Most people who own pets have had to deal with a flea "problem" at least once. Unfortunately, it doesn't take a whole lot for a small "problem" to turn into a big infestation, especially considering that every female adult flea can lay 50 eggs a day, or 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. So in order to prevent such a situation from even developing, please follow these guidelines.
Golden Rules of Flea Control:
1. Treat all cats & dogs in your household (even the kitties that don’t go outside because once another pet carries a flea inside there will be eggs deposited in the environment & when they hatch, these fleas will jump on your kitties too!).
2. Use your product as directed on the label or as directed by your pet’s veterinarian. In many instances this requires once monthly dosing although some newer products can be effective for longer.
3. DO NOT APPLY TOPICAL PRODUCTS TO A WET COAT. You need to wait at least several hours before applying these – see the label for that specific product’s guidelines. Also, if your pet gets wet a lot it’s important to ask your veterinarian which product will work best. Frequent bathing in certain shampoos may affect the efficacy of topical products in which case your pet may be better off with an oral product.
4. Ideally, treat your pet(s) year-round. If not financially feasible, at least treat for 3 consecutive months!!!
5. Buy a reputable product from a reputable source. There are a lot of “knock-offs” out there & some aren’t very effective. And there are also a lot of places you can obtain products from, but not all will handle the product like it needs to be handled (safe storage) & if the product is backed by a warranty make sure you know the terms as some products are only guaranteed if purchased from your veterinarian.
6. Just because you see a few live fleas on your pet this doesn't mean the product isn't working! Some products don't work by repelling fleas, but rather require the flea jump onto them first in order to then be killed as the flea comes into contact with the product through the pet's coat or even by ingesting the product from the pet.
7. READ THE PRODUCT LABEL!!! If it does not specifically say it is safe for cats, DO NOT apply to a cat as some products are very toxic to cats.
8. Vacuum regularly & steam clean when possible. This will assist with stimulating fleas to emerge from the pupal stage & physically removing them from the environment. If vacuuming, you will also want to change the bag frequently or clean the canister depending on the type of vacuum you have.
9. Wash the pet's bedding regularly (and your bedding if your pet sleeps with you).
10. Clean between floorboards and in cracks between tiles and pavers.
11. Prevent your pet from accessing areas outdoors where there might be flea infestation such as under porches and around sheds. You may need to consider having an exterminator investigate and treat your outdoor area.
12. Prevent untreated animals from entering your home and yard if possible.
13. You may want to consider a product for your home such as Fleabusters Rx. It is a dessicant meaning that it dries out the eggs and larvae and can last up to a year in the house when properly applied. It does not work immediately, but starts helping in 2-6 weeks.