Fleas are external parasites that thrive in warm, moist environments and wreak havoc by biting pets and people to feed on their blood. This can result in skin irritation caused by the bite and the flea’s saliva. Even more troubling, flea bites can cause anemia in pets and have the capacity to transmit disease and tapeworms. Home pest control to quickly eliminate fleas involves a three-pronged attack requiring you to treat your pet, your home, and your yard concurrently.
Treat your Pet
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) advises speaking with your veterinarian to develop a flea control plan best suited for your pet and your home. He or she can determine the safest products and best course of action. Options for treating your pets may include shampoos, sprays or flea combs. Other alternatives include pills like Capstar and topical spot-on products such as Frontline, Advantage and Revolution that kill all fleas coming into contact with your pet. While many pills and spot-on items can be purchased at pet supply stores, pharmacies and online without a prescription, consult with your veterinarian first.
Treat your Home
Since only adult fleas live on your pet, you must kill all flea eggs, larvae, and pupae that have dropped in your home. Thoroughly vacuum carpets, rugs, upholstery, and linens. Wash all solid flooring and launder all sheets, furniture covers and pet bedding. With severe infestations, pet owners may need to consider foggers or sprays.
Treat your Yard
When it comes to outdoor flea infestations, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) advises pet owners to treat your yard as thoroughly as you treat your home for effective home pest control. While trimming weeds and mowing the grass may make your yard less attractive to fleas, The Humane Society of the United States website suggests using Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) which prevent flea eggs and larvae from developing into adults. If there are still signs of a flea infestation after two weeks, professional help from an exterminator may be needed to eliminate the problem.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) warns that using dog products on cats and vice versa is dangerous. According to HSUS, pet owners that household pesticides containing chemicals such as chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, phosmet, naled, tetrachlorvinphos, diazinon and malathion as well as any item labeled with carbaryl and propoxur are toxic to pets. Immediately contact your veterinarian and/or the ASPCAs Animal Poison Control Center should your pet have an adverse reaction when a flea treatment is administered. Your veterinarian may also notify The Environmental Protection Agency and The Food and Drug Administration (EPA) if your pet becomes sick after receiving a flea treatment.
Developing a successful home pest control flea program is the key to combating a flea infestation. Following each step carefully only addresses part of the problem. By maintaining a flea prevention program you’ll be able to keep your pet, home, and yard flea-free. Still facing a problem? Contact us and let us get rid of the fleas for good!