By Courtney Emken
co-written by Jen Larson, KPA-CTP, and Bart Emken, CPTD-KA
We’re quickly heading towards peak flea season here in Texas. Fleas thrive in hot and humid conditions; sound like our summers to you? As the temperature and precipitation steadily rise, dog owners need to be on guard for any and all signs of infestation.
In this article we’ll detail the top tactics for fighting fleas once they’re in your home and discuss the best methods for flea prevention. Let’s dive in.
The First Step In Fighting Fleas— Don’t Panic
We’re not trying to sound dismissive. We’ve just seen far too many situations where someone finds a few fleas and overreacts. You don’t have to quarantine your house straight away.
If you’ve only found fleas on your dog or in isolated areas around the house, then you don’t have a home invasion on your hands. It takes quite a long time for fleas to transfer from pets to floors and carpets.
That’s why rushing to “easy” fixes like flea bombs or flea collars can end up doing more harm than good. Flea bombs carry significant health risks for both you and your dog, and are proven to be largely ineffective. Flea collars only kill fleas around the neck, and can cause injuries like:
- Chemical burns
- Allergic reactions
The chemicals in these compounds can adversely affect dogs, cats, and humans— especially children. If you’re still finding large amounts of fleas in the house after you’ve treated your dog, then it’s best to contact a professional and let them take care of the situation instead.
Luckily, if the infestation is restricted to fido’s fur then there are plenty of solutions you can implement from the comfort of your home.
How To Quickly Kill Fleas In Your Dog’s Coat
First, you need to apply an immediate treatment that eliminates the majority of the flea population. This prevents further spreading and gives your dog instant relief. We prefer to use Capstar, an orally ingested pill that kills fleas within a couple hours.
If your dog has a problem with pills, then you can try a topical flea remover. These come in various forms, such as:
After the removers do their job, thoroughly rinse your dog with warm water. This will wash away the chemicals, dead fleas, and hopefully some of the eggs and larvae as well. Make sure to sanitize their bedding too.
Unfortunately, these treatments only kill adult fleas, leaving larvae and eggs largely unharmed. If you fail to follow up with a flea growth inhibitor, then you’ll be fighting a renewed infestation in a few weeks or less. Pick up Frontline or Frontline Plus, both of these products will reliably prevent fleas (and ticks for Plus) from growing in your dog’s coat.
Using Herbal Remedies To Prevent Flea Infestations
If you’re uncomfortable with using these kinds of chemicals on your dog’s body, then there are holistic and herbal remedies you can utilize for prevention instead. In this article we detail how to prepare and utilize your own holistic prevention tools, such as:
- Bandana flea collars
- Lemon flea combs
- Herbal flea spray
- Bug repellent bracelets
- Garlic & yeast supplementals
Unfortunately, these remedies do little to help once fleas are actually on your dog’s fur or in your house. You have to be absolutely diligent and consistent with routine applications, especially during the peak of flea season.
If you’re worried about fleas and want more prevention tips, tricks, and advice, please contact us today. We’ve been running a busy dog kennel for over twenty years now— suffice to say we’ve dealt with our fair share of fleas.