How to get rid of fleas
Does your dog or cat have a flea problem? If so, we know firsthand how frustrating and overwhelming it can be to get rid of them. They are quick little ninja bugs that multiply and hide in sneaky places like it is their job. But don’t get discouraged, this step-by-step will help you diminish those fleas both on your pet and in your home, for good.
Give Your Pet a Flea Bath
A room temperature bath with water and a flea shampoo, can kill the live fleas getting cozy on your pet’s fur and skin. Make sure your pet does not have any open wounds or raw spots from scratching before using a flea shampoo. Flea shampoos contain ingredients that could cause additional irritation. If your pet has sores, start with a mild soap instead of a flea shampoo.
A bath is not REQUIRED to kill the fleas on your pet but is likely the quickest method.
Apply Flea Medication on Your Pets
There are several products available to treat your pet for fleas. It is important to continue flea treatments even after any signs of fleas are present, to keep them from coming back. The most common medications are topicals you apply to the back of your pet’s neck. These super effective, monthly treatments are worth the investment in your pets’ comfort and your piece of mind. If you have indoor only pets, make sure to treat them too! Felines a are fleas’ favorite to hitch rides on, so make sure they are also protected from those mangey pests.
Our Top Recommended Flea Treatments
The generic equivalent to Frontline Plus for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens 8 weeks and older, Firstect Plus contains Fipronil and (s)-methoprene. Kills fleas and flea eggs up for to three months and ticks for one month with a single treatment. A monthly topical that is safe and effective.
Vet quality protection but costs less than the national brand. These broad spectrum topicals not only KILL but REPEL fleas, flea eggs, ticks & mosquitoes. Avantect II also kills ALL stages of fleas, repels biting flies and kills lice. Avantect II is a once-a-month topical product for the prevention and treatment of mosquitoes, ticks and fleas on dogs and puppies seven weeks of age and older. Available in four convenient weight breaks and a four-month supply for continued protection. Do not use Vetality Avantect II on cats.
A topical medication that treats and prevents flea infestations on dogs and puppies 7 weeks of age and older and on cats and kittens 8 weeks of age and older. Kills adult fleas as well as their eggs and larvae. Starts killing fleas within 2 hours and continues to work for one full month of protection. CrossBlock II also prevents re-infestation of fleas by breaking the life cycle and preventing fleas from reproducing. Waterproof formula with easy open, individual dose applicators.
Kill the Fleas in Your Home
If you notice fleas in your home, and not just traveling on your animal friends you will need to take steps to eradicate them as soon as possible to avoid an infestation.
- Vacuum – all floors, upholstery, even the mattress if you dog sleeps with you. (Guilty!) If using a bag less vacuum, be sure to empty the contents outside, to ensure you don’t spoil your hard work. Another little trick to kill fleas inside your vacuum is to cut up a flea collar and place those pieces in your vacuum canister.
- Steam Clean – the carpets and upholstery, including pet beds if they will not fit in the washer. The combination of high heat and soap is the enemy of fleas in all stages of life. Most pets have areas they tend to spend most of their time, be sure to hit those hang out areas with extra attention.
- Wash It – any fabric items in hot water. Your pets bed, any throws or blankets on your furniture or near the floor, and even plush toys. Once items are in the dryer, use the highest heat setting.
- Apply Chemicals – use an indoor flea spray for a quick kill of pests that lurk in your home but not on your pet. Fleas are notorious for hiding in carpet and dark hard to reach areas. We recommend using Knockout E.S. Area Treatment. This product contains Nylar that not only kills adult fleas, but also larvae to ensure eggs don’t hatch and require efforts to start the process all over again. Be sure no children or animals are present when you use this product, and they are not exposed. The area must be completely dry before allowing children or animals back into the space. The best protocol is to vacuum, then apply Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Spray, let dry and then once dry, vacuum again.
- Treat Your Yard – when fleas are outside, they seek an environment that is shady, humidity and warm. Under porches, sheds or trees is a likely place to find fleas. Wide open areas can be too hot in the direct sunlight, so you likely won’t find many fleas there. Adams Plus Yard Spray is a good option for quick knock down if you seem to have a current infestation in your yard. Be sure no children or animals are exposed to the treated area until it has fully dried.
Treat Your Yard
Once you have initially treated your yard, there are steps you can take to maintain a yard free of those pesky, biting bugs.
- Mow the lawn – mow your yard frequently. Fleas prefer to hide in tall grass. Make sure to bag the contents and dispose of the clippings.
- Clean-up – Remove any debris from your yard. Including leaves and twigs from flower beds and from under any bushes. Expose as much of the shady areas to sunlight as you can.
- Use Cedar Chips –spread cedar chips on any problem areas, especially where your pet likes to hang out or lie down.
There are several flea preventative and treatment options out there, beyond what we have covered in this post. If you are looking for another product, reach out to us and we would be happy to assist you.
UPCO has a knowledgeable staff with years of experience to help you find a solution that works best for you and your furry friend. Do you have a blog idea or story to share you think would be helpful to our pet owner readers? Send it to us at [email protected]
About UPCO Pet Supplies
Founded in 1952, UPCO® was one of the first retail animal supply companies in St. Joseph, MO. A third generation, family owned and operated company boasting a knowledgeable staff and offering products from over 700 brands. UPCO® provides both pet and farm supplies to the local community and throughout the U.S. via their website and mail order services. Primary focus on friendly customer service and low wholesale prices, they are the animal supplier of choice, voted Reader’s Choice for the past 12 years.
Located at 3705 Pear Street, Saint Joseph, MO 64503