Fleas can be a pesky dilemma for pets, and they can become an issue for your family if your pet picks up these annoying insects. Then there is the worry of how to balance of insect repellents to your pet. If you don’t treat them and they pick up fleas, even if you get them a new flea collar, he or she may run in and rub all over the couch and expose the entire family. Then there is the flea, which has a complex, four-stage cycle of life. You will need something to address fleas no matter which life cycle they are in to avoid an infestation. It does not mean that more flea control is better, no matter if it is an over-the-counter chemical or prescribed medication. It’s important to follow the instructions to avoid your animal having an adverse reaction. If this does happen, be sure to contact your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center immediately.
Using a flea shampoo or “flea bath” is one option. It is an ideal first attack on fleas if your pet has visible fleas on its body. If you have a cat, get ready to wrestle it into a bath because it works the best to address a flea infestation on your animal. Keep in mind that flea baths are not designed for lasting control. If you only bathe the animal, don’t be surprised to see fleas back within a week or two. The good part about flea shampoo is if you follow the directions, your animal will have only a little chemical residue left on their skin. A stronger option along the bathing line is a flea dip. Flea dips are comprised of strong chemicals to rid your animal of fleas, ticks, and mites. A flea dip is not recommended unless the case of severe infestation because they leave a heavy chemical residue on the animal’s skin. Like a flea shampoo, a dip will only last a couple of weeks at most.
A flea collar is an option many people use, and they work in two ways. The collar releases a toxic gas to keep fleas away, and the gas is absorbed into the animal’s outer fat layer for longer control, and they are good for killing adult fleas. The limitation is that a collar is effective in the head and neck area, but less effective elsewhere. If you end up with an infestation in the home, it’s good to put a flea collar inside the vacuum cleaner catch to kill any fleas vacuumed up. Flea powders and sprays are good for 2-3 days of protection and are mainly effective for adult fleas.
Advantage, Bio-Spot, and Frontline are examples of spot-on treatments. For these treatments, you should talk to your veterinarian to decide which product is the best for your animal. The spot-on options are applied in an area between the shoulder blades of your pet and can provide treatment for up to a month. Your pet’s veterinarian may prescribe an oral medication, such as Sentinel (also available by injection) or Program. These work by stopping the flea larva from leaving the flea egg. These do not kill adult fleas but keep new ones from hatching. There are a few natural ways to ward off fleas from your pets. You can use a flea comb to catch them and then drown them in water. It’s most important to bathe your pets regularly, wash their bedding frequently, and vacuum daily if there an infestation. You can also have your yard and home sprayed or fogged.