Find out the best and worst foods for your dog and which to avoid. Additional Resources AKC. Get Started in Dog Training. Clubs Offering: Training Classes. Sign In Sign Up. By Anna Burke Jul 24, 2 Minutes. Jul 24, 2 Minutes. Understand the Flea Life Cycle The first step is understanding the enemy.
Fleas go through four life cycle stages: Egg Larva Pupa Adult The adults live on animals like your dog, where they lay their eggs. Prevention and Treatment The best way to deal with fleas is prevention. Here are the 5 steps you need to take to eradicate fleas in your home: Wash all bedding in hot, soapy water Vacuum all carpets, hardwood floors, linoleum, and tiled floors, and throw away the vacuum bag Choose and apply an environmental flea control like methoprene, or call a local exterminator Choose and apply a spray, pellet, or non-toxic treatment for your yard Continue to treat your dog and any other pets with a monthly preventative 4.
Keep on reading for our definitive guide on how to get rid of fleas and banish those bloodsuckers from your pet, your house, and your life. If your curious about what fleas look like, check out this guide where we break down 19 of the best images of fleas and their eggs.
Armed with this knowledge, you'll be prepared to eradicate fleas in all stages of life, as well as work to prevent new infestations. Below is a great diagram curtesy of the Center for Disease control, which shows you the lifecycle of a flea. Which came first-- the flea or the egg? A little-known fact: female fleas can only lay eggs after they've had their first blood meal. Adult fleas hop onto a host otherwise known as your dog or cat , and take a bite from the skin, collecting blood. Once they have gotten nice and full from your pet's blood, the female fleas begin to lay eggs, which can either remain in the fur or much more likely , fall off and lodge somewhere in your home.
Think about every time your dog shakes its coat, and imagine all the miniature eggs that can fall right into the hidden fibers of the carpets, or into the nooks of the couch cushions.
How to Get Rid of Fleas
The eggs that are dropped into the carpet will lay dormant for a few days, and then hatch within a dark and cozy space. What emerges from the eggs are called larvae: small blind blobs that are the beginnings of future fleas. The larvae feed on pre-digested blood packs from the mother flea and focus on growing into adult fleas. These larvae will remain in the dark spaces where their eggs landed, and will wrap themselves in a webbing called a cocoon. This is where the rest of their development will take place; their metabolisms slow to a point where feeding is unnecessary.
These "pre-adult" fleas will wait around for up to 6 months before dying as they wait for a nearby host. After the fleas develop fully within the cocoon, they are able to sense thermal changes in the environment around them. This means that when your dog or cat comes into the vicinity, these fully-formed adult fleas actually note the changes in the energy of the area, and break out of the cocoon.
Once the fleas emerge from the cocoon, the race is on to take their first blood meal. Fleas can't survive very long without a host , so it's imperative that they hop with a sense of urgency onto whatever animal has just come their way.
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- Regularly treat your pet for fleas?
The fleas literally leap into the fur of your dog or cat, and remain there for the duration of their lifetime. After chomping down on your pet's skin and filling up with blood, female fleas begin the life cycle all over again. It's important to note also, that fleas can't fly. Their hind legs are the force that gives them the ability to jump onto your pet, which makes it LOOK like they can fly but actually can't.
With such a popular DIY culture present in this day and age, it's no surprise that most people will want to more naturally way to get rid of fleas rather than spreading chemicals all over. Whether they're eggs embedded in your carpet fibers or fully-grown parasites on your cat or dog what are your options? Bet you didn't know that rosemary had uses beyond the kitchen! This herb repels fleas with its strong scent and antiseptic features. For fleas on dogs, try this super-simple rosemary bath:.
This herb can upset your cat's stomach, or cause a volatile reaction. If you want to take herbal remedies to the next level, you can mix your own spray. Natural remedies like vinegar, lemon juice, and witch hazel have high acidity, which can act as a repellent to these parasites. There's really no better way to grab fleas from the depths of your carpet than to suck them up with pure airpower.
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The vacuum will be your best friend while you're on your mission to eradicate fleas from your home, and while you're at it, consider these other secret weapons: salt and baking soda. Both of these substances act to dehydrate fleas in either the egg or the cocoon stage. Dish Soap.
1. Coconut Oil
This is because of their sheer lightness; their bodies don't weigh enough to break the surface tension of the water. This means that fleas are perpetually suspended in water, unable to jump out and onto a host to feed. However, to expedite the process, you can add a few drops of dish soap to a homemade flea trap. This will act as glue and get rid of fleas that hop into the trap.
The fire from the candle will provide the thermal energy that larvae must sense in order to emerge from the cocoon. Place a few of these homemade traps around your home and watch the fleas congregate! Okay, so you understand how to get rid of fleas in and around your home, but what about fleas that are on your pet the source of most of the problem?
If your pet trails fleas in from outside, and the fleas constantly reproduce, isn't there a way to protect your pet from attracting fleas in the first place?
How To Get Rid Of Fleas Naturally
When most people realize that their dog or cat has picked up fleas, their minds immediately drift to one of the top names in the flea drop business, such as K9 Advantix 2 or Frontline Plus. While these two certainly aren't the only products on the market, they are the name-brand products which vets normally recommend.
Try drying it using heat, such as in a tumble dryer, rather than air-drying. Even these items can harbour flea eggs and larvae so, if they can't be washed, they may have to be thrown away. Before getting started, clear your house of pets and children to prevent fleas being carried around the house while you clean.
How to get rid of fleas on dogs
This would run the risk of a re-infestation and ruin all your hard work. Vacuum all floors, carpets, rugs and sofas regularly and thoroughly. Remember to empty your machine after each use to stop eggs hatching inside. Use a veterinary approved household flea spray throughout your home. Ensure you carefully follow the instructions and treat every room thoroughly. Sprays are also really effective for hard to reach areas, such as under furniture.
Cushions, curtains and sofas will also need to be treated. This can be done either with a household flea spray or by washing on a hot wash. Your dog no doubt spends a lot of time in your car, which makes them a flea hotspot that owners often forget about. Vacuum any fabric inside your car, and make sure your pet always sits on a blanket, which can be easily changed and washed regularly.
Pay close attention to any particularly warm areas of the house where fleas will be nice and cosy, such as the airing cupboard. Clean any laundry stored here on a hot wash and spray the area with a household flea treatment. Did you know…? Find out which flea prevention and treatment products are available.