Fleas can really cause problems if they take a hold on your pet or in your home, as any pet owner that has spent some time fighting a persistent flea infestation will know only too well!
The vast majority of us of course treat our pets for fleas regularly as a preventative measure, either using a spot-on flea treatment or perhaps a flea fighting pill or collar. However, there are several additional steps that you should also take on a regular basis to make sure that fleas do not take a hold within your home, and none of them are hard to do!
Read on for our six top tips for fighting fleas.
You should always use good quality flea treatment products - the supermarket brands that cost a couple of pounds each are not fit for purpose. However, even if you use a premium brand to treat your pet for fleas, over time, fleas can become resistant to the active compounds within the product, and the product can lose its effectiveness. This often takes many years to take place, and can be region-specific; in some areas of the country, any given product might be highly effective, but in another area, less so. If you follow a regular flea treatment protocol for your pet but find that it is losing its effectiveness, don’t be afraid to make the change to a product with a different active ingredient instead. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best product to use.
Regular grooming will make it hard for fleas to make a move on your pet and breed in any great numbers, particularly if you comb your pet with a flea comb to remove any parasites that may be hitching a ride! Try to give your pet a thorough grooming at least once a week, and if you bathe your pet, consider using a flea shampoo when youu do this.
Even if you have pets of different species, it is important to synchronise your flea treatment routine so that all of your animals are treated for fleas at the same time in a regular cycle. If you stagger the dates upon which you flea treat your pets, you may find that they are passing fleas back and forth to each other on a regular basis! Also pay some mind to pets that your own animals come into contact with when out and about; if you walk your dog with another dog, or regularly run into the same dogs in the dog park, if one of them is harbouring fleas, it can hamper your own flea control efforts. If you can speak to the owner of the other dog about the problem and encourage them to treat their dog, this is the best solution- but it can also be a difficult topic to raise, and you may have to consider keeping your dog away from a dog that you know is infested with fleas that the owner is not treating.
A couple of times a year, treat your home for fleas as well as your pets themselves. You can use a household spray product such as Indorex to do this, or a flea bomb. This will ensure that fleas are not being harboured in soft furnishings, including chairs, curtains or carpets, waiting for a warm body to feed on!
Vacuuming all of the carpets in your home at least a couple of times per week will help to remove fleas and flea eggs that might be hiding within the carpet. Carpets are one of the most difficult areas to successfully eradicate fleas from, and keeping on top of things with regular hoovering is important. If you have deep pile carpets, make sure that you have a high-powered vacuum that can get right to the roots of the carpet, and don’t miss areas such as the skirting boards and corners of the room. Put a flea collar inside of the vacuum bag before you start hoovering, and make sure that you seal the bag and throw it away outside of the home when you are done.
Pets often dislike having their bedding moved around or washed too often, but it is vital to wash your pet’s bedding regularly enough to avoid fleas taking a hold of them. Make sure that you wash at a hot enough temperature to kill the fleas, and replace bedding when it becomes unwashable or too dirty. Don’t forget to wash your own soft furnishings as well, such as curtains, cushion covers and your own bedding, even in rooms that your pets are not allowed into. Use a biological washing powder to counteract fleas, and don’t forget to wash any blankets or bedding that you use in your car as well!