Flea treatment products come as dusting powders, sprays, lotions, and shampoos. These usually contain chemicals such as permethrin, pyrethrin, etc. that not only kill adult fleas but also neutralize their eggs and larvae. Some products also contain ingredients that can kill both fleas and ticks. If your pet does not have ticks and you do not live in a tick infested area, you can use a product that is known to only work on fleas and vice a versa. Flea collars are also available and they help prevent your pet from getting fleas when it visits trails, parks or interacts with other pets. When using flea collars, make sure you cut off the excess portion so that your pet or other animals in the park does not rip the collar during play.
When treating your pets and their environment for fleas, it is important to get rid of the parasites completely, making sure to catch them at all stages of their life cycle. This means destroying their eggs and larvae as well, which can help prevent re-infestation.
Let us discuss some more dos and don’ts that can help you get rid of fleas efficiently and effectively.
5 things to do when dealing with fleas
- Treat the pet as well as its surroundings like the house, car, garage, kennel as well as the yard. Work from inside-out. If some eggs or larvae are left over anywhere in the house or outside, the problem will simply occur again and require another full round of treatment. So make sure to vacuum the floor thoroughly and regularly underneath shelves, drapes, and furniture; as well as around the edges of beds and furniture. Discard the contents of the vacuum bag immediately since the vacuum cleaner would have picked up grown fleas, eggs and larvae.
- Use only approved products. Mosquito and tick (or other insect repellent) products often have no effect on fleas whatsoever. Use products specifically meant for fleas. A flea treatment product must be able to kill all grown fleas and also neutralize eggs and their larvae as well.
- Keep your pet hygienic and wash its bedding and toys regularly. If you are already fighting fleas, treat all items with a good flea treatment product after you are done washing and drying the pet’s toys, bedding and blankets etc.
- If your pet already has fleas, treat your pet for intestinal worms as well. Get rid of both fleas and worms at the same time to keep your pet healthy.
- When applying lotion and shampoo on your pet, aim at getting the product on the skin, not just the fur. Since fleas feed on blood, they are more likely to be found clinging to the skin than moving about in the fur. Treat your pet regularly and frequently as directed by the vet or as per the instructions on the package.
5 things NOT to do when dealing with fleas
- When using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of fleas (after treating the house with dusting powder or spray), do not place mothballs and flea collars in the vacuum cleaner. This could create noxious fumes in the house.
- Do not use the same product for all your pets. Use products meant for cats on cats and products meant for dogs on dogs. Same principle applies to small pets like hamsters and rabbits.
- Do not treat the pet first and the environment later. Always treat the environment first in order to get rid of existing eggs, larvae and grown fleas that might infest later on and then finally treat your pet to prevent it from bringing in new fleas in your home.
- Do not let your pet lick or bite the areas the product is applied on. These products are not meant for ingestion and may cause health problems if licked.
- Don’t wash off the product too soon. Follow the instructions on the product label or the directions given by the vet. Products take time to act and washing or rinsing off too soon will not get rid of the fleas.
Apart from chemical products, there are also some natural ways to get rid of fleas. For instance, you can use a flea comb to comb out the fleas. This is a quick and easy way to get rid of and prevent fleas. Your pet will probably also be happy to get a nice brush and hands-on attention. As with any disease or infection, prevention is the key to incur less harm and damage from a flea infestation. Keep your pet well groomed at all times and your home and outdoors clean and maintained. This will prevent stray random fleas from multiplying and causing a full-blown infestation and this is something you want to avoid at all cost.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.