Easy flea Treatment Guide 101

Flea treatment for dogs can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming especially if you have to drive your dog down to the vet, hence preventing a flea infestation is always the best route to go.

Fortunately, there are flea medication and home flea treatment remedies for dogs as well as repellent and powders for flea control on dogs which will be discussed below.

Life of a Flea

A flea undergoes four different developmental stages namely egg, larva, pupa, and adult, it takes the flee 12 days to complete this metamorphosis, especially during the summer months

Flea Lifecycle HD
Flea Lifecycle HD

A flea undergoes four different developmental stages namely egg, larva, pupa, and adult, it takes the flee 12 days to complete this metamorphosis, especially during the summer months

The flea eggs are laid on the skin of your dog and fall off easy all-around your home and outdoors

Signs And Symptoms of Flea Infestation

Dog owners all over the world have to deal with fleas on their dogs especially  if the dogs are allowed to play outside or have a backyard for the dog,

Fleas aren’t easy to get rid of, it’s of utmost importance that you as the owner must keep this pest under control for the overall health of your dog,

This all starts with being able to  effectively identify the signs and symptoms of a flea infestation

Here are some actions your dog exhibits when troubled by fleas

Almost every time they scratch and bite areas such as the head, neck and places close to the beginning of the tail, these are areas where fleas concentrate on, this continues scratching and biting of a particular part of the dog’s body may cause the dogs skin to turn red and sometimes inflamed

Also if your dog is of the hairy breed it causes its hair to fall off showing a patchy or bald area, some dogs are allergic to fleas. and it’s even worse for them.

Flea allergy

dermatitis is suffered by dogs who are allergic to the saliva of fleas leading to more aggressive biting and scratching of the infested body parts which lead to the development of infections. Fleas do transmit diseases and tapeworm to dogs.

Fleas can be spotted on the skin surface of the dog, they [fleas] do not like light so your best chance to spot one would be to look in areas such as under the furry areas, inner thighs or the belly regions, they have this dark copper-like colouring and about the size of a small button,

In a situation where your dog had fleas but for some reason it no longer is on the skin of the dog, look for flea faeces, this looks like tiny specks of red pepper, which majorly consists of digested blood if you find some do pick it up and pace on a clean sheet and should it spread out like a bloodstain then you know its “flea dirt” and your pet, as well as your home, probably has fleas

Just like every other thing concerning health, the prevention of flea infestation is better than the flea treatment.

How To Prevent And Control Fleas Infestation On Your Dog

Controlling flea infestations not only means that the fleas on your pets having been killed, but also that your home which is your pet’s environment is free of these blood-sucking parasites.

The average flea lays up to 50 eggs weekly and within months mature blood-sucking flea is fully developed provided a conducive temperature of 60 – 82 degrees and humidity of 70- 90% meaning for some parts of the world the presence of a single female flea means an invasion is forthcoming!.

Dogs, cats, and your homes are all susceptible to this invasion by the “fleas” fortunately fleas can’t fly but they do jump from an infected dog or environment to another.

This section of this article will be focused on how to prevent fleas in the first place which is arguably more important to you the dog owner than to the dog so.

Indoor Flea Prevention

Vacuuming dog beddings
Vacuuming dog beddings

Vacuuming, sweeping and washing of rugs, drapes, your dog’s bedding, furniture edges, as well as your cars garages, pet carrier or strollers and any other place where you know your dogs spends most of its time indoor as just this process can eradicate about 50% of flea eggs,

This should be done regularly and supported by chemicals that are designed to kill fleas eggs and larvae some of this products include flea powder for dog bedding, carpet sprays, this products must be used only on materials and not on the dog itself, a break down of the steps to take to control flea infestation indoors

Steps to Take to Control Fleas Indoors

Step 1 Complete Vacuuming

Vacuuming of high traffic areas daily, that is areas where your pet moves through a lot, examples include dog doors and entrances, these areas must be vacuumed daily, while areas with low traffic can be vacuumed weekly, after each vacuuming proper discarding of the waste must be carried out, a point of caution do not vacuum your flea collar should you have one, as this can cause toxic fumes that are harmful to both you and your pet

Step 2 Pet Bedding Hygiene

Make sure you wash your pet’s bedding twice weekly or at least once a week, additionally you can treat the beddings of your pets after washing with flea control products that contain an adulticide and flea egg or larval growth inhibitor.

