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How to Get rid of Fleas in your House and on your Dog or Puppy. Kill Fleas

Get Rid of Fleas Pets and House
Get rid of fleas on dog and from home

 

 

How to get Rid of Fleas Dog and from House

Getting rid of fleas on your dog or cat alone does not treat the overall flea problem.

During the flea cycle only about 5% of fleas are actually living on your dog or cat. The other 95% of fleas are living in your house or yard.

That is why it is so important to get rid of the fleas in your house and on your dog or cat at the same time.

For example: You wash your dog in a flea rinse today and you kill 20 fleas that are living on your dog. That means that there are still approximately 380 fleas in the egg, larvae and pupae stage, developing in your house waiting to hop back on your dog. (See the flea cycle chart at the bottom of this page)

How do I get rid of fleas?- Treating the Flea Problem

Set aside a couple of hours to tackle the problem as it's not a five minute quick fix job. You will be treating your pet and your pet's environment for fleas.

It is important to treat all of your pets and your home on the same day. It is pointless to treat your house and not your pets, and it is also pointless to treat you pet and not your house as each one will re-infest the other if not treated simultaneously.
 

What you need to get started to get rid of fleas

Your vacuum cleaner is a very important tool in gaining control over fleas

You need to vacuum up all stages of the flea's development. Eggs, Larvae and Pupae

           

 Step 1 - How to Get rid of the fleas in the house?

The first step is to vacuum. As previously mentioned only 5% of the fleas are living on your pet and that the other 95% are living in your house or yard. If you have dogs that live inside or regularly come inside the house you need to get rid of the vast majority of the fleas quickly and easily. You can achieve this by vacuuming them up.

Vacuuming is one of the most important steps of getting rid of fleas.

Listed below is what you are vacuuming up

Flea EGGS

Fleas that are living on your dog lay eggs.
The eggs drop off your pet and land on your carpet or floor.

Flea LARVAE

The eggs hatch and become larvae.
These little worm like creatures have hair structures which act like legs and enable them to move around.

Flea PUPAE

After a while the larvae pupate. This means that they spin a cocoon around themselves and begin a change. In the cocoon they are changing into adult fleas. It is similar to a caterpillar which spins a cocoon and then emerges as a butterfly. However it is an adult flea that will emerge from this cocoon.

*Important Fact*

While the flea is in the pupal stage (above) it is impervious to insecticides. The cocoon is waterproof and no insecticides can get in to kill the developing flea. This is the reason you must vacuum up as many of these pupae as possible. The vibrations from vacuuming also stimulates the fleas to emerge from their cocoons and they will be exposed to the insecticide that will be used.

 

Where to Vacuum for fleas

Flea eggs fall randomly wherever your dog or cat goes, but once the eggs hatch they become larvae and have hair like bristles on the outside of their body that enable them to move around. This allows them to move to places they feel most comfortable in. They like to get out of the light and into crevices, so when you vacuum pay lots of attention to places such as near base boards (also known as skirting boards), cracks in floorboards and under furniture, beds and rugs.
 

Step 2 - Spraying Insecticide for fleas

After vacuuming you will need to spray an insecticide.

Flea Treatment For your House & Yard
The products at right are for illustration purposes only. Any spray which contains IGR is suitable.

You will need to purchase a flea spray containing IGR.  Check the label for this ingredient.

IGR is the most important part of this flea control procedure.


Precor
2000 Plus


House & Carpet Spray


Flea Fogger


Flea Bomb

 



House & Yard Spray

It is difficult to suggest flea control products worldwide as insecticide laws vary from country to country. Below are a few suggestions of products that contain IGR.

Precor 2000 Plus (US & Canada)
Hartz 4 in 1 Flea Fogger (US & Canada)
IG Regulator (US & Canada)
Buy online or on ebay or check your pet store for availability.
Mortein Flea Bomb (Australia) Can be bought in most supermarkets.

