy to these bites, which can cause an extreme reaction. Some fleas can transmit diseases if they have been feeding on infected rats and can also carry tapeworms.