How to Keep Your Dog Safe from Fleas When Moving into an Old House Protect your dog from fleas when moving into an old (and likely flea-infested) house

BY | September 30 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
How to Keep Your Dog Safe from Fleas When Moving into an Old House

Thumbnail of Comfortis Flea Preventative

Comfortis Flea Preventative

Flea & Tick
{{petcare_price|currency}} Price in Cart w/PetPlus {{petplus_price|currency}} See PetPlus Price in Cart

Old houses, like the ones where no one has lived for years, are likely to be infested with fleas. Thus, before moving into one, you must know how you can protect your dog from the fleas that reside there.

If you’re a pet owner and you’re moving house, it’s important to be aware of the potential for fleas, especially when the house you’re moving into is an old one. 

In 2021, approximately 8.4% of Americans moved residencies to a different house or location. While this is a decline from that of 2020 (where more than 9% of Americans moved houses), it’s still a decent figure. Many of these houses had pet dogs who also had to move, and one of the biggest challenges these dogs face when moving houses is having to deal with existing flea infestations over there. 

That being said, let’s look at how you can keep your dog safe from fleas when moving into an old house.

Get Pets Treated for Fleas Immediately and Take Preventive Measures

One of the most important things you can do to keep your pet safe is to have it treated for fleas immediately. If they're already infested with them, there's a good chance that they'll come into the house with you and try to find another host. This will allow more fleas to enter your home, which is why it's so important for all dogs in the household to be treated at the same time.

When it comes to flea treatment for dogs, there are several options for you to choose from. 

Dog flea pills, like Capstar for Dogs, are one of the first options. This flea medication for dogs is very effective in killing adult fleas. Chewables like Sentinel for Dogs are also a good flea treatment option. 

Nitenpyram is one of the active ingredients in most of these flea medications. This compound is approved by the FDA for use in animal drugs. Its chemical composition helps kill fleas by blocking their neural signaling. That, in turn, neutralizes the fleas’ movements and eventually kills them.

For a less-medicated approach, you can use a flea shampoo for dogs along with a flea comb to get rid of the fleas. However, this solution won’t work if the infestation is too big. 

As for prevention, your best option is to use a Seresto Flea Collar for dogs. At the same time, you also have to take necessary measures to control the infestation in your house. 

Unlike flea meds, flea collars don’t use nitenpyram. Instead, they use imidacloprid. It’s more of a preventive measure than a way to kill fleas. Imidacloprid helps keep the fleas at bay. Flumethrin is also found in a much smaller amount in these collars. Together with imidacloprid, these collars ensure that fleas don’t get on your dogs. 

Sweep or Vacuum Every Room of the House

Before moving anything in, sweep or vacuum every room of the house. Although you may not see any fleas right now, it's possible that they're living in your carpet and furniture. Even if you do find a few fleas in one area of the house, there could be more hiding in other rooms that you haven't gotten to yet.

If you don't have time to do this before moving everything into your new home, take some time over the next few days to give each room a thorough cleaning with an insecticidal spray. Be sure not to miss nooks and crannies like behind cabinets where insects might be hiding out during their dormant period.

Wash Any Clothes and Bedding Your Dog Has Been in Contact with

Wash any clothes and bedding your dog has been in contact with. If you can wash the items, do so in hot water and then dry them in a hot dryer for 30 minutes. If you don't have access to a washing machine or dryer, throw away anything that is soiled with flea dirt as soon as possible. Do not put these clothes into storage containers until they are completely dry. 

Seal any non-washable items (like stuffed animals) within plastic bags for two weeks at least or longer. That will ensure that no eggs hatch before the bag comes off again. The idea here is similar to that of freezing. It kills all stages of life but doesn’t harm fabrics or woolens too much.

Spray All Carpets, Curtains and Upholstered Furniture with a Flea Spray

Spray all carpets and upholstered furniture with a flea spray, following the instructions on the bottle. You can also use a flea spray on your dog's bedding, but it is important to make sure that you allow it to dry completely before letting your pet sleep in its bed. Flea sprays are also effective when used directly on dog collars.

Wash All Pet Toys, Beds, and Blankets in Hot Water

You can use your washing machine to clean all of your pet's belongings, including toys. Wash them in hot water with a detergent designed to kill fleas and allow the items to air-dry on high heat. If you have an old washer that can't get hot enough for complete flea elimination, consider investing in a new washing machine if possible.

Vacuum Daily for at Least Two Weeks

Vacuuming your home is key for keeping fleas and ticks at bay because it sucks up the adult bugs and their larvae. Don't forget to clean upholstery, carpets, rugs, and pet beds. Even outdoor furniture can be infested with fleas. If you want to be extra thorough, use a flea spray on curtains or other soft furnishings that are difficult to vacuum every few days.

Keep Pets off Carpets for As Long As Possible

If you can, keep your pets off the carpet until you are sure that no fleas are left behind. Vacuum the carpets daily to remove any adult fleas, eggs, larvae, and pupae that may be present in the carpet.

EPA-registered sprays can be used on upholstered furniture and drapes if necessary, but it is important to read labels carefully. If using a chemical spray on your pet bedding or blankets (especially if they're made out of fleece), ensure that all fabric is completely dry before letting your pet sleep there again.

Treat Plants That May Have Been Infested with Fleas

One other thing you can do to keep your house clean is to treat your plants. If you have any outdoor plants, such as flowers and trees, that were infested with fleas, it's important to use an insecticide on them. If possible, spray the inside of your home as well if there are any indoor plants that were infested with fleas.

If you want to make sure that all of your indoor plants are safe from insecticides and pesticides, wash them in the sink before placing them back in their pots or stands. You should not spray any insecticide or pesticide directly onto your dog or cat because it can be harmful to them.

Consult Your Vet

If you notice an infestation, consult your vet to determine the best treatment. There are many different types of flea treatments available, and it's important to use products that are safe for dogs in your area. If you live in a hot climate or have pets that spend time outdoors, be especially careful about using products not approved for use on dogs.

Some treatments are more effective than others. Choose one suitable for your particular situation and budget. 

Each of these tips may seem obvious, but if you move into an older house, it can be easy to miss some of them or ignore them altogether. As long as you are diligent about keeping your dog safe from fleas and treating them regularly, you will have no problem making this transition a smooth one for both of you.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like

Image for How to Protect Your Pet from Fleas During a Trip
How to Protect Your Pet from Fleas During a Trip

Donโ€™t forget these things if you want to keep your cat or dog safe from fleas when going on a trip with them

Read More