Full Guide to Getting Rid Of Fleas
It is every dog and cat owner’s worst nightmare to find fleas on their beloved pet; not only because they’re gross, but also because they can seem almost impossible to get rid of! Fleas multiply incredibly quickly, and they can spread from one pet and to another within a matter of seconds; making it a dreadful task to remove them, especially if having several dogs or cats at home. Fear not, however, because it can be done with determination!
Why Fleas Are Hard to Get Rid Of
Something lots of people are unaware of is that the fleas that can be seen on a cat’s or a dog’s body are only about 5% of the fleas that are present inside the home. This means that 95% of fleas, flea eggs and larva isn’t visible to the human eye, as they tend to hide in carpets, pet bedding, furniture, and pet toys, and it is because of this that many experiences great difficulties when it comes to getting rid of an infestation. The error lies in treating the pet directly and only the pet, as he or she will likely get fleas again within days or even hours. If there are fleas in your carpet, a good flea powder will do you well.
Compare it to trying to dry yourself with a towel while walking through the rain – would it work? Probably not. The same thing goes for a flea infestation, and unless you go after fleas in your whole house (gross, we know, but necessary) you will be stuck with the problem for a lot longer than what is necessary. So, with this in mind, the reason to why fleas seem so difficult to get rid of is often because we don’t know how to combat them, and where and how to go after them in all their life stages.
Fight fleas before they even start with a dog flea collar.
How to Eliminate Fleas from a Home
Now that we have established why they can be difficult to get rid of – it is time to go over steps for how to get them out of the house once and for all. …Or at least until the next infestation, because let’s face it, it is difficult to avoid it when living with pets. Almost every pet owner will have to deal with fleas at some point, so it is always better to be prepared. Here is what you need to do to keep your dogs, cats and your home flea free:
+ Treat the infested dog or cat.
Treating the source of the infestation is step one, and you need to take action to get your fur baby free from fleas before proceeding. Use a reliable flea treatment shampoo; preferably one made with natural ingredients and without harmful chemicals, that will both kill existing fleas and prevent future creepy crawlers from turning your pet into their new home turf. Shampoo your pet gently, the way you would use a regular shampoo, and make sure to avoid eyes and ears. Depending on how severe the infestation is – you might have to bathe more than once.
+ Vacuum, sweep and mop.
Step two is to vacuum the whole house as carefully as possible; including furniture and small dark corners. Change the vacuum cleaner bag frequently and throw them away in carefully sealed plastic bags, to make sure those nasty bugs don’t come crawling back out again. The vibrations from the vacuum cleaner can cause the sucked-up eggs to hatch, so this is important. After vacuuming, you will want to sweep through the house once just in case and follow up with mopping. Remember that just because you can’t see the fleas – it doesn’t mean they’re not there.
+ Wash bedding and toys.
Everything that can be washed should be washed; including pet toys, children’s toys, blankets, pet bedding and collars, leashes and harnesses. Anything and everything that might have been in contact with your infested pet. If possible, throw it away and replace it with something new, and otherwise wash it in hot water to get rid of any potential unwelcome guests. Carpets and rugs are sometimes difficult to wash, and if so, make sure you spray them with flea killing spray and wash them as good as you can without ruining them.
+ Spray the backyard.
If you have a backyard that your pet tends to roam around in, you will need to do something about that too. Purchase a product designed to eliminate fleas and ticks outdoors, and have the whole backyard thoroughly sprayed. You might want to consider keeping pets and children out of the backyard for a few hours afterward at least, just to give the bug killing spray a chance to work its magic.
Keep in Mind
Getting rid of fleas is no easy task, and it is likely to drive you nuts before it is all over but be patient and try to follow above tips for ultimate results. When it comes to fleas, the absolute best approach is always prevention, to try and make sure that you never have to deal with a large infestation, and while it can still happen no matter how careful you are – the risk is significantly lower if taking proper precaution. Have your pup or cat regularly treated with anti-flea products, such as tablets or liquid anti-flea treatment, make sure you give them frequent baths with flea preventing shampoos and consider having them wear a flea collar – especially during the summer months.
All of this might seem a bit excessive, but it is always better to be safe rather than sorry, and anyone who has had to deal with a flea infestation in their home will agree to that. By taking action already before it happens, you are doing what you can to keep both your pets and your family safe from those persistent little bugs that can cause itching and severe skin irritation. Should you find that first flea, however, keep calm and follow the tips listed above for how to restore the bug-free peace in your home.