If you have a flea infestation there are several steps that must be taken to effectively eliminate and prevent a recurrence.
Treating Your Pet:
Topicals: All pets in the household must be placed on a topical flea inhibitor for at least 3 months to eliminate the fleas. Products we recommend as safe and effective are:
Dogs: Parastar Plus
Cats: Revolution, EasySpot
Systemic: To prevent a recurrence your pets should also be placed on an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). IGRs are birth control for fleas. They prevent the flea eggs from hatching. This is the most effective way to break the flea life cycle and prevent a re-infestation. The products we recommend are Program and Sentinel Spectrum. We carry the Program injection for cats, which lasts 6 months, and Sentinel Spectrum for dogs, which is a monthly oral tablet. Sentinel Spectrum is also a heartworm and intestinal parasite preventative.
If the pet is very heavily infested we may recommend using Capstar. Capstar is a pill that is given orally that kills all adult fleas on the pet in approximately 4 hours. It has no lasting effects and does not kill all flea stages, so it must be used in conjunction with a topical flea preventative and IGR.
Treating Your House:
- Vacuuming is the most effective tool in the arsenal against fleas, though there are specific steps that need to be taken for it to be effective.
- Fleas are photophobic, meaning they are hiding from light in cracks, crevices and underneath furniture. Vacuum all floor surfaces: carpet, tile, linoleum, wood, etc. Fleas live in the crevices and around the edges so vacuum the edges of the rooms, closets, and underneath all furniture. Vacuum furniture, pull up the seat cushions, vacuum the mattress and the box spring.
- When you are done empty the canister outside your home into a garbage bag or dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag outside your home in a garbage bag, and away from your pets. Vacuuming does not kill, it only collects.
- Most IMPORTANT: do it every day for at least 2 weeks and continue at least once a week for the next several weeks.
Wash all items that the pet has any contact with: your bedding, pet beds, throw pillows, afghans, etc. Wash them in the hottest possible water that the item can withstand. The sanitary setting is ideal.
Mycodex Plus Spray (environmental control aerosol household spray)- If the above steps are not effective within a couple of weeks for reducing the flea population the final step will be to treat your home chemically. We recommend using a premise spray called Mycodex Environmental Spray. We know it to be safe and effective. All areas of the house the pet inhabits should be sprayed plus under furniture, up drapery, in closets, etc. It kills the adult fleas and has an IGR that lasts in the environment for up to 7 months
If all of these steps used in conjunction do not work then you may need to call in a professional pest control expert. However, you will need to continue to treat your pets with an IGR to prevent fleas from re-infesting your home.
- We DO NOT recommend using bombs. Flea bombs go up and then come down, they do not get under anything which is where the fleas are hiding. Flea bombs also expose you, your family and pets to very toxic chemicals due to their surface-coating nature, instead of being targeted toward fleas.
- Treating your yard is ineffective because fleas do not survive out there, sunlight kills them. Again this unnecessarily exposes you and your pets to very toxic chemicals.
- Beware of over the counter topicals, collars, powders, sprays, dips and shampoos due to ineffectiveness. The chemicals they use may be outdated and possibly unsafe for your pet.