In grade school, you probably were in a situation at least once when you found out that a classmate had lice. Do you remember the panic and hassle that ensued to eradicate those tiny creatures? And if you have ever had lice yourself, you can attest to how itchy and annoying they were. Well, for cats and dogs, fleas are similar to lice. Fortunately for these beloved animals, their owners can take the necessary precautions to institute flea control and protect them from this irritating inconvenience.
How Dogs and Cats get Fleas
For effective flea control and prevention, you must first understand how fleas get into your home. Often times, other animals such as squirrels or raccoons can find a way into your yard. If they are carrying fleas, this can easily lead to an infestation. And once your dog or cat ventures outside, fleas can embed themselves in their fur. Flea carrying rodents can also find cracks and crevices into your home, and thus pass along fleas to your pets.
Humans, as well as animals, can carry fleas into the home. Simply by going outside in greenery potentially flush with fleas, they can attach to clothing, and from there get into your home. If you take your dog for walks in wooded areas, both you and your pet could potentially carry fleas back with you.
Preventing Fleas from Getting into Your Home
Now that you know how easy it is for fleas to get into your home, there are measures of flea control that you can utilize to prevent this. It all starts with your yard. Here are some things you can do:
1.) Build a fence around your yard. This will prevent other flea carrying animals from getting in.
2.) Mow your lawn and trim your shrubs regularly to eliminate flea hiding spots.
3.) Don’t leave food of any type outside. This invites potential flea carrying animals in.
4.) Close and seal potential openings into your house to ensure animals don’t get in. Especially be wary of the space below decks.
5.) Vacuum your home regularly.
How to Tell if Your Dog or Cat has Fleas
Before you are able to remove a flea problem from your home, you first have to determine if your pet has fleas. In certain situations, where fleas are highly infested, it is easy to see the adult fleas jumping around off your pet’s body. Other indicators that your pet has fleas are increased scratching and bathing, or if they seem generally more restless.
To inspect if your pet has fleas, you will want to check the back of the neck, armpit, and groin areas. These are where fleas like best to hide. One trick you can use is to put a white towel or sheets of paper under your pet and comb through their fur. Do any small black dots fall out? If so, these very well could be fleas.
What to Do if your Dog or Cat has Fleas
If you notice that your dog or cat has fleas, there are certain steps you can to take to ensure complete flea control. It is important you eliminate all fleas, including the larvae, otherwise, your flea problem will not go away.
1.) Use a flea comb. Comb close to your pet’s skin, and dump the fleas into a bowl of warm soapy water.
2.) Purchase a spray that is designed to kill fleas and use this on your pet as instructed. Or create a home remedy out of lemon slices and hot water (make sure the lemons soak in the water for 12 hours) and use a spray bottle to thoroughly wash your pet.
3.) Wash all of your pets blankets and beds with hot soapy water.
4.) Wash any rugs or places your pet naps with hot soapy water.
5.) Thoroughly vacuum your house, including underneath couches and deep into crevices. Dispose of the bag after.
Fleas can be a hassle for pet owners. They do not have to be, however, if you take the proper precautions. And even if your home happens to get infested with fleas, there is no need to fret over it. The simple solutions described above will help solve your problem. Just remember to be thorough in the cleaning process to eliminate all of the fleas and larvae from your home!