In order to rid fleas completely from your house, yard and pets, a treatment plan must be put in place for at least the length of the flea life cycle. Therefore a continuous treatment for the next 4 weeks or more will assist in eradicating the problem.
Garden treatment plan
-Flea larvae love dark places. Prune foliage and trim grass to expose flea larvae to sunlight. Find a way to expose dark areas to sunlight if you can.
-Wash any outdoor bedding in hot soapy water with bleach. Line dry in direct sunlight if possible. Repeat this process every 4 days
-If you have outdoor material furniture, sprinkle with Diatomaceous Earth. (DE) (Bicarbonate can also work if you cannot find this product) leave for a few hours then vacuum thoroughly. D.E or bicarb will dehydrate the eggs and larvae killing them in the process.
-Sprinkle DE or bicarb on the porch, along the house perimeter and any area where the sun does not reach. Fortunately fleas tend to live on the ground, so product application should only be on the ground, not on bushes, trees and flowers where bees might be affected. Owners should concentrate their yard efforts on the shady areas nearest the house, or anywhere their pets sleep in the yard. Repeat this process every 4 days
-Sweep out and spray outdoor kennel with flea spray ( can be purchased at pet stores) or citrus based sprays ( can be purchased at funky fur) Repeat every second day
House treatment plan
-Any material surface or bedding that can be washed, wash every 4 days in hot soapy water with bleach
-Thoroughly vacuum any carpeted areas. Repeat every second day. Sprinkling D.E or bicarb onto your carpets a couple of hours before vacuuming. Vacuum all furniture, carpets, cracks in the floor, bare floors, corners, behind doors, and anywhere else that dust collects. This will pick up most of the eggs, but larvae will latch onto carpet fibres and stick around.
-After vacuuming, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag outside to prevent escaping of larvae. If your vacuum has bags immediately spray bag with flea killer and dispose. If bag less empty and wash the cylinder in hot water immediately after vacuuming. Adding a drop of pure lemongrass oil or eucalyptus to the filters will deter fleas from the vacuum and add a nice smell in the air.
Pet treatment plan
-There are many treatments for your pet, the best being spot treatment such as revolution. Although they work for small amount of fleas, some fleas can build immunity to these products and if there is an infestation in your yard or house reinfestation to your pet can still occur. There are also oral applications such as capstar. Flea collars are not usually effective.
-Detergent removes the fleas protective layer causing them to drown. Washing your pet in a strong dishwashing liquid will help kill fleas by following these steps.
1. add just enough water to the detergent to make a spreadable paste
2. place your pet in the sink but do not wet your pet ( wetting the pet will allow the fleas to place a protective bubble around themselves)
3. add the detergent solution to your pet starting at the neck and ears and working your way down the pets body
4. let the solution sit on the dog for 5 min
5. scrub coat and rinse thoroughly make sure all soap is removed
6. if you still see fleas moving follow with a second scrub
7. As detergent strips a lot of natural oils from your dogs coat make sure you follow with a good conditioner. An oatmeal conditioner will help relieve any itching from flea bites or dry skin
-The main areas fleas like to hang around on your pet are in the joints such as armpits and groin, their belly and under their tail, around their bottom area. Have a container next to you with water and detergent in it. Use a flea comb to remove any flea from these areas and drop them into the container to drown them. Repeat every day or until fleas are no longer visible, and then every three days to make sure they are gone
- If there is more then one pet in the household make sure all pets are fleaed at the same time so the product is effective.
Please note that these processes should be kept up for at least four weeks even if you no longer see fleas. This is to make sure you have rid your pets and household of any flea eggs or larvae which can later cause a reinfestation. If you are in a flea prone area following these procedures once a week will decrease the likelihood of reinfestation
Bianca is the owner and groomer at Funky Fur dog grooming and always looking for ways to help you care for your pet.