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How to Get Rid of Fleas

Giving a dog a bathGot fleas? That bites – literally!

When it comes to household pests, there is one pest in particular that sends fear deep into a dog-owner’s heart – fleas. There are many common misconceptions about fleas and a wide number of possible solutions to getting rid of them; however, not every “cure” is created equal. Some cures for flea infestation have been proven to be completely effective while others don’t even make a dent. Whether your flea problem begins with a single flea carried by your pet, or with a whole host transferred to your home unknowingly, the result always ends in infestation. So, getting rid of fleas will take a concerted effort. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you out in your battle.

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Fleas 101

There are over 2,000 different versions of fleas throughout the world, but many of the common flea species can be eliminated with your average eradication solutions. Fleas are particularly small, as anyone who has experienced an infestation will be able to tell you, varying from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch. You might realize you have a flea problem if you notice your pet (or even you) itching like crazy or if you see any small, raised red bites. Fleas may start with one family member, but often times they jump to other family members so it’s important to act quickly. Fleas can jump as high as seven inches and 13 inches horizontally. They travel from one place to another in search of a fresh blood supply, however, there are some fleas that cannot live off of human blood.

The First Step Is Finding The Source of Infestation

Before taking action you must determine where the infestation came from. If the infestation came from your pet, you should make a trip to the veterinarian so your pet can have a flea bath to kill the fleas that are currently living off your pet. Do not bring your pet inside your home until you completely rid your home of fleas or else they may be infested again. You can avoid this type of infestation by applying a flea and tick preventative to your pet on a regular monthly basis.

If your flea infestation began with a carpet or other item that was given to you by friends or family, it is important to let them know that there were fleas in the item so that they can address the problem in their own household as well. Bringing up a flea infestation with anyone is a delicate matter but do not be tempted to let the situation go because fleas can quickly and easily infest even the cleanest home. It is also worth contacting individuals that have been in your house since the infestation began since fleas can travel on humans.

Before You Treat, Wash

Before you pursue any treatment you should do a good old-fashioned cleaning. And when we say clean, we don’t just mean your dog’s bed, we mean everything. From your bedding to your towels to anything your dog lies on, make sure you wash it all, and in hot water if possible. While you’re ridding your washable items of those tiny pests, break out the vacuum on every floor and couch and be sure to empty the vacuum bag. Then fasten that bag securely, and place it outside so that none of those unwanted pests make their way back into your home! Clean your hard surfaces and after washing everything – including your dog – you’re ready to start your flea treatment.

Two Methods To Eliminating Fleas: Natural And Chemical

When it comes to eliminating fleas from your home, there are those who believe that the quickest way to rid themselves of the problem is also the best way and there are those who believe that the best way to eliminate the infestation is the natural way. Neither of these ideas is right or wrong since both have been proven to work in different circumstances; however, depending upon your beliefs or needs you may be more partial to one method. On one hand, your top concern may be saving your small children from flea bites as quickly as possible, or it may be exposing your children to as few foreign chemicals as possible. No matter which method you decide to pitch your flea-killing tent in, you’re guaranteed to have options.

Eradicating Fleas The Natural Way

  1. Sticky Flea Pads
  2. Boric-Acid-Based Products
  3. Nylar
  4. Rosemary Flea Dip
  5. Lavender Essential Oil
  6. Brewer’s Yeast
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar
  8. Lemon Spray
  9. Warm and Soapy Water

1. Sticky Flea Pads and Electronic Traps

The Ultimate Flea TrapSticky flea pads are similar to the fly paper that many households used decades ago. Generally attached to an electronic trap that you plug-in near the location that is severely infested with fleas. Fleas are attracted to the trap over a period of weeks and get stuck on the paper. The drawback to using sticky traps is that they appear extremely unsanitary and take a long time to eradicate fleas. It’s important to use traps for a significant period of time to ensure all fleas are captured and that you bathe all animals in the home (as specified above) to reduce the number of parasites living off your pet.

