Spring is here and while we all love the beautiful flowers and warm sunny days that are ahead there is something else that comes around that your pets won’t like very much. Fleas.
You know what? I don’t like fleas that much either! I’ve tried a LOT of different things to keep my pets flea free. Living on a farm and with so many animals it feels like a battle I just can’t win. Some of the most popular flea treatments are monthly medications you give to your pets but I have found that these are not effective anymore. I will treat my pets with expensive medications and within a week the fleas are back. A dog trainer we were working with when my yellow lab Luna was a puppy told us that she heard from many other people that those medications are no longer working. Apparently the fleas are evolving, getting stronger and can resist the medications! The thought of Super Fleas is kind of terrifying isn’t it?
Here are some tips to help keep your home flea free and your pets happy
Mow the Lawn
When we first moved into our house we didn’t own a lawn mover for a very long time. With all the other expenses that comes with buying a house, moving to new country and not being allowed to work for 6 months I can’t say a lawn mower was really a high priority on the list of things to buy. Eventually the grass got so tall my pug would get lost when she would go in the backyard to do her business. It was almost 2 feet high! Once we finally mowed the lawn we saw a reduction in the amount of fleas. Keeping your yard neat and tidy definitely helps with flea control.
Consider getting rid of the carpet
The old carpet in our living room was at least 20 years old. It was so nasty I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. We replaced it with vinyl tile. Reducing the carpeting and upholstered items in your home means the fleas will have less areas to hide and lay eggs. Any surface you can wipe down will be easier to clean and disinfect.
If you have carpet clean it regularly
Vacuum often to get rid of flea eggs that may be in the carpet. Dispose of the vacuum bag right away. Before you vacuum sprinkle a mixture or borax and baking soda on the carpet and let is sit for about 20 minutes for extra cleaning power. Have the carpets shampooed once a year to kill clean and nasty stuff hidden in the fibers.
Clean your pets beds.
Wash your pets beds and any blankets they sleep on regularly. My dogs sleep in crates at night so I make sure to wipe them down often and replace the towels on the bottom of the crate every couple of days. If the bedding can’t go in the washer put it in the dryer for a half hour to kill flea eggs and larvae.
Keep you pets groomed
My pug is small so it’s easy to give her regular baths. Plus she loves going into the tub and getting scrubbed down and sprayed with the warm water. She is the one who is most affected by the fleas. I’m not sure if they just like her better than the other dogs but she seems to be bothered by flea bites a lot more.
My poodle needs to have regular haircuts. Poodles don’t shed, they have hair not fur so it needs to be cut. Be keeping their hair as short as possible it cuts down on the fleas too.
Luna, my lab is a pain to give a bath so she doesn’t get them very often. She is big and bulky and will shake water all over the house. She gets baths outdoors with the hose in the summertime. I do make a point to brush her regularly. She sheds like crazy and giving her a good brush helps keep her clean enough.
I also have a little flea comb I use to comb through their fur and take out the fleas one by one. I usually do this while I am watching TV.
Diet is important
Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your pets water dish and sprinkle small amounts of brewers yeast onto their food. Apparently fleas don’t like either of these. Make sure you feed your pets quality food with few preservatives.
Make a natural flea spray
Boil some lemon slices and citrus peels and let the mixture sit overnight. Strain and add to a spray bottle. Spritz lightly on your pets fur. Don’t soak them, just lightly mist.
Remember even if only one of your pets is showing signs of fleas you still need to treat them all. My pets often cuddle together (even the cat) so fleas can easily jump from pet to pet and lay eggs. Fleas are really difficult to get rid of so do your best to fight them off before it becomes a huge problem.
Have any tips to share? Let us know your best flea control methods in the comments!