Fleas make awful houseguests: they sneak in when you’re not looking and don’t want to leave, even when they’ve clearly overstayed their welcome. Unfortunately, your cat or dog may be unknowingly shuttling these tiny visitors into your home. If you notice your pet scratching a lot, or if you see small red spots on your skin, you may have a problem with fleas in your home that requires immediate attention.
How to Treat Fleas
If you’ve discovered fleas on your pet or in your home, try these methods of getting rid of fleas.
• Vacuum your house thoroughly. You’ll need to vacuum any area that your pet has been to pick up any flea eggs. Once you’re done, seal the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and throw it out.
• Wash your pet’s bedding and blankets. Use hot water to kill any fleas.
• Clean and treat any other areas where your pet spends time. Cars, crates, kennels, and other spaces your pet passes through could be infested with fleas.
• Use a natural flea treatment option. Non-chemical options include sticky flea pads (which are kind of like fly paper) and boric acid-based products (which kill fleas but are not toxic to humans or pets). You can also try using a flea removal shampoo on your pet; ask your vet about the best topical flea treatment products.
• Hire a professional. For particularly bad flea infestations, you may find that it’s worth it to hire a professional pest control company. Professional exterminators know how to use compounds for getting rid of fleas quickly and safely.
How to Prevent Flea Infestations
As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Most pet owners would much rather take steps to prevent fleas than deal with an infestation that’s already in progress. If you’re not already using a flea prevention strategy, consider these:
• Be vigilant about cleaning your pet’s living area. Frequently vacuum the areas in your home where your pet spends time, and wash pet bedding and blankets on a regular schedule.
• Mow your lawn frequently. Keep grass short so that pets are less likely to pick up fleas when they spend time in the yard.
• Try a flea collar. Flea collars work in a couple of different ways: some emit a gas that is unpleasant to fleas, and others contain a medication that spreads into your pet’s skin oils and is toxic to fleas (but not your pet).
Use topical medication to help prevent fleas on your pet.
• Use a monthly topical spray. Try a product like Frontline Spray or FiproGuard Flea & Tick Spray, which you apply to your pet once a month to repel fleas. Just make sure your pet doesn’t go swimming right after you apply the spray.