Each year, I battle fleas to some degree with my pets. This year in particular has been comparable to a nightmare. It might not be easy to admit, but I have a flea problem. I first realized just how bad the flea problem was about a month ago when I walked through my yard to the car. When I sat down in the car, I looked down at my jeans only to discover dozens of tiny little fleas all over my pant legs. I was horrified!
When I came home, I began searching the internet for home and yard treatment ideas. There's a lot of information available online about flea control so it can be difficult to sort through everything, but I found some helpful tips at the 1-800-PetMeds® Pet Health Center. They have recommendations for establishing an effective flea prevention plan and it's all located in one easy to navigate place.
Treat all pets in your home
I was already using a topical flea prevention for Shiner the dog and Callie the cat. However, I noticed that when my dog went out into the yard fleas would still jump on her. I asked a pharmacist from 1-800-PetMeds® about this, and here's what they had to say about this -
"The flea has to bite the dog in order to be affected by the medication and die. This is why most topical flea meds will not kill fleas right away, but rather over the course of several hours."
In addition to topical flea medications, there are a number of oral flea medications available if that's what you prefer. We used Trifexis with Shiner last year, and it worked amazingly. Studies have shown that oral flea medications are 11.5% more effective than topicals. You should not use both a topical and oral prevention, but rather just choose one that works for you and your pet.
Apply flea preventative to healthy skin
Something I wasn't aware of was that if a dog has healthy skin, topical flea medication is able to spread through the skin better and can do it's job more efficiently. I recently added a new fatty acid supplement with Omega 3 to Shiner's diet, so hopefully this will help some.
Use additional flea prevention measures
In addition to my dog's topical flea prevention that I'm using with her this year, I spray her with natural topical sprays to repel fleas almost every time she goes outside. 1-800-PetMeds® also recommends using shampoos between monthly flea medication applications. Topical medications will start to lose their effectiveness after about 3-4 weeks, so it's possible that you'll start seeing fleas then.
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Treat your home and yard
After discovering the horrifying amount of fleas living in my yard, I began to pay very close attention to my home. What I found was that there were in fact fleas inside of my house. It only makes sense considering how many were jumping on my pants after being in the yard for a mere 30 seconds. Of course they are going to come inside my house on my family's clothes and with the dog.
I treated the inside of my house with diatomaceous earth and it worked very well. There are a number of products available to treat your home including foggers, sprays, and carpet powders.
I felt as though treating my yard might be a lost cause, but I treated the areas we spend the most time in. It's 4 acres of land, and there's just no way I can treat every inch.
Of course, treating just once isn't enough. An immature flea that is protected by a cocoon can live up to four months in your carpet. According to the 1-800-PetMeds® education pages -
"To control a serious flea infestation, repeat this treatment every 2-3 weeks for at least 6 weeks. Once it seems the fleas are under control, you should implement a maintenance treatment every 4-6 weeks thereafter."I'll be doing another treatment again this week. So far, the results I've seen from following all of these tips are helping tremendously with my flea problem.
Pet Health Questions Answered at 1-800-PetMeds®
After researching how to treat fleas at the 1-800-PetMeds® Pet Health Center, I discovered that they have a plethora of pet health information. I found advice on almost any pet health condition imaginable, instructional videos, and guidance on choosing helpful products for my pets. They also have a veterinarian available that you can submit questions to.
To stay up to date with your pet's health and care, I recommend signing up for updates from 1-800-PetMeds®. All you need to do is enter your email address below and you'll be good to go!