Animals get fleas because other animals spread them through your yard or neighborhood. Contrary to myth, ticks crawl up onto tall grass and lie in wait to ambush your dog. If you find that your pet has acquired a new visitor, there are ways to prevent and treat these common pests. Keeping your pets and home safe is best achieved through prevention and consistency.
Prevention is the best way of controlling fleas and ticks but if your pet gets either you want to consider both your home and pets are infested. Work quickly to avoid a larger problem.
For cats and dogs, you can check for fleas and ticks by taking a fine-tooth comb from head to tail several times a day, as a result, this will skim off adult fleas and their eggs as well as ease itching. If there are fleas, wash the comb with water and detergent to kill them.
Spot On Treatments
Spot on treatments, sprays, and oral medications are the most common and effective for preventing fleas and ticks. Consult your vet to find out which is best for you dog or cat.
Spot on treatments are safer, convenient, and more effective than dusts, shampoos, and sprays. They are relatively inexpensive, have few to no side effects and work to prevent as well as kill pests when present.
When treating your pet, “natural” or “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Some citric extracts can be toxic to cats for example. Natural approaches simply do not work. If they did, chemicals would no longer be available. The best way to treat your animal is to consult your veterinarian first and find out what products are recommended for your area. Many fleas are resistant to many over the counter treatments and you want to avoid them. Once again, consult your vet for medications that can treat fleas and ticks. There is a pill that they can take that works for 24 hours and kills most fleas with 4 hours.
Stop Pests From Spreading
Fully grown fleas or ticks are only a small percentage of the total infestation. The majority lies in the eggs, larvae, and pupa which are most likely throughout your home, primarily in your pets’ living areas. Keep your house as dry as possible as fleas and ticks thrive in humidity. Vacuum thoroughly and use an approved insecticide and insect growth regulator. Foggers can be used to kill fleas and ticks beneath carpet. Any fabric that can be washed should be removed and washed in hot water.
In the yard, cut tall grass, trim bushes and shrubs, and rake up all leaf litter under the bushes. Spraying your grass is not only ineffective but bad for the environment. Fleas and ticks are sensitive to sunlight, therefore are found under places and in protected habitats. There are some EPA approved lawn treatments that are to be applied under bushes, in crawl spaces, and along the fence.