Nothing in life is easy, but getting rid of fleas should be, because your pet depends on you to do so. Dogs and cats cannot get rid of fleas themselves. As a result, they might suffer from several health issues. Fleas are some of the worst parasitic enemies your pets can have and naturally you must not show them any mercy.
In this guide I give you 10 easy ways to get rid of fleas forever, to ensure keeping your pets healthy and happy.
10 easy ways of getting rid of fleas
1. Annual health checkups
Regular checkup at the vet is essential to keep your pet free of fleas and other parasites. While you are there, make sure to discuss ways of flea prevention and control as most vets tend to know about the latest flea products that are effective and safe for pets and humans. Additionally, many of these products are also effective in preventing ticks and not just fleas.
2. Visual inspection and grooming
Apart from the regular annual checkup, it is essential that you inspect your pets regularly at home. Watch out for signs such as biting, chewing, or scratching heavily as well as anxiety or distress. These are sure signs that fleas are irritating the pet. You might also notice flea debris while combing their fur. Other symptoms of fleas include scabs, hair loss in patches and dried blood in bitten areas. If you notice these signs, make sure you bathe and groom the pet using recommended flea shampoos and sprays. Permethrin based shampoos and sprays are known to be effective against fleas and ticks. Also inspect your home, especially the areas under carpets and furniture where the pet spends time. You must also treat these areas with anti flea products, which I will discuss subsequently. Teach your pets to be groomed from an early age. You do not need to take it to a professional groomer every time, although if you do not have the means, it would be the best option.
3. Using flea combs
Flea combs have fine teeth that help trap fleas on the pets, especially those having dense fur. Place a newspaper under the pet to catch the trapped fleas. Before using the flea comb, dip it in an enzyme cleaner and then use it on the pet. Once you have finished combing thoroughly, discard the collected fleas in the toilet or down the sink.
4. Using IGRs
IGR or Insect Growth Regulators inhibit the maturity stages of fleas and other parasites. Simply using an insecticide is not enough to completely get rid of fleas. Many IGRs can also be used on carpets. Important among these is Nylar® which can be sprayed on household furniture to get rid of fleas and roaches. Its residual action remains for 3-4 months after which you must treat your home again.
5. Electronic flea traps
Many pet owners are against the use of chemicals or pesticides for trapping fleas. An alternative to these is the use of electronic flea traps. Electronic flea traps consist of devices emitting heat, light and infrared energy which attract the fleas to it. The moment the fleas touch the device screen, they are killed. Electronic flea traps are a safe and permanent way of getting rid of fleas for good.
6. Vacuuming and washing
Vacuuming the house regularly is the key to keeping your home free from fleas and ticks. In fact, vacuum cleaners can be considered the worst enemy of fleas and when used regularly, they help keep your furniture, carpets and linen clean and pest free. Also wash the pet’s bedding regularly in hot water to kill flea eggs and larvae. Restrict your pet’s entry in the bedrooms to prevent fleas from spreading and biting you and your loved ones.
7. Using flea stoppers
Flea stopper powders dehydrate and kill fleas, larvae and eggs in carpets. They consist of crystalline, odorless orthoboric acid with naturally occurring Boron element. Many flea stopper powders come in easy-to-use shaker bottles that can be used on carpets, rugs and areas behind and under the furniture. You can also use a broom or a rake to ensure that the product is evenly distributed across the carpet. The granules of the powder abrade the fleas’ exoskeletons, killing them instantly. It is one of the easiest ways of getting rid of fleas once and for all. The product also remains effective despite shampooing or washing the carpets. Alternatively, you can apply food grade Diatomaceous earth or Borax powder to get rid of fleas permanently, as they have similar dehydrating action.
8. Flea injections
Many pet owners wonder about the efficacy of spot-on flea treatment like drops and powders on their pets. For these, there are Novartis® brand’s flea injections for dogs and cats. Unlike spot on applications, you do not need to worry about it being washed or licked off by your pets. Most flea injections remain active for 6 months, however, do talk to your vet about possible side effects like injection site wound, anorexia, vomiting etc. Flea injections help get rid of fleas on the pet instantly and also prevent further reproduction.
9. Herbal flea control
Many herbs can be used effectively to get rid of fleas. A word of caution here: some herbs can be downright toxic to animals, so discuss it with a vet prior to usage. Pennyroyal oil, for example, is harmful to pregnant animals and humans. Many dog owners have seen positive results with rosemary and eucalyptus oils. A few drops of these can be added to the dog’s collar to keep fleas away. Always use essential oils in low doses (1% or less). Some natural ingredients can also be used for treating flea bites.
10. Pet nutrition
Adding apple cider vinegar to the pets’ water helps give them a healthy coat whilst getting rid of fleas. Some dog owners also believe in the use of garlic in safe dosages. They add garlic powder or garlic oil to their pet’s food with antimicrobial properties that help repel fleas. Likewise, adding Brewers or nutritional yeast to the pet’s kibble can also ensure giving the pet a healthy coat while repelling fleas. Here are some more natural ways of killing and preventing fleas.
When using these 10 easy ways of getting rid of fleas, do not try everything at once; rather introduce one thing at a time to see which technique is effective on the pet and its environment.
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