We recommend The Ultimate Flea Trap ($4.96) – View on Amazon

2. Boric-Acid-Based Products

FleagoFleaGoBoric-acid-based products are a highly recommended solution for flea infestations, particularly when there are animals living in the household. Boric acid is not toxic to people or animals, but it kills fleas. When boric-acid-based products are sprinkled on the carpet and throughout the infected household, the extremely fine particles of boric acid work their way into the carpet and are not easily sucked up by vacuum cleaners. The trick is to sprinkle a layer on the carpet and use a broom to work it down into the fibers, then vacuum off any excess. As fleas come in contact with the particles they quickly die. However, this means that it is extremely important to vacuum the floors regularly to reduce the dead fleas that are in your carpet.

We recommend Fleago Natural Flea Control Boric Acid ($17.62) – View on Amazon

3. Nylar

Ultracide-flea Tick Professional Pest Control When it comes to homes with tile, wood or linoleum flooring, many health-conscious individuals choose to use Nylar, aka pyriproxyfen, to eradicate a flea infestation. Nylar regulates the growth of fleas and is commonly used where pets spend most of their time. Nylar only needs to be applied once a year to clean up flea infestation. Nylar is unique in the way it works — it mimics the juvenile flea hormone, preventing young fleas from becoming adults. It also stops flea eggs from hatching, reducing flea populations drastically.

We recommend Ultracide Flea & Tick Pest Control ($25.00) – View on Amazon

4. Rosemary Flea Dip – DIY

NaturVet Herbal Flea SprayHomemade rosemary flea dip is a DIY recommended holistic cure for canine flea infestations. You place two cups of fresh rosemary sprigs in boiling water for half an hour, strain the liquid and add it to a gallon of warm water (it must be warm to be effective). When the solution is warm, but not too hot, pour it on a flea-infested dog and let the dog air dry.

If you’d prefer to go with a pre-made herbal solution, there are some options available at stores as well.

We recommend NaturVet Herbal Flea Spray ($8.99) – View on Amazon

5. Lavender Essential Oil

Now Foods 100% Pure LavenderLavender essential oil can serve as a natural flea killer when it’s applied to dogs. You just place a couple of drops of oil at the back of the neck and a few at the base of the tail to control flea infestations. A few drops of lavender oil can also be applied to baseboards in areas where flea infestations are troublesome.

We recommend Now Foods 100% Pure Lavender Oil ($10.49) – View on Amazon

6. Brewer’s Yeast

Four Paws Brewers Yeast TabletsBrewer’s yeast is a non-toxic solution for treating your dog for fleas directly. In fact, natural living experts claim that one small tablet or spoonful of Brewer’s yeast added to your dog’s food will make him taste repulsive to fleas. When using this natural control it is important to check with your veterinarian to find out the correct dosage because it varies based on the weight of the dog.

We recommend Four Paws Brewers Yeast Tablets ($5.99) – View on Amazon

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Bragg Apple Cider VinegarApple cider vinegar is another canine-only flea controller since it has a particularly strong odor and would leave the home smelling particularly foul if it was used throughout the home. Adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl will make them taste terrible to fleas and reduce the likelihood of a flea infestation.

We recommend Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar ($5.79) – View on Amazon

8. Warm and Soapy Water

Safari Flea CombAnother non-chemical solution is warm and soapy water but it only helps with adult flea infestation. Here’s how it works: when it gets dark outside and your pet goes to bed, place a dish of warm soapy water beneath a night-light. The fleas will be attracted to the warm light, but they won’t be able to swim in the soapy water and will drown. Only the adult fleas will leave their host to enter the warm light so there will most likely still be fleas on you pet. However, with the reduced number of adult fleas the population will increase at a slower rate. This solution is not fully effective since many of the fleas on your pet will not want to leave their host. So if you decide to use this method make sure that you wash your pet thoroughly in Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo and warm water using a flea comb.

We recommend the Safari Flea Comb ($4.70) – View on Amazon

9. Lemon Spray

Lemon spray is claimed to be another natural flea repellent when a whole lemon is quartered and steeped in boiling water overnight. In the morning, strain out the lemon pieces and spray the solution on your dog or around your household in areas where fleas gather.

