Flea Control Guidelines
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.
- Treat all cats & dogs in your household - even the ones that don’t go outside.
- Buy a reputable product from a reputable source. There are a lot of “knock-offs” out there and 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) and 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.
- 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.
- Use the product as directed on the label or as directed by your pet’s veterinarian. In many instances, this requires once-monthly dosing but some newer products can be effective for longer.
- DO NOT APPLY TOPICAL PRODUCTS TO A WET COAT. 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.
- Treat your pet(s) year-round. If not financially feasible, at least treat for 3 consecutive months.
- Just because you see a few live fleas on your pet doesn't mean the product isn't working! Most products work by requiring the fleas to jump onto the pet in order for the fleas to be killed.
- Vacuum regularly and steam clean when possible. This will assist with stimulating fleas to emerge from the pupal stage so you can physically remove 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.
- Wash the pet's bedding regularly (and your bedding if your pet sleeps with you).
- Clean between floorboards and in cracks between tiles and pavers.
- 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.
- Prevent untreated animals from entering your home and yard if possible.
- You may want to consider a product for your home, such as Fleabusters Rx. It is a desiccant, 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. If not available at a local box store, it can be found on Amazon.com.
14. Please note that if your pet has a flea allergy it takes only a couple of flea bites for your pet to become intensely itchy. You might not even see fleas on your pet! For these pets especially it is important to follow the guidelines above. If you have questions, please check with your vet.
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