Pests like fleas need to be controlled inside and outside the house to prevent an infestation. Thank goodness we never had uninvited fleas, because I hear they like to overstay their welcome…not that anyone ever welcomes them home!
If your poor pet (dog or cat) is frantically scratching and biting at their fur you could have a flea problem. Even if you cannot see them right off, they can upset your pet as they bite and leave a substance that can also act as an irritant to many of our furry children. Fleas love to live on pet hosts as they love their blood. Fleas bite us, but cannot live on us, that is a relief!!!
Before grabbing insect killers from the supermarket shelf, ask your vet or an exterminator what is non-toxic and safe around pets and children. An environmental flea control suggested by vets and exterminators is Methoprene which stops fleas from reproducing, it does not kill fleas. For your yards there are toxic and non-toxic options which we will describe in a minute.
For pets there are many preventatives on the market that should be used at the start of Spring until frost hits if you are in a more Northern states and in the South you should ask your vet. Dogs and Cats use different preventatives and you should never use one type for both. Ask your vet for liquid or pill form recommendations. Natural, holistic remedies are also available, but our vet feels they may not be as effective.
In the home the following is recommended:
- Vacuum daily-rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, dog and cat beds, baseboards. Be sure to trash your vacuum bags and thoroughly wash out the vacuum’s cannister.
- Wash all bed linen and your pet bed covers again once a week.
- Steam clean your pet’s favorite resting areas.
- Remove plants that attract deer and leaf litter
- Be sure garbage is covered so it does not attract racoons and rodents who often carry ticks and fleas.
- Spread cedar chips and spray cedar oil in your yard, this has the additional benefit of working on mosquitoes, ants, and ticks.
- Lastly, (although I do not think I would have the stomach for this) you can get microscopic worms that kill flea larvae and flea cocoons called nematodes, available at pet and/or home or garden stores.