Fleas have a complex life cycle, which consists of 4 steps. To learn how to get rid of fleas on your pet and in your home, you must know how to attack them in all stages of their life cycle to make sure they disappear completely. Here are various methods that are highly effective for flea control, as long as the steps are followed closely. For your own and your family’s safety, you should familiarize yourself with things before you join the fight against fleas.
How to get rid of fleas on your pet
A mistake that many often make is that they often think using more of the flea product is better. More is not better when it comes to chemicals or drugs. It’s important that the instructions on the package are followed carefully when you make use of over the counter products and medications. You should also only buy products that are labeled for use on your pet. Using flea products for dogs on a cat and vice versa can be fatal. Especially cats are very sensitive to chemicals and drugs, so make sure you use the correct product for flea control. Even if you read and follow instructions carefully, there may still be side effects. Call your veterinarian immediately if your cat or dog shows obvious signs of breathing problems or pain.
You can use a flea shampoo to give your pet a flea bath, as it’s called. The flea bath is very effective on pets that are severely affected and has many visible fleas in the fur. Use flea shampoo for initial flea control. As you can imagine, cats can be difficult to bathe because they hate water, so try to be persuasive. It’s important to note that flea shampoo is used only in the initial phase of the treatment and not for repetitive flea treatment. Many people are surprised when they find fleas on their pets, only a week after a flea bath. This is due to flea shampoos only being effective for a day or less. Use it to eradicate the existing fleas and find another product that prevent against new attacks. Flea shampoo leaves only very small and harmless amounts of chemicals on your pet when used correctly.
There are two types of flea collars that work in various ways. They either emit a toxic gas or are absorbed into the pet’s skin. Poisoned gas is usually only effective near the head and neck. This type of flea collar is best used when it’s desired to kill the fleas that afterwards go to the vacuum cleaner bag. Flea collars used to absorb the poison into the pet’s fat is more effective, but both flea collars work well as flea control on adult fleas.
Flea powder and flea spray
These products offer protection against fleas for shorter periods of 2-3 days time. Flea powder and flea spray is effective against fleas, and some products also protect simultaneously against ticks and mites. They aren’t used as often as in the past because of the new spot-on flea products on the market. Most types of flea powder and flea sprays are only effective against adult fleas. Some products offer increased flea protection by inhibiting the development of flea eggs and larvae.
Spot-on flea product
This is the most well known and often used flea product right now. Everyone is familiar with brands such as Advantage and Frontline, and there are plenty of spot-on flea treatment products to choose from. Contact your veterinarian if you’re unsure which type is best for your pet. Spot-on flea products are applied between the shoulder blades of your pet and works for a month. This type of flea control is effective against adult fleas. Some spot-on flea products contain ingredients that keep the caterpillar trapped inside the egg, and some flea products can also inhibit larval development.
Medicine to treat fleas
Flea pills from Program and Sentinel for instance, work by keeping the larvae inside the eggs. Program is also available as a medicine to spray on cats. When fleas consume blood of an animal that is on flea pills, the female flea eggs cannot hatch. So this is how to get rid of fleas in the larval stage – it doesn’t kill the adult fleas. These pills are necessary to break and stop the flea life cycle. Therefore, they are typically used together with another product to kill adult fleas, for instance a spot-on flea product.
How to get rid of fleas in the house and garden
When your pet has fleas, you can be pretty certain the rest of the house or garden is also infected. It’s only approximately 10% of the fleas (mainly the adult fleas) that lives on your pet. Flea eggs, larvae, pupae and the rest of the adult fleas live in carpets, bedding and the bed area. If you don’t fight fleas in these areas, you’ll never learn and experience how to get rid of fleas in your home, as the infestation quickly escalates.
Vacuum daily for total flea control
This point is extremely important for flea control. This is how you get rid of fleas in their adult stage, eggs, larvae and pupae before they develop. A nice trick is to throw a flea collar in the vacuum cleaner bag and make sure to empty or replace it regularly. If you don’t do that, you risk the chance of them hatching and evolving, and before you know it, they have left the vacuum cleaner bag and found their way to you and your pet.
Wash bedding, clothing and upholstery on furniture
This section explains itself. For quick and effective flea control, you should wash everything once a week.
Use insecticide in the home and garden
Insecticide is insect poison used against vermin. There are plenty of products to choose from, even products that are not toxic. The particularly harsh products should only be handled by professionals. Remember to follow the instructions on the box carefully and get pets and people out of the way before you start the flea treatment. You should also make sure that all food is covered and hidden before using insecticide. Everything should be completely dry before returning to the room. After the treatment you need to pay extra attention to what your pets and children eat or put in their mouths, etc.
Get rid of fleas now using my simple step-by-step checklist
To make things a little easier (as all this information about flea control can be a bit overwhelming when all you want to do is start killing some fleas right away), I have made a checklist for getting rid of fleas. It shows you exactly how to get rid of fleas in your home, on your pets and in the yard by following a few simple steps. As with all the other information on this website, it is completely free. All you have to do is:
- Sign up for my newsletter to get the checklist
- Print it out and read through it carefully
- Follow the simple steps one by one
- Share the PDF with other pet owners
- Enjoy a safer home without fleas
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.