Every person, who owns a pet dreads one thing above all else: fleas. A majority of pet owners agree that fleas are the most common and at the same time, one of the worst pet-related problems you will ever have to deal with. The part, which easily gets under your skin, is that no dog or cat is safe from fleas and that each animal that passes you on the street is a potential, walking flea infestation.
Now, it’s normal to overreact when fleas come into a scenario, especially if you’ve tried long and hard to protect your pets from them. But fleas are hardly a reason to despair, especially when there are so many simple pet-friendly methods you could employ to get rid of them and prevent them from returning to your home. While many so called “experts” would advise you to take care of a flea infestation with the use of chemicals, there is a variety of ways to handle this problem, without having to resort to any kind of toxins whatsoever. Below you’ll find some of the simplest and best-working methods for flea removal, as recommended by the specialists from Panther Pest Control.
Give Your Pet A Bath
The simplest way to get rid of all manner of fleas is to attack the problem at its source – your pet’s fur. Giving your pet a proper bath will help get rid of any nasty fleas that call its fur their home, but a rinse with water won’t be enough. You’ll need to carefully select the shampoo you’re going to use, by making sure it doesn’t have any kind of chemicals that can harm your pet, such as pyrethrins, d-limonene and carbaryl. Natural ingredients work just as good as any insecticide, labelled as “pet friendly”. The best known remedies include rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil and citrus oil.
Note: Cedar and tea tree oil are only recommended for dogs, as they are toxic to cats.
Also, Make sure to start washing your pet from the neck, while continuously going upward towards the head. Fleas are known to search for dry and hard-to-reach places when threatened by water, so it’s a good idea to start with the upper part of your pet’s body.
Thoroughly Clean Your Home
Even if a nice, long bath gets rid of all the fleas your pet harbours, they still may be living on any furniture your pet has come in contact with. Thoroughly cleaning and washing furniture pieces, such as your pet’s bed, couches, arm chairs and any carpets and/or rugs, is a definite must, if you want to avoid further flea contaminations.
Vacuuming is also an important of any flea decontamination process – a study performed at the University of California proved that vacuuming successfully gets rid of 96% of adult fleas. But that’s not all that vacuuming does – it also helps dislodge any eggs and larvae from carpets and bedding and stimulates emerging adult fleas to come out of their cocoons. Once you’re done cleaning, carefully seal up your vacuum’s bag into a plastic waste bag, before disposing it, as you don’t want any fleas to get out.
Note: It’s also a good idea to continuously spray your carpeting, either with methoprene or pyriproxyfen, both of which are insect growth regulators.
Use Flea-Killing Products
No, this is not a reference to the harsh chemicals you see advertisements for. Flea-killing products are best known as collars or simple treatments. Flea collars are known to do wonders for both cats and dogs, though you should know that they only prevent flea larvae from maturing into an adult flea. To take care of adult fleas, you can use the spot-on treatments mentioned above, which you can receive by getting a prescription from your local vet.
Use A Flea Comb
Another great pesticide-free product is the flea comb. Thanks to this fine-toothed comb, you can easily get rid of fleas, regardless of how long or thick your pet’s hair is. The best place to engage the fleas, is the bathroom – keep a container full of soapy water nearby and dunk the comb into the water, after each run, through your pet’s coat. This way, you’ll be able to drown the fleas and won’t risk them jumping back on your pet again.
There is a variety of different traps available on the market, which aim at capturing and disposing of flea infestations. The most common flea trap involves an incandescent light bulb, which attracts the fleas, who are captured in sticky paper, which is placed beneath the bulb. Another, home-made flea trap, replaces the sticky paper with a small petri dish full of a substance, made with water and a dish detergent. Whichever you decide to use, set it up before going to bed and keep using it until there are no more fleas on the tape or in the water the following morning.
Employ The Use Of Nematodes
Even if your home is completely free of fleas, they can still live and thrive in your yard. The easiest way to remove them from your outdoor living space is to use nematodes or roundworms from the Steinernema genus. These tiny life forms offer a form of biological control and feed on a variety of small insects, including flea. They only require you to lightly spray the soil they’ve been applied to every few days, as they require the moisture to live.
There are also completely natural methods you could use, should you need to fight fleas.
- Spray your pet’s coat with a citrus spray
- Use herbs, such as rosemary, along with water to thoroughly wash your pet
- Carefully rub yeast on your pet’s skin
- Apply salt to the surface of your carpets and rugs, let the salt stay there for a week and vacuum thoroughly afterwards
- Apply diatomaceous earth (an organic, low-priced powder) to your carpets or the soil in your yard and allow it to sit for a day or two, before you thoroughly vaccum the area
Don’t hesitate to try out any of these solutions, should you find yourself fighting hoards of fleas. Just make sure not to reach for the toxic solutions, as they may have a bad effect on your health and that of your pet.