With warm summer months just around the corner we have many things to look forward to: backyard barbecues, pool parties, afternoons at the beach…and fleas.
Unfortunately, fleas are a fact of life in the summer, especially if you have pets. Even if your dog or cat stays indoors, fleas can still enter your home on other things you bring in the house, including you! Once inside fleas make themselves at home on the handiest hosts, and since pets have shaggy coats and typically don’t bathe everyday (like humans do) your dog or cat will do nicely.
What can you do manage fleas?
The best deterrent is prevention. Having Admiral Pest Control regularly treat your house and yard for fleas is the best way to rid your house of these pests. One of our trained Admiral technicians can recommend a schedule of treatment based upon your circumstances (for example, how many pets you have) and the severity of your current situation (if your problem has reached infestation).
Once you have fleas under control, you can help keep them away in between treatments by following some simple steps.
- Clean all beach and camping clothing, towels and equipment outside
Fleas love water, which means they hang out at the beach and near rivers and streams. After you come home from the beach or a camping trip, don’t bring your dirty clothes, towels, or camping equipment into the house, unless it’s going straight in the washer. Hose it off outside and if possible leave it in the garage. In fact, hose yourself off, too, as fleas are more than happy to hitch a ride into your house on just about anything that moves.
- Get a cedar pet bed
Cedar chips are a natural repellent for fleas. They hate the smell. So using cedar chips is a great way to keep your pet’s bed free of fleas. Most pet stores sell cedar chip pet beds, or you can easily make one yourself. Simply purchase cedar chips and sew them into a pillow big enough to fit your pet. However, watch your pet for an allergic reaction in the form of itching or hair loss. Some dogs are unfortunately allergic to cedar chips.
- Vacuum frequently
In two to three weeks one flea lays hundreds of eggs. This takes your flea problem from nuisance to infestation in no time. Carpets and pet beds are the perfect environment for flea eggs. However, if you vacuum frequently (even everyday) then you stand a good chance of keeping your flea population down. Just be sure to throw your vacuum cleaner bag away in the outside trash after each use. Or if you have a bag-less vacuum cleaner, do the same when you empty the canister.
- Bathe and groom your pet more often
You probably don’t bath your dog that much in the winter, but in the summer you should bathe your dog outside with a flea shampoo after each outing away from home. And get used to giving your cat regular baths, too. If you can’t do it, take your feline friend to a professional pet groomer. Unfortunately, even cats need to be bathed when fleas are in the mix.
- Flea-treat your pet
Since your pet is the flea host, it makes sense to treat the source. There are a couple ways to do this.
- Spray your dog or cat’s coat with Frontline, Advantage, or some other flea product that you obtain from your vet or specialty pet store. Treatments are usually once a month and turn your pet’s coat into a toxic environment for fleas.
- Ask your vet about prescription flea deterrents you give your pet orally. These medications turn your pet’s blood distasteful to fleas, and as a result they shorten the flea’s lifespan.
These tips alone won’t rid your home of fleas, however, combined with regular professional spray treatments by Admiral Pest Control, they increase the effectiveness of your treatments. The goal is to keep your flea problem from turning into a flea infestation. Because nothing ruins a summer more than itchy swollen skin…especially when you didn’t get it from lounging in the sun!