Fleas are not only annoying, but they can also affect the health of your dog and cat. To completely get rid of the fleas in your home and on your pets, you have to start by finding the source, and most of the time, it is your pets. Your cat or dog may have gotten the fleas from another pet during a playdate or in the park, but where they got them does not matter as much as getting rid of them does.
If you notice your pet is exhibiting symptoms like itching, bumps or pimples on their belly, groin and under the legs, and hair loss, inspect them for fleas. If they are present, there are several things you need to do to get rid of them;
Use a flea comb- Brush off your cat’s or dog’s fur using a flea brush, paying extra attention to the tail and neck area because those are the flea’s favorite spots. Drop all the fleas that come off in a container of hot and soapy water to kill them.
Wash your cat or dog with flea shampoo- Consult your vet or visit any nearby animal clinic and purchase a flea shampoo. The most effective ones have pyrethrin as an ingredient, which is an extract from the chrysanthemum flower.
Use that to wash your pet after using the flea comb to get rid of any small fleas you may have missed. Ensure to spread the shampoo evenly throughout your pet’s body.
Wash your cat’s or dog’s bedding every two days in hot water- Hot water instantly kills fleas, which is why it is best to wash the bedding in hot water. You can then dry the bedding using the highest heat setting to get rid of any fleas that may still be on the bedding.
You can also dry clean the bed, but ensure that the detergents and cleaning chemicals you use will not harm your pet after.
Try natural remedies- Make a natural spray by mixing hot water and two full cups of rosemary leaves and let the mixture cool down. Use it to soak, rinse, and spray your cat or dog.
Consult your veterinarian- You can visit your vet to enquire about any further treatments, especially if you notice the above methods are not effective.
If you have several pets and notice that only one of them has fleas, do not only treat that one because the fleas may jump onto the other pet, and the cycle will keep going.
If your pets have fleas, it is almost certain that they may be spread throughout your home as either cocoons, larvae, or eggs, which means that you have to deep clean your house too.
Use a powerful vacuum- Vacuum your carpet, floors, mattresses, and upholstery, paying extra attention to the areas your pets spend a lot of time. You should also vacuum any cracks and small openings as those are the best places for the fleas to hide and lay their eggs.
Ensure to use a bag you can easily get rid of without touching or exposing the contents. You can try to use baking soda on your carpet to increase the effectiveness of the vacuuming.
Clean all your bedding in hot water- Clean all your bedding in hot and soapy water, and dry them under the highest heat profile to ensure all the fleas are dead. If the infestation was a severe one, get rid of all the bedding and replace it.
Use a steam cleaner- You can substitute vacuuming with a steam cleaner, especially for your carpet, sofas, and couches. The heat and soap will be an instant killer for all the fleas. Be extra keen and thorough in all the areas your cat or dog loves spending time in.
Use chemical treatments- This is perhaps the most effective way to get rid of fleas in your home. You can either use foggers if the infestation was great or aerosol sprays, which are better for getting to places like under beds.
Consider using insecticides that have both adulticides and insect growth regulators. Adulticides like permethrin kill adult fleas, while insect growth regulators like pyriproxyfen or methoprene kill pupae, larvae, and flea eggs.
Ensure to have protective gear on and wait until the spray has dried before getting back to the house.
Since your pets will spend time in the yard, it is bound to have fleas too, and even if it does not, take the following steps to ensure that the fleas do not come into your yard and continue the cycle.
Identify the key spots where the fleas would hide by observing where your cat or dog loves to play or lay down, also identify the shady, warm, and humid areas that do not receive direct sunlight because those are the areas fleas will mostly hide and then;
Mow the yard and rake exposed areas often- Fleas love the tall grass and places with moisture. Cut off the grass as short as possible and ensure to bag and burn the grass instead of having it on your compost pile. Prune your flowers and trees to eliminate as much shade as you can.
Remove all debris- All debris on your yard, like twigs, dead leaves, timber, or wood, should be removed. Clear under all your flowers and bushes and expose as much of your yard to the sun as possible.
Use cedar chips- Spread some cedar chips on the spot that your cat or dog loves to lay down or on flower beds and under the flowers and bushes.
Use nematodes- Nematodes are worms that eat sulfur granules and parasite eggs. Visit the nearest gardening center and purchase some of those worms, then spread them around your yard.
Ensure that you repeat these procedures often until you are sure that neither your home, yard nor pet has fleas. Also, ensure to properly dispose of all the debris and dirt gotten from these processes, preferably by burning.
You should also put up preventive measures to ensure that the infestation does not happen again. Spray your house often, and take your pets to the vet for checks regularly.