Fleas are most often an indoor problem, but outdoor infestation on the property surrounding your home may also become a problem. Pets with flea sensitivity will not respond to flea treatment if it does not include environmental control. |
If your pets spend most of their time outdoors, it's important to treat these areas, but you should also include indoor flea and tick control as part of your overall flea control plan.
Attention to your yard is crucial if the climate is warm, especially if it is warm year-round.
Failing to treat a large flea population in your yard can undo all of the hard work you've done inside your house and with your pet. Remove dead plants and other debris where fleas can hide and breed. Use sprays to treat areas where your pet rests frequently, such as patios, along foundations and under porches. You may need to reapply sprays after rainstorms to renew efficacy. Avoid using products containing harmful chemicals, as they can pollute nearby water supplies when washed away by storms or irrigation. Regular watering and lawn maintenance combined with a healthy dose of sunshine should prove effective in controlling fleas in your yard.
* Treat damp areas that are protected from sunlight, such as crawl spaces * Remove foliage to allow sunlight into shady areas to inhibit flea growth * Screen off damp, shady areas to prevent your pet from accessing them * Outdoor treatments are available in spray, granule, concentrate and powder form
To control a serious flea infestation, repeat your outdoor flea treatment every 2-3 weeks for at least 6 weeks. Once the fleas are under control, maintenance treatments should be performed every 4-6 weeks thereafter.
Life Cycle: Different treatments work better during different stages of a flea's life cycle. Using a combination of treatments will prove most effective.
Insect Growth Regulators (IGR): These chemicals are effective in treating the root of your flea problem by preventing larvae from developing. They are safer than traditional insecticides, helping you ensure your pet won't become ill from pest treatments. Common types include methoprene and pyriproxyfen.
Organic Treatment: If you prefer not to use chemicals, there are some natural means of flea prevention that may prove effective. Adding vinegar to your pet's water and garlic to its food may deter fleas from biting. Spraying your pet with a diluted, flower-scented shampoo may also prove effective in preventing fleas.
Multipurpose Products: Fleas aren't the only pesky parasites that attack dogs and cats. Look for flea collars that prevent ticks and other pests in addition to fleas as well as oral medications that prevent worms.
You'll want to have extra vacuum bags handy when trying to get rid of fleas. Change the bag as soon as you're done vacuuming to prevent fleas from escaping.
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