As much as we love our pets, the burden of keeping fleas at bay is enough to deter even the most avid pet lover. It is imperative that we keep fleas from infesting our living areas in the first place, so I’ve compiled a few suggestions that you can use easily to keep fleas from controlling your life.
First, you need to know how the flea lives and breeds in order to know how to control the flea population. Fleas have four life stages and have different needs in each. The different life stages have different requirements for the flea, and different requirements for controlling the flea. During the adult stage, it is important to eliminate the breeding and feeding site for adequate flea control. To the adult flea, that is your pet. Regular brushing and bathing will help to keep the adult flea off of your pet. The pet can be combed over a white paper or towel with a comb dipped in a combination of ½ cup mineral oil, 2 cups cold water, and 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. Pay special attention to the animal neck and face and other areas where fleas like to hide. The mixture helps to kill some of the fleas, and causes the others to fall onto the white paper. Any live fleas can be drowned in the mineral oil mixture. Another tip is using lavender oil on your pet to deter fleas from m aking a home on your pet.
Once the female flea lays eggs, the eggs are able to fall from your pet to areas where your pet frequents, including bedding, carpets, and dog runs. The eggs will not be bothered by the mineral oil combination, but they can be vacuumed up easily. If you are able to reach all areas, base boards, under couches, etc., then you must do so on a regular schedule to make sure that you are not allowing any eggs to hatch. Remember, any eggs that are not removed from the area will continue to hatch and start the flea life cycle over again, and so will you with your flea removal techniques.
Another good option to kill the immature flea and stop the flea eggs is an IGR, or insect growth regulator. This will stop the egg from developing into an adult flea and help you to break the life cycle and control your flea infestation. If adult fleas have infested your home, you will need to spray or fog to kill the adult flea. You must spray areas that the dog frequents, but do not spray clothing, toys, or personal items. Do not reenter the area if the sprayed items are wet. You must allow all items to dry completely before returning to the treated area.