Eradicating Fleas The Chemical Way

Hiring a Professional

Some of you may be looking for the quickest route possible to eliminate fleas. While many chastise others for their decision to use harsher chemicals there are quite a few good reasons to eliminate fleas as quickly as possible. For most people, using a chemical-based flea eradication technique means having professionals come with compounds that eliminate fleas in a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months. One important thing to consider when choosing a faster method of flea control, especially when it is as a result of allergies within the home, is that individuals that are sensitive to flea bites may also have allergies to the more abrasive agents used in flea control methods.

In addition to speed, another advantage to using this type of pest-removal service (Orkin is a national company that offers Flea infestation solutions) is they almost always guarantee their services. So if you are still left with a house full of fleas following service, you will receive your money back or a second treatment free of charge.

Do It Yourself

If you are looking for a more affordable method you may want to purchase flea eradication powders or solutions from your local vet or pet supply store. Speak to a salesperson in the store to see if they have used the product or know someone who has. This will help you learn more about the product and its side effects. While the most guaranteed solution is to hire a professional (if you are not as concerned about earth-friendly and natural solutions), that is not always a feasible option. Here are a few chemical treatments that warrant a mention.

Preventic Tick CollarPreventic Tick Collar

The only tick collar that detaches and kills fleas and ticks effectively, the Preventic Tick Collar is a great complement to a topical flea treatment program. Each collar is effective for three months, so 2 collars provides a convenient 6 months of protection.

We recommend the Preventic Tick Collar ($23.85 for a 2 pack) – View on Amazon

Little City Dogs Flea Killer CapsulesLittle City Dogs Flea Killer Capsules

Convenient capsules can be broken and sprinkled on your pets food, or inserted into a soft treat. It’s effective, clean, and safe exiting your pet’s system via their skin as a neurotoxin and clears their system in 24 hours.

We recommend Little City Dogs Flea Killer Capsules ($18.99 for 14 capsules) – View on Amazon

Be Vigilant in Eradication To Avoid Re-Infestation

Whether you choose to use natural flea eradication methods, hire a professional pest control company or use a flea control product that you buy from your local veterinarian or a store, you should always be vigilant in your pest control. Flea populations can quickly return when only a few fleas are left alive, so it is crucial that you continue treatment procedures even after all signs of fleas have gone.

Prevention

After (or hopefully before) eradication comes prevention. Continue to vacuum every other day, wash bedding in hot water once a week, and treat your dog regularly, whether that be one of the natural remedies listed, or a chemical, vet-prescribed or over-the-counter treatment. If an over-the-counter treatment is your prevention route of choice, here are a few of our favorites:

Advantage Topical Flea Treatment for Dogs

Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment for DogsThis once a month topical flea treatment for dogs kills adult fleas before they lay eggs and larvae before they hatch. It’s safe, prevents re-infestation for four weeks, and one package includes six treatments.

Price: $43.99 – View on Amazon

Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for Dogs and Puppies

Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for DogsThis medicated ointment for dogs kills 98 to 100 percent of fleas, eggs, larvae and ticks. The package contains three treatments for three months of protection and is waterproof to sustain swims and baths.

Price: $64.99 – View on Amazon

VetGuard Plus – XL Dogs

VetGuard PlusThis monthly flea, tick, and mosquito treatment for dogs over 66 pounds breaks the flea life cycle and eggs from developing into adults for up to 123 days. It also kills flea larvae for up to four months and kills/repels ticks for up to four weeks.

Price: $18.60 – View on Amazon

Professional Pest Control is Always A Consideration

As small as fleas are it is quite possible for just a few to escape your treatment and, since the female flea is capable of laying up to 600 eggs in her lifetime, it doesn’t take long for an entirely new flea infestation to begin. If you want to be sure that you’ve eliminated your pest problem, your best bet is to always utilize professional pest control services that guarantee their work and if you look hard enough you may just find a local pest control service that utilizes natural solutions to terminate fleas.

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About Sara Logan Wilson

Sara is the Brand Manager for Canine Journal. She adores dogs, though doesn't yet have one of her own. She blames this inconvenient truth on her small living space and looks forward to giving a sweet pooch (or two) a forever home some day soon.
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  • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Michelle Schenker

    Hi Andrew,
    That is genius!! Thanks for sharing this solution with our readers.

  • Jo Conway Alborn

    I am using Advantage 11 at this time but my dog is still getting fleas just like she was with frontline plus. She is highly allergic and I don’t know what to do next. This is the first time I have had this problem.

