Today I answered this question 8 times. If you search our blog, you'll see that I've posted about fleas quite a bit, but I wanted to do a simple post answering one of the most frequently asked question I get this time of year:
I found some fleas on my dog. How do I get rid of them???
The thing that makes fleas so tough to get rid of is the way they breed - they lay eggs that can take a while to hatch, so you might clean everything and think you've taken care of the problem, and a week later you're infested again. If you really want to get rid of them for good, be prepared for a long, annoying process. But trust me - follow my advice and you'll lose the bugs.
Treat your pets:
- Depending on how badly your pet is infested, you may want to start the whole process with a good all-natural flea bath. Let the flea shampoo sit on your pet for a few minutes while you comb through them with a fine-toothed flea comb. Rinse thoroughly. Wait until the next day before applying Frontline or other topical monthly treatment.
- If you pet is not covered in fleas, but you did notice a few or he's particularly itchy, you can skip right to applying Frontline Plus or another type of monthly treatment. Double check with your vet, but you can give spot-on topical treatments every 3 weeks this time of year. Frontline will kill fleas that are on your pet, but it takes a day or two, and it doesn't repel new fleas from jumping onto your dog next time you're at the park.
- Natural repellent. Spray your dog before they go anywhere that they might pick up some new fleas (park, woods, etc.) Pet Natural's Protect Spray/Wipes, or Ark Natural's Neem Spray both work great. If your cat goes outside, either keep them inside for a while or spray them down as well.
- Daily flea combing. Sit with your pet and a cup of water with dish soap in it. Use a fine-toothed flea comb to comb through their hair and remove bugs as you see them. Doing this daily will help you keep track of how many fleas are on your pets (hopefully less and less everyday!).
Treat your home:
- Vacuum all floors. Carpet/rugs/wood floors. This needs to be done every few days for about 3 weeks. If you have old wood floors with cracks in it, use the crevice tool with your vacuum and really be thorough. If you have rugs/carpets, make sure to vacuum under furniture - fleas love dark quiet areas to hangout and lay eggs.
- Treat all floors with natural flea products. For wood floors, spray them down (especially dark/dirty areas) with Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray. For carpets, sprinkle with Diatomaceous Earth or Boric Acid Carpet Crystals. Rub into carpets and leave until your next vacuum (in a few days to a week).
- Wash and treat pet's bedding. After washing and drying, treat bedding naturally - spray with a natural home flea spray (Vet's Best Flea & Tick Home Spray), sprinkle with Diatomaceous Earth, or Boric Acid Carpet Crystals. If your pet spends a lot of time on your furniture, wash and treat those areas as well. If your pet sleeps with you, wash your sheets and blankets, and either have them stay out of your bed for a while, or rewash every few days.
- DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN IN A FEW DAYS TO A WEEK, and then keep it up for 2 weeks to a month. Don't expect the fleas to disappear if you only treat your home once. You will think you're in the clear, and then a week later all those hidden eggs will hatch and you'll be right back where you started from. Be persistent!
I wish I could tell you getting rid of the fleas is going to be easy. It's not. It's a major pain, in fact. But if you're persistent, you can beat the bugs!
What do I need?
- Frontline Plus or other effective monthly treatment
- Fine toothed Flea Comb
- Repellent Spray/Wipes (Ark Natural's Neem or Pet Natural's Protect Spray or Wipes)
- Natural Flea Shampoo (Ark Natural's Neem or Natural Chemistry Flea Shampoo)
- Home treatment (Vet's Best Home Spray, Naturvet Carpet Crystals, and/or Diatomaceous Earth)