You want to protect every member of your family from pest threats - including your dog. But sometimes knowing exactly how to keep your dog safe isn’t easy. It seems like pest problems can spring up almost overnight. How do you take care of pests like fleas when they show up? And, maybe more important, how do you prevent fleas from showing up in the first place?
How to Prevent Fleas
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your dog from picking up fleas and to keep the fleas from ending up all over your home. Even better, you don’t have to do all of it alone. A pest control company can make all the difference in your prevention efforts to keep your dog safe. So, to prevent fleas, here are a few things you need to do:
Limit Opportunities for Your Dog to Pick Up Fleas
Fleas can come into contact with your dog in various ways, but some of these ways you can prevent. One of the most common ways for a dog to pick up fleas is by spending a lot of time outside. So limit the time your dog spends outside without your supervision. Going on walks and playing in the park are fine if you keep an eye on your dog and avoid areas that are not well maintained.
If your dog does spend a lot of time out in your yard, make sure the yard is tidy. Fleas like to hide in long grasses and shrubs, so if you keep your grass and shrubs trimmed, it’s harder for the fleas to hide.
It’s also important to keep your dog away from wild or stray animals because it’s very likely that your dog would pick up fleas from those animals.
Check Your Dog for Fleas Often
It’s absolutely essential to check your dog for fleas regularly. This is especially true if your dog has spent a lot of time outside or in another situation that could put her in contact with fleas. But even if you think your dog couldn’t have come into contact with fleas, it’s still a good idea to check regularly. Fleas can find their way to your dog even when you take a lot of precaution to avoid them.
According to the CDC, when you check your dog for fleas, it’s most important to check your dog’s neck, back legs, tail, and belly. Go through your dog’s fur carefully, and keep her fur short when possible to make it easier to check for fleas.
Seal Gaps in Your Home
Fleas can get into your home through little crack and gaps in the walls. Honestly, unless you have a pet, there isn’t a lot of reason for fleas to come into your home, so it’s not likely that they’ll come in on their own unless they’re really desperate to find a host.
But it’s still a good idea to close off the gaps and cracks around your home because other pests that come into your home, like mice or rats, could bring fleas in along with them. From there, the fleas could crawl or jump to your dog as well. So closing off those gaps should help prevent this kind of contact with fleas.
Call a Pest Control Company for Preventative Treatments
A pest control company can do preventative treatments on your home to prevent fleas. The treatment can kill the fleas quickly when they come into contact with it. However, if the flea is carried inside on your dog, it may not touch the preventative treatment. So if you do see that there are fleas on your dog and in your home, there are further steps you need to take for your dog’s safety.
What to Do If Fleas Do Show Up
When fleas show up in your home, you need to act quickly because fleas can spread quickly and cause even more problems. Before the fleas have a chance to take over your home, here’s what you should do:
Take Your Dog to the Vet
If a flea bites a human, you can get itchy red bumps on your skin. Aside from that, the reaction shouldn’t be severe or dangerous. But for your dog, it can be a different story. Fleas can cause a lot of health problems for your dog if you don’t get rid of them quickly. So take your dog to the vet and ask about further suggestions for your dog’s safety.
Clean Your Home Thoroughly
One of the best things you can do to get rid of fleas when they show up is clean your home thoroughly. Cleaning will help kill and clear out fleas all over your house.
The first thing you’ll want to do is wash all of your bedding and your dog’s bedding. Washing clothes that could have come in contact with fleas is a good idea as well. Anything you can think of that could have fleas - towels, blankets, toys - should be washed well.
You’ll next want to vacuum your floors and furniture. That means vacuuming baseboards, rugs, under couches and beds, throw pillows, couch cushions, and so on. Doing this at least once a week can help prevent fleas, but if you know there are fleas in your home, you should vacuum more than once a week. Doing so will get rid of baby fleas and flea eggs that could be hiding around your home.
Follow Up With Pest Control
Preventative pest treatment should help limit the spread of fleas in your home. However, if you find fleas in your home that were carried in without contacting the treatment, call a pest control company again. They can come in and do a more targeted treatment to get rid of all of the fleas in your home. It takes a couple of weeks for the treatment to kill all of the fleas, but the end result is far better than any store bought treatment would be.
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