Precor 2000 Plus is a hand held flea fogger. It has both a knockdown agent and a long lasting insect growth regulator. The fog can be directed under furniture and appliances.

What is IGR? 

IGR is short for Insect Growth Regulator. IGR acts as Birth Control for Fleas. It is a protein that works on the developing flea eggs and larvae and stops fleas from developing to maturity so they cannot reproduce.
 

Now it is time to spray the insecticide for fleas

Check the label for for active ingredients. You must use one that contains IGR if you want to totally eradicate all fleas from the house

Where to Spray for fleas?

Spray all floors, carpets, rugs and places your pet sleeps. Pay particular attention to dark places such as under furniture and beds. Spray all nooks and crannies and especially around the baseboards (skirting boards) of the room.

 

   

 

Most people will find insecticides in aerosol form easier to apply than liquids unless you have a pressure sprayer.

Don't forget to remove or cover any fish or reptiles that are in the house. Flea sprays can kill them. It is recommended that you remove any living creature from the house while spraying.

After spraying the insecticide try not to vacuum for about a week if possible as the IGR component will have a residual effect.

Don't Forget about your Yard and Garden

Do fleas live in the yard?

Yes fleas can live outside the house in sand and gravel. Spray patios, under decks, verandahs, kennels, crevices, along fence lines and anywhere your dog sleeps. It is not usually necessary to spray the entire yard or areas which are exposed to sunlight as the larvae avoid bright places.

The flea spray you use in your house is fine to use in the yard too.

Next wash all of your pets bedding and soft toys. Shake them well and hang them in the sunlight to dry.
 

STEP 3 - To get rid of fleas

Treat your dog or cat with a Flea Product.  Tablets or Topspots

The older generation of flea control products (Flea powders, flea collars and dips) are now completely obsolete. The latest treatments are chewable tablets and top-spots, which are much safer for both pets and humans.

Chewable Tablets to prevent fleas on your dog

Highly Recommended

Comfortis Chewable Tablets for Dogs are a meat flavored tablet that rapidly kills fleas on dogs and then goes on to prevent flea infestations for a further month.  Comfortis starts to kill fleas within 30 minutes of administration and will kill 100% of fleas on a dog within 4 hours.

A side effect of Comfortis is vomiting. Give with food to help avoid vomiting.

Comfortis may be a little expensive but works 100%. Well worth the extra cost.

For more information visit the Comfortis4dogs site
 

Top Spot treatments to prevent fleas on your dog

Top Spots are applied to the skin, usually between the shoulder blades and disperse through the dog's coat. Usually applied monthly they include Advantage, Frontline and Revolution. Most top-spot flea treatments can be used on puppies from 8 weeks of age.

Advantage is applied to your pet and it spreads on the surface of the skin at the hair root level, aided by body movement, to provide whole body coverage. The revolutionary chemistry causes the flea's nervous system to become impaired, and the flea dies. Reinfesting fleas, which likely come from the pet's environment or outdoors, will be killed within two hours, with protection against further flea infestation lasting up to a month. (source: Bayer Animal Health)

 



Not Recommended

Flea Treatments For your Dog - Top Spots

Advantage protects against fleas
Advantix protects against fleas and ticks
Frontline protects against fleas
Not Recommended
Frontline Plus protects against fleas and ticks
Not Recommended
Revolution protects against fleas, heartworm, hookworm and ear mites.

 

Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin) Once a month Topical Solution

Kills adult fleas and treats flea infestations.
Treats and controls ear mite infestations.
Prevents heartworm disease.
Treats and controls common intestinal parasites: roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.

 

Advocate is the same product as Advantage Multi as shown above

It is marketed under Advantage Multi in the US, Canada and New Zealand.

Treats and controls ear mite infestations.
Prevents heartworm disease.
Kills adult fleas and treats flea infestations.
Treats and controls common intestinal parasites: roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.

 

Capstar provides treatment of flea infestations on dogs, puppies, cats and kittens four weeks of age and older and two pounds of body weight or greater as well as for pregnant or nursing dogs and cats.