Other indoor areas such as cars, pet carriers, garages, dog crates, and basement or anywhere you know your pet like to spend its time

Step 3 using the right product

Using the right product eliminates the remaining 50% of fleas that left behind after proper washing and cleaning has been done.

Foggers,

These are excellent for large areas like your sitting room.

Surface sprays

These are good for hard to reach areas like mouldings, baseboards, cracks on floors/furniture and underneath furniture, these are areas foggers can’t reach.

Caution: When choosing a product to treat your flea infestation always take into account the presence of children, other pets- fish birds etc, people with health conditions like asthma, and in cases of severe infestation you may need the help of a pro exterminator.

Next, we see how to prevent fleas outside your home.

Outdoor Flea Treatment and Prevention

Fleas grow and develop in areas that don’t receive enough light, dark places, humid and moist environments, such as leaf litter, debris piles, one rule of thumb is that if your dog doesn’t enjoy staying in a particular spot or part of the house almost always fleas won’t like that spot or area too, cause they typically prefer the same locations.

Preventing flea infestation must be carried out for both indoor and outdoor, fleas exist in various locations such as the yard, the dog house, dog crates, and your home surroundings, places where your pet lands after jumping as this tends to disperse the eggs from the hairs of your dog and any place your dog spends most of its time outdoors in areas such as patios, under porches, dog crates, dog houses, one of the best time of the year to carry out flea prevention measures are spring and we discuss why.

Spring is the best time for outdoor flea prevention cleaning

Spring is the best time to get in front of the flea life cycle, making spring cleaning of your outdoor very important and should be taken very seriously, also fleas take their time to develop during spring making them easy picking for their natural predators.

Springtime is just before fleas start to hatch their eggs, clearing off all moist and shady debris and gather them in a compost pile, as the temperature of the environment heats up the composts begins to break down destroys the flea eggs,

leaving some plant for some wildlife that is the fleas natural predators also helps and here’s how?

Using the Fleas Natural Predator

By encouraging the fleas natural predators especially birds that feed on the ground and ground beetle, ants you encourage this predator by planting native herbs and plants such as peppermint, pennyroyal, also leaving your lawn a little bit taller at about half grass, songbirds such as the starling and sparrow, in particular, are easy to feed year-round and would work on the ground feeding on adult fleas making them your own homegrown flea exterminators.

Even after taking all these preventive measures and you still find fleas on your dogs then you might begin to ask where are they still coming from? The answer to that 80% of the time is wildlife.

Discouraging Other Wild Animals

Discouraging wildlife animals such as chipmunks, squirrels, from your yard or lawn by not feeding them or providing any suitable habitat from them would reduce your flea infestation drastically, as we’ve mentioned above before discouraging all wildlife from your outdoor environment consider leaving the fleas natural predator as those help keep the number low.

Diatomaceous Earth

This is also known as DE is a geological deposit made up of fossilized marine skeletons and freshwater organisms such as diatoms and algae when these skeletons are crushed into a powder they break up forming tiny pieces of glass resembling talcum powder, which is easily picked up by hairy bodies of fleas,

Why DE is a good pesticide is because as it’s picked up by fleas it scratches through its protective wax layers, and the fleas absorb some of the DE, making the fleas lose water rapidly and dry up and die, the powder also repels fleas and other pests.

A similar principle probably accounts for the fact that birds frequently take dust baths, presumably to rid themselves of parasites.

DE should be applied in corners of the house, on the yard and everywhere the dog plays, it’s not harmful to garden dwellers and to plants.

Although once fleas come in contact with another pesticide they die instantly no further protection is offered by this pesticide like DE which takes its time but still protects the environment after the pest has long been killed, it is residual but not toxic to dogs and humans.

