Summer is in full effect and fleas are a terrible pest that flourish in the warmer weather. In fact, in many places they are exceptionally bad this year – meaning flea infestation is a real problem. Once you have a flea infestation, it can be very difficult to get things back to normal. With fleas being uncomfortable pests as is, dogs with flea allergies are even more at risk for suffering. There are some tips and tricks to managing a flea infestation and making sure these nasty creatures leave and stay away.
#1 – Vacuum Every Week
Making sure you regularly vacuum every room your pet has access to is one of the better ways to keep a flea infestation at bay. Carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture and dog beds all need to be cleaned weekly. If fleas are known to be present, vacuuming even twice a week is beneficial. Make sure to empty the vacuum container or toss the bag, because fleas can get out and claim your home as theirs again.
#2 – Wash Bedding
Vacuuming dog beds and sleeping areas is easy, but it’s recommended you wash all rugs, beds and other sleeping areas frequently. Any place your dog sleeps that can be washed in the washing machine should be, as this will greatly help reduce the chances of a flea infestation in your home.
#3 – Keep Up Grooming
Whether you’re using medicated products or natural shampoos to keep a flea infestation away, stick to what’s working. Bathing and shampooing dogs will wash of and drown the living fleas on them. It will also keep them away should you be using any type of repellent shampoo. Using a flea comb will also physically remove any live fleas on your pet so you can kill and dispose of them.
#4 – Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a natural substance made from fossilized freshwater and marine organisms. It’s a fine, white powder that is perfectly safe to use in your home, yard and even on your pet. So you can fight a flea infestation on all fronts. The only danger of DE is when it is inhaled, so keep it away from you and your pet’s airways. It works by drying out and killing fleas and also acts as a repellent. Unlike chemical products, fleas cannot become immune to DE over time. Simply sprinkle and rub in the DE anywhere you want to treat, including rubbing into your dog’s coat.
#5 – Flea Traps
Flea traps work well for removing fleas in certain areas. You’re going to need multiple traps if you want to remove adult fleas from every room. They won’t control a flea infestation on their own. But they can be successfully used with a full program that disrupts the flea lifecycle. These can be bought in stores or homemade and typically use a light source to attract the fleas. You may also find ones that use water, honey or another substance to capture and drown them.
#6 – Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast works in the simplest way possible – by making your dog unappealing to fleas. You won’t be able to use it to nix a flea infestation in your home. But it can help keep your dog comfortable while you battle one. Just add a teaspoon of powdered brewer’s yeast to your pup’s food to benefit from it’s effects!
#7 – Citronella
Citronella is known to be a natural repellent. Growing some around your home may help keep away pests. A spray containing citronella that can be used on your dog, on your furniture, carpets, and anywhere else pests might be lurking is a good idea if you’re facing a flea infestation. It repels fleas, ticks, flies, and mosquitos. Be sure to only use products that are safe for dogs.