If your dog (or cat) has ever had fleas, then you know the struggle of getting all of those pesky bugs off of them and off your carpet and clothing. Getting rid of them is difficult due to their lifespan. So how to get rid of fleas and how do you get them off your Doggy Brace? We’re here to tell you.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Pet
Moderate to severe infestations will take months to control (yes, months!) and require a four-step process for complete elimination. It’s not as easy as bathing your cat or dog and putting medication on them. You have to treat the entire problem, not just where you find them on your pet.
Fleas have a complex life cycle. At some stages of their life cycle they are resistant to insecticides and other flea control products. You’ll have to follow-up with treatments 2 or more times every 5-10 days! Additionally, vacuuming and sanitation practices should be ongoing throughout this period to pick up all remaining eggs and juvenile fleas.
The first step is sanitation.
The first thing is learning where fleas breed in your home. They love areas with fibers, such as clothing, carpet, and furniture. They can also breed on curtains, outdoors, and on your pet’s bed! Find the area (or tackle all of them to be safe) and clean them thoroughly. We’re talking washing bedding, rugs, and pet bedding, vacuuming and sweeping floors and carpeted areas and along the edges of walls, and taking your curtains in to be cleaned professionally (with a warning that they may contain fleas).
It may seem like a lot, but you have to be careful with fleas and you need to kill their eggs before they hatch and infest your home.
If you have more than one pet, you have to treat them all for fleas. Thoroughly bathe pets with soap and water, then comb them with a flea comb. Soap will gently kills the fleas as it comes into contact with them. You can use special bath soap, but it is usually unnecessary. Pay careful attention to their face and neck, and the area in front of the tail. Soap will act as a gentle insecticide to kill adult fleas.
Then think about prevention. Talk to your veterinarian about choosing the right flea control product for your pet.
A licensed commercial pest control applicator can help you determine which products are best for inside your home and in the yard. In general, focus outdoor treatment on shady areas and places where pets spend the most amount of time.
Getting Rid of Fleas on Clothes and Braces
The obvious answer is to throw your clothes in the wash, right? Well, this may not work as intended if you just expect the water to kill them.
Generally speaking, adult fleas and their eggs do not easily die in water. They can survive for a long time when submerged and will often float on the top of water due to how lightweight they are. So submerging your clothes in a tub of water to soak just won’t work. There are ways around this, though.
Add dish soap to your washer cycle. This soap, when added to hot water in your washing machine, will make it impossible for them to rest on the water’s surface. They will sink and likely drown in the water.
You can also use laundry detergent and hot water. Fleas in any life stage will either be killed in the course of the wash or will ultimately wind up in the sewer. Any insects that might happen to make it all the way to the dryer will be killed off by more heat and turbulence.
How To Prevent Fleas
There are several ways to prevent fleas without vet intervention. You should:
- Bathe pets regularly, at least once a week (or less, depending on the breed)
- Administer over-the-counter or prescription anti-flea medication as needed and appropriate
- Vacuum the home regularly, especially carpeted areas or areas where pets spend lots of time
- Lunder pets’ bedding regularly, at least once a week
- Launder slipcovers of furniture where pets nap or otherwise spend time, at least once a week
- Use natural anti-flea treatments in and around the home
We hope this guide helped!