Less-toxic ways to control fleas on your pet
and in your home
You've got cats or dogs - and now you've got fleas. You've got kids, too. How do you go about flea removal without harming the kids?
Pest control is essential when you have children in the home, as adult fleas are not only a nuisance, but their bites can cause irritation and even severe allergies in some people.
What can you do to safely - and effectively beat the buggers? These less-toxic flea removal tips will have your home (and your pet) itch-free in no time.
Flea Removal for Your Pet
- Comb constantly. Groom your cat or dog with a metal flea comb. Focus your efforts on the neck and tail area. Keep a bowl of hot soapy water nearby to drown the captured critters (ruthless enemies call for ruthless treatment).
- Bathe dogs daily. Until a flea problem is under control, bathe dogs daily using shampoo or dog soap (insecticide not required). It's the best way to get a flea infestation on a larger animal in check. Take the comb into the bath for an extra measure of flea catching-and-killing.
- Launder pet bedding regularly. Launder washable pet bedding in hot water and bleach at least weekly.
- Think (and apply) topically. Topical flea-busting treatments, such as fluralaner and imidacloprid, can be applied to an animal's skin in small amounts while wearing gloves. From there, it spreads over the entire body of the pet and is effective for at least one month.
Home Flea Control
After treating the pets, it's time treat the carpets, upholstery, and non-washable cat beds. Our vet recommended Vet-Kem Carpet Premise Spray.
We took home two 16-ounce spray cans from the vet's office and made use of them during a recent flea infestation. We had the flea problem under control within a week.
Other less-toxic ways to treat carpets, pet bedding, and other non-washables:
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) on carpets, upholstered furniture, and pet bedding. DE has little toxicity to humans and animals but gets rid of fleas handily by absorbing the waxy coating on their bodies, causing dehydration and death. Other less toxic choices include borate-based carpet treatments and flea traps.
One of the best - and least toxic - flea control methods is to vacuum - a lot.
Especially in the hot, humid places fleas and their larvae like to hang out.
Flea larvae hide in carpets, so vacuuming does a few good things:
- It pulls some of the fleas out of the carpet or upholstered furniture
- Pre-adult fleas are pushed to leave their cocoons
Preventing Future Fleas
To prevent future flea infestations:
- Restrict your pet to a regular sleeping space so you can better
focus your flea control efforts.
- Choose and use washable pet bedding.