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Michelle Schenker

      Hi Jo,
      Sorry to hear this. My dogs have brought in more ticks (dead – thank goodness!) than in past year and I have been reading reports that the bugs are quite bad this summer so far. Not sure where you live but NC is having a tough year for bugs, despite the cold freezes this winter. I would suggest asking your vet and friends who live near you for tips as conditions vary by location. Thanks and best wishes!

  • abby

    What can I do to keep the fleas off of me when I’m working in a flee infested environment?

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

      I have heard of people having success with Avon’s Skin So Soft Oil to prevent fleas on humans.

    • Alex wolf

      Skin so Soft by Avon… I think it is the succinate ingredient that works. I used to live by a dog beach in San Diego and it WORKS.

  • Abby

    Ok – here is my experience and after having a HUGE infestation that took about a month to get rid of I feel like an expert on the topic of how to get rid of fleas.

    First off – do not think that 1 treatment will work. I thought – ok – i’ll get the carpet powder and be done with it. Big mistake.

    I took care of a friend’s dog, so the dog was no longer in the house. If you have a pet, make sure they are getting treated as well or the flea problem will just continue the cycle.

    You absolutely have to fog – everywhere. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment. I have all hardwoods, except one 5×7 rug in my living room. This is where the infestation was, but I did see a few fleas travel into the bedroom. So I ended up treating my bedroom, hallway and living room. I taped off my kitchen with a trash bag, so that the fogging would not effect any of my dishes. I closed my bathroom door.

    This was a such a pain. I had to strip my bed and wash everything every time I fogged the apartment. I had to cover all electronics and lamps with sheets and then wash those sheets when I got home from work.

    Foggers work the best. Buy the purple package of 3. I did this 2 times – so I ended up needing 6 cans. The problem with fleas is that they burrow into the carpets and lay their eggs there. The foggers will kill only hatched fleas. Eggs and larvae are immune to these foggers. However – the foggers will kill the ones that are currently biting you and prevents them from reproducing. The goal is to kill all of the eggs too.

    First step is to vacuum everything. Your vacuum will become your new best friend. Buy a flea collar and stick it in the cannister of your vacuum. When you are done vacuuming – thoroughly empty it in a plastic bag, tie it tightly and dispose of it outside your home. Live fleas will be in this big, so it’s important to get it out of your home.

    Second step is to buy some Borax. Get the big box in the laundry section of the grocery store. I had to do this step twice – so buy 2 boxes, or if you have a lot of carpet to treat get 3 or 4. This is what will kill the eggs. You must do this in combination with the fogging. Make sure to spread the Borax evenly all over the carpet. This part is tedious. You need to scrub brush the borax deep into the carpet. Get it good and down in there. The Borax will suffocate the eggs and kill them. Leave it in the carpet for 12-15 hours.

    After you’ve brushed the Borax into the carpet make sure to set up the foggers in the middle of each room. Make sure that your bed is stripped all the way to the mattress and everything important is covered in sheets.

    The third step is to fog and leave your home for 4-6 hours. Make sure that all people and pets are out of the house during this step. I did this just before going to work. I set the foggers and went out the front door. When I got home from work, I immediately cleaned up the fogger cans and wiped down all table surfaces. After a few more hours I thoroughly vacuumed my rug with the borax and disposed of it right away.

    This process significantly reduced the amount in my home and the biting. However – when a few days later I found a few more jumping around, I sprang into action again and repeated the whole process to erradicate them completely.

    The next few weeks if I saw one – I would thoroughly spray around the apartment with a flea spray can – RAID had a good one. 2 months later and I haven’t seen any. I can confidently say that I finally got rid of them, but it was really tough.

    To anyone experiencing a flea infestation – I feel for you. Good luck in getting rid of them.

  • Julia

    My grandma has a dog. She’s moving so we want to take in the dog but he has fleas and a lot. It’s just the dog not our house so just need help on the dog. So any help.

  • Mel

    I have found that the best method for getting rid of fleas, eggs and larvae from carpets and furnishing is to spray the whole area from about 12" (30cm) away with Raid fly spray — the blue can. Try not to breathe in too much while doing this and then just shut the door on the room for 1/2 an hour. It works far better than any commercial flea spray, even the flea bombs.