Fast acting formula begins working within 30 minutes and will kill almost all adult fleas within four hours of ingestion.

If your pet gets re-infested with fleas, you can safely give another dose as often as once per day. Capstar does not last for a month or more as does COMFORTIS. (see above) It is a short term treatment.

For more information visit the Capstar site.

Have a chat to your veterinarian or veterinarian nurse to find out which Top Spot product or tablet would be most suitable for your dog.

You may think that top spot treatments or tablets are expensive but it can be false economy to use anything else. Most of the top spot  products advise that you use them monthly but once you have broken the flea cycle in your home you will be able to use them less often.

Of course keep in mind that a visiting pet or a neighbor's cat in your yard can start the cycle all over again. The same can be said if you visit a friend's or relative's house with your pet. Your pet may pick up half a dozen fleas and once again the cycle begins

How can fleas harm my dog?
Fleas feed on your pet's blood and make your dog uncomfortable A heavy infestation can cause it to become anaemic and unwell. Flea infestations have been known to kill puppies. Some individual animals are allergic to flea saliva and this causes the pet abject misery with constant scratching and self mutilation. The most common allergy dermatitis in cats and dogs is a flea allergy. Read more on Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Fleas also spread tapeworm from one animal to another. Read more on Tapeworm in Dogs

Still having flea problems after two weeks?

You may still see a few survivors up to two weeks after treatment, especially if the flea infestation was particularly heavy. The reason you may see these fleas is because at the initial treatment the fleas in the pupal stage have not been killed because of their insecticide proof cocoon.

If after two weeks you still have a lot of fleas you will need to repeat the treatment again in your house and on your dog.

For maintenance... Keep an eye out for tell tale scratching and act quickly if you suspect even a single flea. Re-apply the top spot or flea product you have chosen or your veterinarian has recommended. Fleas breed very quickly and two fleas can soon turn into hundreds.

A good way to check your dog for fleas is to roll him/her on his back and check his groin area. You may see fleas scattering in this area. Even if you don't see a flea you may see evidence of the flea's existence with  'Flea Dirt'. Flea dirt is actually the fecal matter of fleas. It has an appearance resembling ground pepper. Another favorite place for fleas to congregate is at the lower end of the back right next to the base of the tail.


Fleadirt

Remember, your vacuum cleaner is your best friend.  Vacuum well any area your pet goes. Wash bedding and toys often. Keep an eye out for tell tale scratching and re-apply the top spot or product your vet has recommended.

 

What is the flea cycle?

The flea population of any given area comprises of 50% eggs 35% larvae 10% pupae and only 5% biting adults.

Fleas lay their eggs after a blood feed on the animal but these eggs quickly drop off on to the carpet, floor, bedding and outside areas. In fact anywhere your pet goes becomes a battle zone.

The life cycle of the flea depends on temperature, humidity and source of food. The life cycle of the flea from egg to adulthood can vary from two weeks to eight months.

An adult female flea can lay up to 600 eggs in its life time.

Eggs can hatch anywhere between two days and two weeks.

After the eggs hatch they become larvae. These are little worm like insects that get deep into carpet fibres, in cracks between floor boards, under beds, furniture and rugs and around skirting boards. They also thrive in sand and gravel. They feed on dead skin cells, organic material and the blood rich faeces of adult fleas. Although they don’t have legs they can move around and make their way to corners and crevices

The little worm like larvae develop over a period of one to three weeks going through four moulting stages then spin themselves a silken cocoon, just like a caterpillar. This is called the pupal stage. They can remain in their little cocoons for several months but will hatch if conditions are right. Vibrations can trigger them to hatch and this is the reason why you can be suddenly covered by fleas after a house has been left unoccupied for a long period of time.

It is important to note that while the fleas are in their cosy little cocoon they are not harmed by insecticides. The cocoons are watertight and protect the developing flea. This is why you may think you have killed all the fleas and larvae in your home but two weeks later a new outbreak will occur.

 

 

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