What to Do About Fleas

What to Do About Fleas

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Flea & Tick
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Treating for fleas can seem like a never-ending process, as new fleas hatch the moment you get rid of the adults. Use these tips to completely eradicate fleas from your home and pets.

If your home or your pet or both have fleas, you might be feeling a bit hopeless. Because of the abundant number of eggs that fleas lay during their lifetime, it can be a challenge to get rid of them completely. Even thoroughly removing all the fleas from your home is not sufficient, since you need to also get rid of all of those eggs and future fleas. Donโ€™t despair: with a few cleaning tactics, and some powerful pesticides, you can solve this problem, and get yourself, your home, and your pet back to a flea-free state.

Treatment Options for Fleas:

There are a few different options available for flea prevention for dogs and cats -- note that itโ€™s important to check if your treatment method is for use on cats or on dogs since medications and treatments arenโ€™t necessarily interchangeable.

  • Flea Powders: Flea powders are applied directly to your pet and repel the fleas using chemicals. They can be a bit messy to apply.
  • Flea Shampoos: Flea shampoos eliminate fleas, but arenโ€™t a preventative. In order to be effective, youโ€™ll have to bathe your pet fairly frequently if they are in contact with fleas -- the merits of this treatment will depend somewhat on your petโ€™s disposition when it comes to baths.
  • Flea Collars: Flea collars, like Seresto, are used around your petโ€™s neck, and destroy fleas. However, itโ€™s important to note these collars arenโ€™t always very effective toward fleas that land elsewhere on your pet -- like their legs, stomach, and behind.
  • Topical, Spot-on Treatments: Topical treatments, such as Revolution, are applied directly to your petโ€™s shoulder blades and ward off fleas. They spread the medication over your petโ€™s entire coat through the oil on your petโ€™s skin.
  • Oral Medications: Pills from brands like Capstar and Trifexis can stop the eggs from hatching -- used in combination with another treatment that goes after the adult fleas, this can be a good way to halt the perpetuation of the flea life cycle.

Removing Fleas From Your Home:

If you have fleas on your pet, in all likelihood, they are inside your home as well. In order to get your home flea-free, start by cleaning carefully with an extra focus on areas where your pet commonly hangs out. Vacuum thoroughly, use the nozzle of the vacuum to get in cracks and crevices and to go over furniture that canโ€™t be washed otherwise. Put fabric -- like couch covers, the petโ€™s bed, and rugs -- in the washer and dryer. You can also use a spray with an insect growth inhibitor, which will prevent the eggs from hatching, stopping the life cycle of the flea.

If fleas in your yard are a concern, keep grass well-trimmed. Fleas donโ€™t like bright sun, so eliminate shady areas to make your backyard inhospitable. There are also chemical treatment sprays that can be used in your backyard to disrupt the life cycle if fleas are a problem out there -- make sure to avoid using these sprays near anything that you or your pet might eat. You can likely target your use of these sprays to shady areas in the yard, where fleas may congregate.

Flea Repellents in Topicals vs. Flea Pills 

Flea treatment for pets comes in several different forms, like pillscollars, and topical medications also called spot-on. Topical medications are medicines that have to be applied to your cat or dog's skin, usually by taking a single-use packet and squeezing the medication out onto your pet's back.

So which one is best, and how do they work? Take a look at this video from the makers of Advantage II that explains how topical treatments can be more effective than pills at stopping pests before they bite your pet.

More on Treating for Fleas

My Dog Still Has Fleas!
Flea and Tick Prevention and Treatment Options
Combining Flea Treatments: What's Safe
Get Rid of Fleas in 8 Steps Infographic

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