     

  • Tina

    I have two indoor cats. I noticed fleas on them about five weeks ago. I gave them Frontline one month ago and they still have fleas. I have wood floors throughout my house and one Oriental rug in my living room. We have completely cleaned the whole house spotless. Washed everything and sprayed what we could wash. I vacuum the rug and couches every day. I threw out the door mats and got rid of all the cat bedding. My cats are not allowed in the bedrooms since we majorly cleaned and washed everything. I comb my cats every day and I am finding fleas!!! Four or five fleas a day!! I don't know what else to do. This is breaking my heart as I feel so bad for my cats. I am thinking of hiring Orkin to come handle the problem. I am all about natural and organic, however, my cats are suffering. Any recommendations would be helpful! Thank you :(

    • Sara

      We hate to hear this Tina! It could be, if you've been giving your cats Frontline for an extended period, that it's no longer working. We recommend trying a different kind of flea medication, and if that doesn't work, visiting your vet and seeing what medication they recommend from there. Good luck!

    • Holly L.

      Try Capstar you can get it through vet, pet store or online…it is only a 24-hour treatment but will kill the fleas initially then get something like "program" for a monthly treatment.

  • Kristin

    I use food grade diatomaceous earth and cedarwood oil on my animals. These are both safe for dogs, just make sure to apply the diatomaceous earth thoroughly and stay away from their face. Diatomaceous earth is safe for cats also.

    • Karen S.

      Do you put the diatomaceous earth on the dog? I have put it on their food mixed with water because it has sharp shells in it and you also have to be careful not to breath it in. Is the cedarwood oil organic, too? How did you mix it?

  • Leyla

    New to this flea infestation thing. When I was little and one of my cats had fleas, I remember giving him a flea bath and that seeming to do the trick. Not so easy this time. I've been living in this apartment for a few months and now believe the fleas were already here as the prior owner had a cat. There are a lot of strays in this neighborhood as well although my cat stays indoors and has never been outside. I feel badly because this must have been going on since day one but I was blind to it. Soon after we moved in I noticed a little cut on my cat's nose. I didn't think much of it but it must've been from fleas. I also observed her scratching but did a quick check for fleas and didn't see anything. I myself even got bitten but I actually thought it was chickenpox or something before I reexamined her fur and saw the bugs this time. Since discovering the fleas last week, I've washed all my clothes, bedding and towels, rewashed everything, given her two flea baths and have been flea combing. I need to wash all the floors and walls and everything but I've also been battling a cold this week as well. Hoping I can get rid of these suckers as it breaks my heart every time I see her scratching, which is like every other minute now.

    • Lauren Willis

      I just got a new dog from the shelter, we were taking her home in the car when a big bug jumped on my white new sweater. We put her in the back yard and called the shelter, they said that they had given her flea medication already. We put her a crate and hoped the fleas would go away. Two days later, I took my dog outside and discovered that she had brown dirt all over her, I was grossed out “Who could let their animal get so dirty?” I thought. Then I did some research; the brown ‘dirt’ was actually fleas. SHE WAS INFESTED. Now I’m doing even heavier research to try to see what works to the best to kill fleas. I’m really worried about her, what if she gets scratch your cat had too? Could you please tell me what you have used, maybe something will work. I’m only 13, and my mom doesn’t really seem to care too much, but I’m terrified. Is there anything I can do to help my dog? (shes 13 too :P )