The major health precaution during the application of DE is to wear a mask to prevent inhalation when large areas are been treated with power duster.

In case you’ve taken all these preventive measures but you still got fleas on your dogs, let’s take a look at home remedies for flea s on dogs and other treatments options.

Treatment of Fleas and tick For Dogs

For effective treatment of fleas and its eggs on dogs, the dog, as well as its surroundings (your home) including but not limited to beddings, grass, furniture, dog crates, dog house, dog pathways etc, must be treated at the first sign of a flea and its not a one-time-kill-all method, the treatment must be continued regularly, because delay is dangerous as it may lead to an infestation.

There are multiple treatment methods but for clarity sake, I’ll divide them into 2 categories

  • Home Or Natural Remedies For Fleas On Dogs

  • Chemical Treatment For Fleas On Dogs

HOME OR NATURAL  FLEA TREATMENT REMEDIES FOR DOGS

We recommend using this method if you’ve recently noticed the presence of fleas and have taken preventive measure s to future proof your home from fleas, as these methods are best enjoyed by your dogs.

Here are a few really easy home or natural remedies that get rid of fleas on your dog.

Give Your Dog A Good Wash.                                                                           

Flea Treatment
Flea Treatment

A warm water bath with some dog shampoo will kill most of the adult fleas if not all, this method is recommended as the first action for small to moderate flea infestation, if its a serious outbreak consider using the almighty Apple cider Vinegar (ACV). 

                               

Treat Your Dog With Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).                                         

Flea Treatment
Flea Treatment

Apple cider vinegar can be used in two forms – Orally and Topically, here’s the simple recipe for oral application,   

Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into your dogs drinking water, this should be done at least once in two days, the ACV makes the skin of your dog acidic which fleas find inhabitable

To apply ACV topically mix equal amounts of ACV and warm water in a sprayer and spray over the coat of your dog, paying maximum attention to areas that are prone to flea attacks such as underbelly, under the legs, around the ears and base of the tail.

 

Apply Lavender Essential Oil                                                                            

Lavender Essential Oil
flea treatment

This method is done with a lovers touch and here’s how, after washing your dog’s coat with warm water and shampoo apply a few drops of lavender oil on parts prone to flea attack such as the back of the neck and behind the ears, using your fingers to gently massage the essential oil into your dog’s skin and coat                                                  

Apply Rosemary

Rosemary
flea treatment

This involves the preparation of a flea dip using rosemary by boiling 2 to 3 cups of rosemary sprigs for 25 to 30 minutes, make sure to use enough water to cover the rosemary completely after boiling remove the strain the liquid and discard the rosemary leaves. As the liquid warms down to soak your dog with the liquid in a large bucket and let it dry naturally                                                                                                       

Use A Special Flea Comb

Flea Comb
Flea Comb

A comb specifically designed to remove fleas, although any fine-toothed comb would work, the flea combs work by lifting up fleas as you comb through your dogs’ coat, ensure that as you comb it reaches the skin and not just the fur as some fleas may be left underneath

 

Create A Lemon Juice Cream For Your Dogs Coat

Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice

Watered-down lemon juice is toxic to fleas so applying this directly to your dog’s coats will kill off most of the fleas on your dog for effectiveness ensure you rub the juice thoroughly on your dog’s coat for some time to kill off all the fleas, alternatively you can mix the lemon juice with some warm water and spray it on your dog using a sprayer.                                   

Ineffective Flea treatments?

  • Flea traps are effective in detecting the presence of fleas and may provide some control (Oi 1996).
  • Ultrasonic devices were ineffective in managing flea populations (Hinkle et al. 1990).
  • Leaves of southern bayberry, Myrica cerifera, have not been found to be repellent to cat fleas (W.H. Kern and R.S. Patterson unpublished data).
  • Fresh bayberry, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, rosemary or citronella have not been documented to effectively control fleas (Oi 1996).

In conclusion, Flea treatment should only be a last resort, as prevention with the use of the home remedies is always the best 

Did we miss any in this list? comment below 

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