Flea Control

What types of flea control works and what do I do first?

Fleas can infest your pet, your home your furniture, and drive you crazy. All you can think of is how to get rid of them.

I hope this page will help you remedy any flea problem you might have and help you maintain your home and pet to keep them from coming back.

Some things I've learned

First I'll give you a little bit of information I learned so you can understand more about them. Fleas prefer temperatures 65 - 80 degrees and 75 - 85 percent humidity. That pretty much covers all the climates of our populated Earth. So no matter where you live, you have the potential of having a flea problem.

Dogs and cats contract fleas mostly from other animals, but can also get them from their environment such as the yard or their bedding. A flea bite will cause itching, but some animals are highly sensitive to flea saliva and one bite can cause severe itching on the entire body.


How to find them

Fleas most often hide on the underside of your dog or cat, but also like to congregate at the base of the tail and top of the forehead. If you suspect your pet has fleas, but cannot find them, you can search your pet for "flea dirt".

"Flea dirt" is what fleas leave behind after biting your pet. It has the appearance of coffee grounds or black pepper. To check if your pet has flea dirt, use a fine tooth comb around the base of the tail and place any specs on a wet white paper towel. If the specs turn red, your pet most likely has fleas and needs to be treated.

"Spot-On" Preventatives

There are many flea control devices and medicines on the market. There are some that work, some that don't, and even more in-between. There are home remedies such as Sevin Dust and the old reliable Flea Collar. Over the past several years after talking with my customers on which products they use, personal use of products, and researching product information, this is what I have collected on the most popular flea control products. Individual effectiveness of any product on your pet is unique to your pet.

Advantage, K9 AdvantixII, and Frontline Plus are the most popular "spot-on" treatments amongst my customers. Frontline has released their patent and generic brands such as Fiproguard Plus are available.

Pill Form Preventatives

Comfortis is a pill form of flea protection with the same 30 day effect as the "spot-on" treatments.

Capstar is a pill also and is effective for 24 hours.

  • It is an ideal way to quickly rid your dog of fleas before taking them to the vet or the groomers.
  • It is good protection for your dog if you've just given him/her a bath before their monthly flea treatment. It is recommended to wait 24 hours after a dog's bath to apply the "spot-on" treatments.


Preventative Maintenance

Fertilizer

Early Spring I fertilize my yard and around my house. I never had a problem with flea control on my dog and my neighbor pointed out to me that it was the fertilizer. Living in a farming community, I have a lot of customers that tell me they just have too much yard to fertilize. They might have a 5 acre yard or more. But you don't have to fertilize the whole yard, just the areas around your house and a good perimeter out. I would suggest 30 to 50 yards out. Just imagine standing on the football field. How far out will your dog venture to pee before he/she comes back to you? That's probably all you need to fertilize.

I have theories on how fertilizer works, but I don't know scientifically why it works, but it has kept my yard flea free for many years. I still have grasshoppers and bees, but no chiggers or fleas. You might want to try this and see if it works for you. For flea control in my yard, I use Scotts Weed and Feed.

Happy Jack Kennel Dip II

Use this as flea control in your kennels and grooming area. Do not put it directly on any animals or food preparation areas. It has a 30 day residual. DO NOT USE ON CATS. I don't even let my cat in the same rooms I've treated. Read the precautions, wear gloves, be very careful since this is a highly concentrated chemical.

One day a customer brought me their dog to groom and it was highly infested with fleas. We got the dog cleaned up, and we got the shop cleaned up. However, them jumping little varmints made their way to the back room and had a party. By the time I found that the back room was infested with fleas, it was time to bring out some heavy duty flea killing equipment. I tried several flea sprays and bug bombs over the next several days but to no avail. Each night I would saturate the floor (hardwood floor) with whatever spray I had bought and the next morning I would walk in with my white socks to see if they were dead. Of course they weren't. One day my groomer suggested the Happy Jack Kennel Dip II. She told me it would kill mange and that anything that would kill mange would kill fleas. So that night I got a bottle, added it to my mop water and sopped the back room floor. There had to have been thousands of fleas in there and the next morning when I gave the room the white sock test, not a single flea jumped on me.

This was too wonderful to be true, so I asked my Vet what he thought about it. He told me not to use it on any animals because it was a highly concentrated chemical. But I could us it as flea control in the kennel area when properly diluted, and to keep the animals out of the room until the mixture had completely dried. I usually wait a couple of hours before I let them in a treated room. I also use it outside the house to keep the insects from coming in. It has done a great job at keeping the ants out this year. I just spray the perimeter of the house. As long as it doesn't rain, it will stay effective for 30 days or so.

How do you control fleas?

Please share with me your flea control method.

For questions or comments, you can contact me @Animal Ark Grooming or in my NEW Facebook comment section below.

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Flea Control Tip 
Teresa, One thing that my wife and I have done in the past was to wash our dogs in lye soap. There is something about the lye that has a natural repelling …

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