  • Monica

    So I am currently neck deep in the trenches battling these varmints. We have a one year old daughter and two and a half year old daughter dog and we are a bit weary of using a bomb or topical treatment since the girls are best buds. Well after much research on this, looking into "safer" methods of eradication (believe me if it weren't for fear of my kid ingesting chemicals if love nothing more than to nuke these suckers) I went to the health food store and got some neem oil for about $6 for 1oz. I take about a tablespoon of coconut oil like the kind you cook with and a couple squirts of neem oil and within minutes the fleas were gone (off her anyway). I give her a rub down each morning before she goes out to potty so she doesn't bring more in. I have a mixture of water, mint oil, eucalyptus oil, neem oil and a drop or two of dawn because I heard it helps it bind. Anyway I spray that around the house and vacuum at a minimum of 1x a day. I had bought some diatamcious earth and used it on the carpet (I actually threw out the couch and living room rug. This is a nightmare; it's all-consuming, my husband thinks I've gone mad, every speck I pounce on and relieved when it turns out to be just a speck and not a flea but I am still finding them. Less and less everyday but not none :( If I could afford it I'd cover the whole yard in cedar but we're renters and poor hah we live in Washington and the rain has begun so the diatamcious earth will be ineffective outside. I've put everything washable in garbage bags until it went into the wash and then back into a fresh garbage bag after it comes out of the dryer. I've been vacuuming and washing the bedding everyday and putting all the clean bags into the back room which I believe to be flea- free (fingers crossed). Our living room is bare it looks like we just moved in and these guys are still here. Good luck to all! These guys are no joke.

  • Belrusa

    I had a friend who used to swear by giving her dog lemon baths to get rid of her dog fleas. I'm less about the homeopathic methods. I don't want my dog to suffer — from fleas or from lemon baths! I just go with Frontline and it works great for me.

    • Lois

      We have continually used Frontline on our cat and dog. No problems. This past month both and my home have become infested with fleas. I am at my wits end. Do they become immune to frontline? Help. I have to get rid of them.

      • Sara

        Hi Lois. It could be the fleas, not your animals, that are becoming immune to Frontline since you've used it so long. You might try another brand like Advantage, and if that doesn't work, get something stronger from your vet.

  • Julie

    I was glad to see some holistic methods to use in eliminating fleas since I don't want to use poisons in my home or on my pets. 

  • Mary

    I was at our beach cottage and the fleas invaded our home just before a hurricane struck the area. A good remedy was a flea bomb from the hardware store. Set them off and get yourself and all pets out of the house. Follow directions on the can. Then bathe your pets and yourself.

    The idea of the "nit comb" (for lice) works well, too, to get them off your pet, if you prefer not to use poisons. (Get it at the drug store in the shampoo section.) You have to do it every day, until you don't find any more. AND, be prepared for the frisky little devils to jump all over the place as you're combing! You have to be fast to crush them on the comb before they jump off.

  • stephania van volkenburg

    …that this article didn't list some of the easiest methods for helping to control fleas, though was interested to learn a new one about the lemons…
    gonna do that one for around cabinets and places cant use salt…  also the warm light method… i wonder what  what age to use… or if a reading lamp would work..

    one thing that i LOVE to do, and some one might of mentioned these, i only read a few in, is salt..
    sprinkled in the carpet, very liberally, not salt shaker, think cup full if you have an infestation, or even just a few, very liberally sprinkle salt in to and all over carpet, then have kids walk around in shoes and rub in, or alternately, though eventually as effective, just 'sweep' it in…
    it will kill eggs and young, and a lot of the older ones, be sure to vacuum well first.
    then vacuum at least once a day, and better to do 2-4 times a day… replace salt every week or 2x a week or so, as, esp a really good vacuum, will pull it up eventually…
    for dogs and cats use Lemon Dawn dish soap.
    wash animal, and let set a few mn on coat, be sure to get under tail. and start at collar line, so they don't move up to ears and eyes.
    use a tooth brush to 'gently' clean around eyes with out getting in, and rung out sponge to rinse, so as to not get soap in eyes.
    also a flea comb here is great to keep  with bowl of soapy water, to place fleas in.
    then most importantly… rinse well and repeat.
    leave on second treatment of lemon dawn for 5-10 mn… massaging under tail, and around legs, toes and any other nook and cranny of animal, adding more soap and water as necessary…
    for animals that i have rescued that was extremely bad, i have had to do a third treatment as well…

    these three things will get rid of 95% of fleas.
    i then treat my animals with a monthly spot treatment which takes me the rest of the way… but another thing i didn't see mentioned here was out side.
    cedar wood chips spread around plants, and reducing  hiding places that are low tothe  ground, cool and damp will get rid of most flea problems.

    fleas cant live in sunlight, so if you trim bushes 12-18 in off ground, a lil higher for really large bushy one, and then spread cedar mulch you will practically eliminate fleas from your home area.
    if your pet has a favorite place to lay, liberally cover area with cedar mulch, or get the shredded for a softer bed, and you pet will thank you and so will you thank yourself…

  • Anonymous

    I've been lucky to have never had a problem with fleas. I have always treated my dogs with medication to prevent infestations. However, I do worry about getting my next pet. New dogs can be covered in fleas and I really don't want to have fleas in my home. I will definitely inspect the dog for fleas before bringing her into the house and treat any fleas I see. By-the-way, it doesn't matter where you get a new pet from, it can always have fleas. Even dogs from breeders and pet shops can be covered in fleas. Plus, fleas are just part of owning a furry animal. The good news is they are easy to get rid of.

