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Flea and Tick Treatment

How to Get Rid of These Parasites on Your Pets

By Madeleine Burry. May 09, 2013 | See Comments

Flea and Tick Treatment

Fleas and ticks are nasty parasites that suck pets' blood and can leave diseases behind. Yuck! Here's how you can rid your home and your pet of fleas and ticks.

As a pet owner, you probably do your best to avoid your pet getting fleas or ticks. If you don't know the basics of flea prevention for dogs and cats, here are some tips on how to treat pets for fleas and ticks, as well as ridding your home of the pesky insects.

Tick Treatment:

If you have a tick on your skin, or on your pet’s skin, the first task is to remove the tick using tweezers. Use a steady outward motion with the tweezers, and make sure that you have completely removed the tick -- sometimes its mouthparts can remain in the skin. Wash the area with soapy water, and sterilize the tweezers.

Since the tick may or may not have carried a disease, the next step is to be watchful of symptoms. For people, symptoms of a tick bite that carried a disease include fevers, aches, and a rash developing in the area of the bite. For pets, the symptoms can include a loss of appetite, stiff legs, or fever-like symptoms. If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, visit the vet immediately.

Get Rid of the Fleas:

Fleas, like ticks, can carry diseases and cause irritation to your pet. To get rid of fleas, you’ll need to attack at two stages of the life cycle: the adult and the not-yet-born egg. Fleas lay an extraordinary amount of eggs, so it’s possible that you could kill all the living fleas on your pet and in your home, only to have a few weeks pass and the eggs hatch, starting the cycle all over again. To attack the eggs, you’ll want to use a treatment method that has an insect growth regulator, or IGR, which prevents the fleas from being able to reproduce. This will halt fleas from creating endless eggs. Then, you’ll just need to eliminate the already existing adults. Treatment options include oral medications, shampoos for your pet, and topical ointments.

Remove the Eggs:

In order to get rid of the flea eggs, you’ll want to thoroughly wash and vacuum everywhere you can. All fabric surfaces -- particularly in areas where your pet likes to spend time -- should be cleaned. Also use the vacuum to get in the baseboards of your home and any cracks and crevices where eggs may be. Pay the most attention to your pet’s bedding; fleas often lay eggs close to where they live, which is very often on your cat or dog. If necessary, you can also use a flea bomb or IGR spray on your home to remove the presence of fleas from your home.

While fleas and ticks are a real challenge, with some thorough cleaning, and smart use of treatments, you can eradicate the problem. Consult your vet if you see symptoms of diseases that ticks carry, and for advice on the best flea and tick treatment method if your pet has fleas.

More on Fleas and Ticks

How Do Flea and Tick Treatments Work?
Flea and Tick Season: When to Use What Treatment
Flea and Tick Medication Comparison Chart
Get Rid of Fleas in 8 Steps Infographic
K9 Advantix vs. Frontline Plus for Dogs

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