Fleas are one of the most common pests faced by pet lovers and dog owners. These tiny vermin not only feast on your pet’s blood, but yours as well, and can make both you and your dog miserable. In the past, fleas have been linked with helping to spread the bubonic plague and murine typhus. They are also associated with several physical conditions, such as allergies, typhus, dermatitis, iron deficiency, anemia and more.
While fleas prefer warmer temperatures, their young can survive freezing temperatures while in their immature pupae stage. Once warmer temperatures set in, they quickly mature and procreate into a major nuisance. Fleas are known for their ability to procreate and quickly mobilize from host to host. They can jump 100 times their height and getting rid of them can be a major hassle.
Flea Prevention Methods
When it comes to managing fleas, prevention is the best choice for avoiding a full-out infestation. While there are some commercial product which can aid in the prevention of fleas, there are also many common tips and tricks that are immensely useful.
Fleas thrive in filth. One of the best ways to prevent an infestation is to ensure that your dog is clean and their common areas are clean. By bathing your dog on a regular basis, you can help ensure that fleas are not living in their fur coats and catching a ride into your home. You should also wash your dog’s bedding on a regular basis and ensure that their favorite places to lounge are clean.
You should check your dog for fleas on a regular basis. You can do this by using a close-pronged flea comb or by simply using your eyes. Paying attention to your dog’s behavior can also alert you to the fact that they may have caught fleas.
- Yard Maintenance
Keeping your yard well maintained can go a long way towards controlling the flea population outside your home. By keeping your lawn well-manicured and any bushes or trees trimmed back, you can ensure that fleas have little room to thrive. You may even consider the use of flea, tic and pest killing chemicals, however, you should be sure to read the instructions and warnings carefully. Some chemical yard treatments can be harmful to children or pets, so it is also a good idea to pre-warn your neighbors if you plan to use them.
Fleas are great at hiding in dark, cluttered spaces and spreading. It is notoriously difficult to get rid of fleas once they have successfully infested your home. You can protect your home from fleas by cleaning thoroughly and regularly. Bedding, linens, carpets and upholstery are just a few of the areas where fleas love to hide and breed. Using a disinfectant spray, such as Lysol, throughout your home on a regular basis can also help to deter the spread of fleas.
- Flea Repellent
There are several flea repellent options available for protecting both your dog and your home. By taking the initiative, you can prevent a flea infestation from ever happening. Treating your dog with flea repellent on a regular basis will help prevent them from ever getting fleas, and subsequently bringing them into your home. You can further protect your home by using a flea repellent spray, or disinfectant spray, on a regular basis.
It only takes a few fleas on your dog or in your home to start a full-blown infestation, and it is one of the hardest infestations to treat. Fleas procreate by laying eggs which are fully mature within 7 days, each flea thereafter can also do the same. Within just a few weeks, they can easily overrun your dog and home.
If you are noticing the first signs of a flea infestation, then you should act immediately to start remedying the situation. The very first thing that you should do is wash your dog with a specially formulated ‘flea shampoo’ and use a flea repellent such as flea dip or spot-on treatment (if you haven’t already.) Next, you should give your home a thorough cleaning that includes: washing linens and bedcovers, clearing clutter, washing all laundry and spraying furniture with disinfectant spray.
In addition to this, there are also some home remedies for eliminating a flea infestation:
- Flea Traps – You can make homemade flea traps by taking a shallow plate and filling it with soapy water (the more soap the better). Then take some votive or tea-light candles and set them in the center of the plate. Before bed, set the plates with candles in the center of the room and light the candle. The fleas will be drawn to the heat of the flame and will become trapped by the soapy water. You may wish to repeat this for several nights.
- Vinegar Water – Take a common household spray bottle and fill it full with a half vinegar and half water mix. Use the mixture to spray carpets, furniture and anywhere else it’s needed. The mixture is fabric safe and the vinegar smell dissipates entirely after a time.
- Iodized Salt – Sprinkle table salt on the floors and carpets in your home and leave it overnight. The salt burns through their protective shell and dehydrates the fleas. You may wish to repeat this as needed.
There are also commercial chemical solutions to dealing with a flea infestation:
- Fumigation – If you want to avoid the high costs of paying to have your home fumigated, you can purchase fumigation bombs at most local general stores. These bombs require some time to use properly, so it is best that you read all instructions completely before beginning.
- Flea Spray – You can find household flea sprays at most pet and general stores. Each spray is different so it is important that you check the instructions and warnings before use.
Keeping your dog and home free of fleas is detrimental to both your health and happiness. An infestation of fleas can cause serious health problems for you and your pet. By taking preventative measures and addressing fleas promptly, you can ensure that your dog and home remain free of serious flea infestations.