    You must remember that fleas aren't just a nuisance for you. While you may be irritated to see fleas jumping around your carpet and furniture, just imagine what it must be like for your pet. Take the time to treat the infestation immediately so that you and your pet can live a happier life. Once treated, make sure you work to prevent future infestations by using a natural prevention method or medication. Speak to your vet about the best options for your pet.

  • Anonymous

    Boric acid, Nylar, and Rosemary flea dip are the first line of defense here in my household, and it is nice to see these natural remedies getting the publicity they deserve. Yes, we still use commercial flea collars and no, we do not eschew traditional flea shampoo for the pets or for our clothes. As I suspect is the case for other pet parents, most of the reason to go through all of these natural remedies is preventative; for instance, if the cat comes in with a few fleas, we go through the whole natural treatment cycle first in order to kill all fleas on the cat, the dog, and anywhere in the home the fleas might have gotten into.

    If the natural defense does not stop the infestation, then chemicals come out. (But if we eradicate the flea population on the animals, that is an unlikely event.) Indeed, we actually only had it happen one time that we needed to go to the chemical treatment route, and that was when both animals got fleas and had already spread it to their bedding and the carpets.

    • Dovid Davis

      In my experience, Boric acid is not an effective remedy for flea infestation. The first line of defense is flea shampoo, as opposed to flea collars, which can actually irritate pets as it rubs the insecticide into the animal's skin. Next step, in our experience, is going to the vet, and then spraying the house with an anti-flea mist containing an IGR (insect growth regulator).  

      Also, of course, households can get infected with fleas without having pets .

  • Anonymous

    I love that there are so many natural methods for not only killing fleas on your dog, but also preventing them. After all, rosemary and lavender are going to smell much better than chemical-laced flea collars or even preventative medications. I would be willing to try these methods with my next dog because I keep small dogs that only go out to potty. However, I would be leery of using such methods for dogs that were kept outside.

    I like that you mentioned that it was important to treat the dog and not bring them back into the home until the infestation has been taken care of. It can be a vicious cycle to try and kill the fleas that are in the home and those that get on the animal and are brought into the house later on.

    Personally, I have used products like Advantage and Trifexis to prevent fleas on my dogs, but I'm very interested in the natural methods of prevention and how well they might work. The less medication I have to put in my dog the better. I much prefer natural methods that are much safer for my pet, but they must work because I don't want my pet to be irritated by the fleas and don't want them in my home either.

  • Anonymous

    This article is wonderful! With so many so flea medications on the market for dogs, there is no way to know which one is right for your pet and your situation. Fleas are a huge pest for most animals, but they are also a big pest for humans too.

    On humans, fleas can cause scabies. When on animals, fleas can cause quite a bit more problems. If you cannot afford to see a veterinarian, your best bet would be to use an on-line pet medication store and skip going to see the vet altogether. When it comes to finding which flea medication works the best for you and your pet, try several different flea medications to see which is best; whether it’s a natural or chemical flea medication. What you should notice in your dog is whether they’re itching less and if they seem happier.

    The changes you should notice in yourself would just be itching less and feeling less pests jumping on you. Nobody likes having fleas infest their homes or their animals, but there are many things you can do to eliminate these pests.

    • Bug Stuff

      Fleas do not cause scabies. Scabies are their own little type of bugs. It is possible to have fleas and scabies at the same time.

