If you are a pet owner who has started to feel persistently itchy and noticed a few unexplained bites, chances are you have been invaded by fleas. Although this is something you will understandably be reluctant to shout form the rooftops, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed, even the cleanest of homes and the healthiest of pets can fall prey to this most annoying of parasites.
Of course, this will be of little solace to you if you cannot invite visitors to your home for fear of them itching and scratching! If you have experienced this little problem before then you may well spend the first few days kidding yourself that it’s not happening again. Whilst this is quite a normal reaction – it is not a useful one. The truth is, the sooner you tackle the issue, the better it will be for all involved.
So how do you go about tackling this problem?
Well, the first thing to do when you suspect fleas are making themselves at home is to follow the advice of the RSPCA. They say that ‘a good way to check for fleas is to groom your pet using a fine-toothed comb held over a white surface such as a piece of kitchen towel. Any fleas or flea droppings will be deposited on the surface. Add a few drops of water and if the droppings turn reddish brown it is very likely your pet has fleas.’
Once you have confirmed fleas are present, you need to declare war and take on the little blighters in a two-pronged attack. This basically means that you need to treat both your pet and your home, as fleas can survive in the environment without a host for many months.
First treat your pet (or pets). The easiest way to do this is to use one of the many ‘spot on’ treatments that are available these days. These efficient and effective treatments are ideal as they are easy to apply and work very quickly indeed. In fact, all you need to do is apply the treatment at the base of your pet’s neck and then wait. Within 48 hours, all of the fleas on your animal will be dead.
Caution – You must NEVER use dog flea treatments on cats as canine flea solutions contain chemicals which are poisonous to felines.
As mentioned before, this is just phase one of a two-pronged attack. Next, you will have to tackle the fleas’ habitat (i.e. your house).
To do this, you will need to wash all your bedding, thoroughly vacuum all of your furniture, floors and skirting boards, and then spray a domestic insecticide (such as Pest Control or Rentokill Flea Killer) on carpets, or deploy a flea fogger in areas where fumigation is needed.
Once you have done this, you can declare victory!!
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