8 Steps to Getting Rid of Fleas

8 Steps to Getting Rid of Fleas

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Getting Rid of Fleas and Protecting Your Pet

A flea infestation is an awful situation. Fleas not only cause problems for your pet like itching, hair loss, sores, and increased risk of infection and parasites, these pests are also known for setting up shop in and around your home and starting a cycle of reproduction that can be difficult to control.

This is why it is always better to protect your pet from fleas with a monthly preventative or flea collar before they strike. However, if you do find that your pet has picked up fleas, you should begin the process of the removal right away. Follow these steps for getting rid of fleas and making sure that they wonโ€™t be coming back.

Flea Removal in 8 Steps

Step 1: Getting Rid of Fleas on Your Pet

Start by getting rid of fleas on your petโ€™s body with a flea bath or flea treatment pill. Use a flea comb instead if your pet has already taken their monthly preventive pill or spot-on treatment.

Step 2: Protect Your Pet From Fleas

After removing the fleas from your pet, give them an oral preventative, spot-on treatment, or flea collar. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before combining any treatments.

Step 3: Clean Your Petโ€™s Bedding

If your pet has fleas, chances are that their bedding does, too. Wash your petโ€™s bedding and blankets on the hottest wash and dry cycles. Bedding sprays and powders can also be used.

Step 4: Continue Prevention

Keep your pet protected throughout the year with a monthly preventative or flea collar.

Once youโ€™ve treated your pet, itโ€™s time to treat your yard. The fleas that hopped onto your pet may have come from your yard in the first place, or they may be living there now after hitching a ride from elsewhere.

Step 5: Mow the Lawn

Fleas like hanging out in damp and shady environments. When you mow your lawn, sunlight is able to reach the soil, which results in a less-than-ideal habitat for fleas.

Step 6: Clear the Clutter

Fleas are expert sneaks. They like to hide out in areas where they wonโ€™t be seen -- like piles of leaves, rocks, and wood. Clear the clutter from your yard and fleas will have fewer places to take cover.

Step 7: Spray the Yard

Applying flea spray to your yard and garden helps to kill fleas and prevent future infestations. Be sure to remove toys belonging to your pets or children before spraying the yard, and keep people and animals away from the yard after spraying for as long as the product recommends. The amount of time that the spray will work as a flea preventative will vary depending on the product. Check the label and re-spray as needed.

Step 8: Water the Yard

Use a hose to wet down areas of the yard where fleas are likely to have laid their eggs. The water around garden beds and trees until slightly flooded to kill flea eggs and flea larvae.

Getting rid of fleas can be an unpleasant and time-consuming ordeal. To avoid it, protect your pet before they pick up fleas!

Some additional pointers can be found below that can help tackle both the fleas and ticks for your furry friend.

8 Flea and Tick Treatments for Dogs and Cats You Didn't Know About

Most pet parents know there are plenty of flea and tick medications on the market that will protect your pet from these dangerous pests. Yet sometimes, the flea and tick treatment for dogs or cats youโ€™ve been using just isnโ€™t doing the trick. What to do?

Weโ€™ve rounded up eight of the easiest, most effective, eco-friendly, and do-it-yourself flea and tick prevention methods.


1. Citrus Bath

Fleas arenโ€™t big fans of citrus or water. Thereโ€™s something about the acidity of citrus juices and oils that repels fleas, and the presence of water on a dog or catโ€™s coat prevents fleas from grabbing onto the animalโ€™s hair, meaning theyโ€™ll fall off. Put the two together and you get a citrus bath.

When drawing a bath for a dog, you can add a few drops of essential oil such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, or lemongrass to the water (skip the essential oils if youโ€™re bathing your cat, since they can cause adverse reactions). You can also squeeze fresh juices from those same fruits into the bath. Another option is to use a gentle liquid soap with a citrus base.

2. Citrus Spray

After the bath, consider spraying your pet with a homemade citrus spray. This can be made by adding the juice or oil of any of the citrus fruits mentioned above to water. Some people like to cut the fruit into quarters and place it in a jar, which they cover with boiling water, letting it steep overnight to extract as much of the oils from the fruitโ€™s skin as possible.

Once youโ€™ve got your solution in a spray bottle, spritz it all over your petโ€™s fur, then use your hands to rub the solution into their skin. Finally, brush your dog or catโ€™s coat.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Spray

You can make a similar flea repellent spray by mixing apple cider vinegar with water. Youโ€™ll want to spritz this solution on your pet daily while paying close attention to the area behind their ears and at the base of their tail. Those areas may need an extra spritz or two since thatโ€™s where fleas like to collect.

4. Homemade Flea Collar

Take a cotton collar or bandana and soak it in a solution of the natural ingredients you would mix into your spray repellent of choice. Additional essential oils that act as insect repellents include eucalyptus, lavender, and citronella. Then, clip the collar or tie the bandana around your petโ€™s neck and youโ€™re set. You may have to soak the homemade collar once a day, depending on the strength of your ingredients.

5. Nematodes

Those fleas are coming from somewhere, and chances are theyโ€™re coming from outside. So you may want to guard your grounds with Nematodes, the fleaโ€™s natural predator. These small worms feed off flea larvae and can be easily scattered across your lawn. Donโ€™t worry though, theyโ€™re not the same type responsible for infecting animals with parasites. You can pick up Nematodes at garden shops and pet stores.


6. Functional Fashion

As it turns out, leg warmers for dogs can be more than a fashion statement. Ticks like to hang around grassy and wooded areas, so if youโ€™re planning on letting your dog play in tall grass, you may want to get them dressed first. Covering the legs and the underbelly is key since ticks are most likely to latch onto those areas.

7. Essential Oils

Just as essential oils act as natural repellents to fleas, they do the same when it comes to ticks. Again, do not use essential oils on cats, as they can cause adverse effects. Oils such as rose, geranium, lemongrass, cinnamon, and castor have all been shown to deter ticks.

8. Supplements

Adding supplements such as brewerโ€™s yeast to your petโ€™s diet can help prevent ticks from feeding on them. Itโ€™s believed that the yeast increases the level of acidity in your petโ€™s blood, making it too bitter for the tick. Brewerโ€™s yeast can be given in tablet form as a snack or simply sprinkled over your petโ€™s food during mealtime.

More on Fleas And Ticks

Is There a Way to Use Frontline for Puppies?
Natural Flea Treatment for Your Home and Pet
Do I Really Need Flea and Tick Protection?

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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