If you suspect that your pet does have a flea infestation examine the animal closely by separating the hair on the animals back or flank area. You want to be able to view the skin of the animal as well as possible and it will always be easier to detect fleas on those pets that have a lighter skin tone. During your search you might actually be able to see a flea scurrying by, but more likely you will see the evidence that the flea has left behind. |
There are a number of flea treatment products for pets available now that are both easy-to-use and effective. Effective flea control requires treatment of both the pet and the home, and the use of products that address the entire flea life cycle.
Any of you who have been faced with the regrettable task of dealing with fleas truly know how trying it can be, and how incredibly quickly the problem can spread to other pets and to your home. The pests in question are tiny, brown, wingless insects that survive on the blood of your pet. Unfortunately once they have found that food source they are very difficult to get rid of.
To determine whether or not what you see is actually flea dirt, take some wet paper towel and wipe it over areas where the dirt is most prominent. If the dirt on the wet paper towel has dissolved into red blood then you can bet that you are indeed dealing with a flea problem.
Now let's get down to bathing your flea infested friend. Use an herbal shampoo that contains a combination of any of pine cedar, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, juniper or geranium. Before you wet down your pet here's a handy trick to ensure that you are successful in killing all of those nasty fleas. Know going into this process that as soon as you wet the animal down, those fleas are going to run for higher and dryer ground; this means they will flea (no pun intended) to the head area. You should never douse your pet's head with water and certainly not soap, so in order to prevent the fleas from escaping make sure that you first pour a thick layer of the shampoo all around the head and neck area; as close to the top of the head and underneath the chin area as you can get. Pour small amounts of water with your hand onto the soapy area and spend some time building up a thick, soapy barrier that will kill the fleas that attempt to pass through it. Proceed by wetting down and lathering up the rest of the animal's body while frequently returning to massage and re-lather the neck area.
Fleas are very difficult to kill and it is better for your pet if you can handle the problem with one good bath rather than several of them, so be sure to leave the shampoo on for at least 15 minutes or more while continuing to massage the soap deep into the animal's fur. Rinse the animal thoroughly and dry it off well, especially during cold weather.
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