If you have dogs, you're probably used to seeing fleas occasionally. A few fleas here and there are pretty common, especially if your dogs run around outdoors. Occasionally though, fleas get out of hand, and it can happen quickly. When you have an infestation, your home and yard can be overrun with the biting pests making your life and your dogs' lives miserable. Here are some tips that will help you get a flea infestation under control.
Seek Veterinarian Treatment for the Dogs
Start by taking your dogs to the vet so you can treat them safely for fleas. You'll probably need prescription strength flea medication to kill fleas and keep them off your dogs. Buying flea treatments over the counter may not be effective, and they may not be safe if you don't use them properly or get the right dose. You probably don't want to waste time with over-the-counter flea collars and dips when you need to get rid of fleas fast.
Vacuum Your Home Frequently
One of the best ways to get rid of fleas is to capture them in your home vacuum. Fleas love to hide in carpet, and if they are repelled from your dogs by the medication, they'll hide in carpet and other upholstery until they can jump on you. You may need to vacuum on a daily basis until the infestation is under control. Focus on carpeted areas and the areas where your dogs like to spend time such as the couch and bed.
Hire a Flea Exterminator
If you see fleas occasionally, you might be able to control them with DIY methods, but when you're dealing with an outbreak where fleas cover your ankles when you come home, it's time to call in an expert. The exterminator will probably have you prepare for the treatment by vacuuming thoroughly and washing your bedding and the dogs' beds in hot water. You may also need to take steps to cover food and protect toys and other items of a personal nature.
A flea exterminator uses chemicals that are stronger than you can buy at the store, but since they are used by a professional, they are applied safely. Your family and your pets will need to leave the home while the exterminator applies the treatment. In addition to treating the house, the exterminator will probably treat the yard as well. Since fleas don't stay in sunny areas for long, the treatment will focus on shady spots where your dogs like to relax such as on a porch or under a shade tree.
Prepare for a Second Outbreak
A flea exterminator will do what they can to solve the problem However, there will probably be eggs left behind that will hatch out new fleas within a week or two after your home is treated. Because the chemicals used have a residual effect, these young fleas will quickly die off. To be sure, your exterminator may follow up with another treatment a few weeks after the first one.
You want to act fast when you notice fleas are out of control because they can make your dogs miserable. Your dogs could develop skin problems, allergies, or other medical side effects from the bites. Not only that, you don't want to be covered with flea bites either. The quickest, safest, and surest way to kill the fleas is to work with a professional. Once the fleas are gone, be sure to continue your veterinarian's recommended flea medication so your dogs stay flea free all season.
If you'd like to learn more, contact a local flea exterminator or a local pet clinic.