Some of the Best Ways to Control Fleas
Your pet can provide hours of companionship and pleasure as you cuddle on your favorite sofa or romp on the lawn for much needed exercise.
These same pets can often attract fleas that not only make them uncomfortable but can infest your home.
Fleas survive on the blood of cats, dogs, and even humans and thrive in warm, moist areas in and around the house.
There is no single way that can efficiently control fleas, but there are a few approaches that can help.
The first consideration is to attack every stage of flea development to get rid of their presence.
Stages of Development
Fleas exist in at least 4 primary cycles.
- The egg
Fleas produce as many as 50 eggs each day, and they hatch in about two weeks. The eggs can fall off onto carpet, bedding and clothing from cats and dogs.
Larvae often resemble white, transparent insects and feed on the dried blood from adult fleas, or droppings on carpets and beddings. They can thrive up to about 3 weeks or more in the right conditions.
The pupa is the penultimate stage before the adult flea emerges. The adult can hatch up to 5 days or can remain cocooned up to one year in some instances.
The most effective method to control fleas is a two-pronged approach
- eliminate or restrain them from attacking your pet
- Protecting your home and its environs from constant infestation
Identifying Fleas on Your Pets
If your dog or cat is continually itching, scratching, licking or biting specific areas, those are signs that they have fleas.
Method for Cats and Dogs
Before using any treatment, check with your vet to ensure that any products are safe. Your cat may be sensitive to certain chemicals and can develop an allergic reaction.
- Shampoos: Shampoos or flea baths can be your first line of defense. Although they do not last long, they can give a bit of relief in between treatments.
- Flea Collars, Sprays and Powders: Flea collars emit toxic gases that inoculate fleas on contact. Sprays and powders are more effective on adult fleas. They however offer short-term relief.
Spot-On Treatments: They offer the best approach for long-term relief. The treatment contains substances that inhibit flea growth at varying stages.
- Some treatments can also be administered orally, and may include brands like Frontline, Advantage and Capstar.
- Flea Dips: They offer slightly stronger chemicals that can be useful for as much as 2 weeks after applying. Be careful to use in extreme cases only.
- Around the home: Launder your bedding, cushion covers and other linens at least once weekly, preferably in warm water to eliminate fleas.
- Vacuum areas where your pets like to settle: carpets, corners, etc.
- Professional Clean: A termite extermination treatment may be more effective in controlling fleas around the home. Be careful to cover food, kids’ toys, and other areas that can be affected by treatment residues.
There is no single way that can efficiently control fleas, but there are a few approaches that can help. Your best bet may be a multi-faceted approach that addresses all areas of possible infestation.