Fleas are common during the spring and summer months, and they can make life miserable for pets and humans alike. For every one flea you do see on your pet, you can estimate that there are approximately ten that you haven’t. Fleas don’t just stay on your pet, after all. These nasty little creatures like to hop, skip, and jump (so it seems) to any and every nearby surface and proceed to lay their eggs everywhere in an attempt to overtake your world! Well, maybe it’s not quite that dramatic, but once you’re dealing with a nasty flea infestation it can sure seem that way.
Many pet owners will head straight to the nearest discount store and buy multiple flea killing products: flea shampoo, flea soap, flea collar, flea powder, and anything else for extra flea-killing power. The problem here is, they just don’t work! At least they don’t work for the long haul. Flea shampoos and soaps may work while you have Fluffy and Fido in the bath, but once their fur is dry, you’ve lost most of your flea killing ability. So, this is where the flea collar comes in, right? Wrong. The flea collar may keep the fleas at bay in close proximity to the collar, but fleas tend to run to the rear of the animal where there is no flea killing mechanism. Flea powder designed to be applied to your pet only works if you don’t mind the fine particles getting all over everything that he or she touches. Those with children in the house (or who can’t spend the time following your pet night and day with a broom and mop) can’t afford to risk their children ingesting some of the toxic powder. So, what DOES work?
Many veterinarians recommend Frontline as a medication to kill fleas on animals. Frontline is absorbed into the skin and kills fleas as they bite your pet. The problem with using Frontline, though, is that new fleas continue to hatch after the original dosing has dissipated resulting in additional flea wars. Frontline Plus works a bit better as it also includes an insect growth regulator that prevents flea eggs from hatching in the event that one of those nasty boogers lives long enough to lay eggs.
Flea premise sprays (like Knockout from Virbac) are effective at killing fleas in your environment. Look for a spray that not only kills adult fleas but also contains and insect growth regulator to prevent eggs from hatching. Many “flea foggers” on the market are designed to work by generating a fine mist that covers every surface, but these often can’t reach areas where fleas live such as under beds, couches, and chairs.
Dr Carol’s recommendations:
If you hesitate to use products such as Frontline Plus on your pet, consider a non-toxic alternative like Avon’s Skin So Soft! Dilute the product with water at a 1:1 ratio (use equal amounts of Skin So Soft and water), and store your concoction in a small spray bottle. Spritz your pets with the mixture often to repel fleas and mosquitos. It even has a nice scent! If your pet is afraid of the spray (some animals are scared of the sound of the spray bottle), spritz a cloth and then wipe your pet down with it. As a bonus, this same mixture can also be used on adults with the same results!
To get rid of fleas in your home environment, Dr Carol says you need look no farther than your nearest grocery store! Look for Borax in the laundry aisle – it comes as a powder. Sprinkle the Borax into your carpets, and then take out your flea frustrations by really stomping around and pounding the powder into the carpet! Vacuum each room really well and dispose of the contents. The Borax can provide a natural flea protection to your home for up to one year!