Most often when you have a pet, flea infestation would be a big problem difficult to avoid. Pets are an easy attraction of fleas and once your pet has them it very likely that they will attack your home, yard, or house. The best way to get rid of flea infestation is to keep your pet clean and healthy then treat your environment. But if you are already attacked, all is not lost, there are several majors you can follow to fight off the infestation.
There are many ways you can approach this and there are many varying opinions however it is of paramount importance to treat both your pet and the environment for fleas. Doing either will make your efforts futile.
Common Methods To Get Rid Of Flea Infestation In Pets
The following are different approaches used in an attempt to rid your pet of fleas.
- Flea shampoos
- Flea dips
- Flea collars
- Flea combs
- Flea powders and sprays
- Spot-on treatments
- Oral medications
- Healthy Nutrition
The above may or may not work depending on the degree of infestation and the age of the fleas. For example oral medications rarely kill adult fleas, so it important to know the severity of the situation to use the appropriate approach.
Other Ways To Get Rid Of Flea Infestation In The Environment
It is necessary to treat the environment because some of the fleas will drop on the ground, attach to clothing, bedding, carpet, etc. If they are left for prolonged periods they will end up laying eggs producing even more. So it is important to disturb this cycle by;
- Daily vacuuming
- Doing laundry on regular basis
- Spraying insecticides
Below is a step-by-step process you can follow to get rid of flea infestation
- Oral Medication – give all your pets Capstar Flea Tablets for Pets. These pills can kill almost all adult fleas within four hours of ingestion. Capstar pills can be obtained from your local veterinarian.
- Next, give them Lufenuron veterinary flea control medication Program – Lufenuron, the active ingredient of PROGRAM, is an insect development inhibitor. Female fleas feeding on treated animals will produce eggs out of which no larvae will hatch. The interruption of the flea life cycle results in a long-term, very effective flea control on the animal as well as in the environment. The effectiveness of this program may last for a month and must be combined with a daily use of a flea comb.
- Next the yard must be sprayed with Cedarcide. Cedarcide contains cedar oil, which is a natural pest killer and deterrent. This ingredient is non-toxic and safe for humans, pets and the environment. Cedarcide is effective on building a barrier of entry on the perimeter of the property, so bugs stay out of the yard, which means they stay out of your home. It kills fleas and eggs in the environment. here some people prefer foggers whose drawback is they are toxic and not advisable to use.
- Next, sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE). Diatomaceous Earth (often referred to as “DE”) is an off white talc-like powder. When sprinkled on fleas it compromises their waxy coating so that their innards turn into teeny tiny bug jerky. But it doesn’t hurt mammals including humans. It’s in lots of grain based foods because lots of grains are stored with diatomaceous earth to keep bugs from eating the grain!
- It is necessary to repeat the above process after 7-14 days because nothing kills the pupa stage of the fleas and some might have survived the first round. Some fleas might have even hatched from the pupa stage.
- As you carry out these actions, the house (carpets, etc) must be vacuumed everyday. The vacuum bag or the vacuum cannister must be emptied into a garbage bad and disposed of safely out of the house to avoid any fleas crawling back into the house.
- All bedding, towels and anything that comes into contact with the pets must be washed every 2-3 days to make sure that the living cycles of the pets are effectively disturbed.
- Augment all of the above with flea traps. The idea of flea traps is to monitor how effective the elimination of the fleas is but not necessarily as a direct flea control mechanism. The flea traps will be used to see how much or quickly they fill with fleas and a good indication that the battle is being won is by trapping less and less fleas everyday.
- Capstar and Lufenuron program will not be suitable for use on young pets. So young pets must be bathed in mild soap every day accompanied with the use of flea comb. This must be coupled with promotion of a healthy coat by feeding your pet healthy nutritious food. Fleas like flaking, raw, itchy skin. To produce a flea-resistant coat in your pet, add flaxseed oil and calcium ascorbate powder (buffered vitamin C) to the animal’s food. B-complex vitamins are also extremely helpful to the condition of the skin. Garlic is a natural flea repellant when added to your animal’s food, and black walnut capsules given as a supplement repel fleas as well. Additionally, a diet rich in fresh, whole foods and low in processed foods and additives will also contribute to the health of your animal’s coat.
Trying the above approach to fight flea infestation might prove fruitful and find you enjoying a flea free home!
John Ligori, DVM
Bell Shoals Animal Hospital in Brandon FL
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