       

  • Anonymous

    I had a dog a long time ago that somehow contracted skin mites one day out in the woods.  Skin mites are a little bit more of a problem than fleas but the malady for the afflicted animal is essentially the same and it almost was the end of her.  She ultimately scratched most of her hair and some of her hide off over the course of a month and the vet said it was likely that she had not slept more than a few minutes at a time over that entire period.  Her health had deteriorated so much as a result we almost had to put her down and it was not until the very last visit to the vet that they finally found a cure for the mites and she was saved.

    Fleas do not burrow into the skin quite like the mites do, but they cause the same kind of itching and discomfort that if  it is not dealt with can lead to a much greater set of problems that can be very dangerous. Take care of it quick!

  • Anonymous

    First things first, humans do not carry fleas. While a flea may bite you, you do not need to treat yourself for fleas. However, you do need to treat your pet. If you don't take the time to treat your pet, and then spray your home, you'll just end up with more fleas the next time your dog goes outside.

    The problem arises when people don't put their pet on medication or use a natural method to deter fleas. Even if your dog just goes outside to potty, but spends the rest of the time inside, they can still pick up fleas. This means you must find a way to prevent fleas from living on your dog. Medications like Trifexis and Advantage will still allow the occasional flea to jump on your pet, but they will soon die, which means they will not have time to lay eggs.

    When it comes to treating your home, there are a number of methods that can be used. Again, you have the option to use natural methods. However, natural methods can take longer to be effective. If you do choose to spray or use a flea bomb in your home, you will need to evacuate the home for several hours before it's safe to enter.

    • stephania van volkenburg

      Though some kinds of fleas are specific to a certain animal, others can live off of humans also. The worst flea infestation I ever had was in a place that had no animals at all. They weren't allowed. However, unbeknownst to me, when i went picking filberts out of a field, I had brought them in. I didn't know I had them, then didn't know how to get rid of them. So we became severely infested and we had no animals. I fought this for months, before hiring someone. But yes, fleas can live on human blood only.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, fleas. Yuck. I think this is, unfortunately, an article that nearly everyone can relate to. Whether you have a pet at home, or go to someone else’s home that has a pet, or are even in a public place where someone has spread some fleas that they contracted, you can relate.

    Do your part, as a pet owner, to prevent fleas in any way you can, if possible. Since flea collars are not expensive and you can put them on almost any pet safely, they are more than worth the expense and are only a very minor hassle to you and to the pet.

    Flea dips, shampoos, or other preventative measures are also great. The key is to keep your pet from contracting fleas in the first place to prevent fleas from getting into your furniture, clothes, and so forth. The facts about how far and high fleas can jump was very surprising to me, but it all just goes to show how prevention is the best medicine. If there is not a hospitable host for fleas to jump onto, there is a much lower likelihood of your pet bringing fleas into your house.

  • Anonymous

    Fleas and roaches are on about the same level in my mind. I can deal with spiders. I can take care of ticks. I don't even scream when I see a snake. And it is not like I am afraid of fleas. I just think they are really nasty and want them in my house about as bad as I want roaches in my house.

    I am all for natural cures. I really am. But if it comes down to it, I am totally getting the chemicals out. I do not want to play around with this. And I know that you have to keep after them too. You think you can just bomb the house and it is all over, but that is not the way it works. Fleas are some of the hardest little critters to get rid of. I am already paranoid about them just because I have been to infested houses and it really creeped me out. There is no way I could know they were in my house and be gentle about it.

    For the sake of my family I would try natural methods first, but if it comes down to it I feel safer about using chemicals in my home than I do about my family sleeping in a flea infested home.

  • Anonymous

    This article did a good job of comparing the all-natural ways of getting fleas out and the chemical warfare that you have at your disposal when it comes to fighting bugs.  I personally opt for the latter in the event my faithful hound comes home with an uncomely infestation.

    Naturally, I want what’s best for my dog, so I certainly do not take using this method lightly in regards to preserving his health.  But I also look at things another way.  Life is short, we say it all the time about ourselves, but it is even shorter for our dogs.  I do not want one single minute of discomfort or suffering of my dog to go by without me doing something about it to make it go away.  When it comes to fleas, a bad case of bugs will keep him from sleeping or eating or enjoying just about anything he has going for him on a day to day basis. 

    For that reason, I spare no expense on the most fast-acting chemical solution I can find.  He seems to appreciate the effort.

  • Anonymous

    When it comes to getting rid of fleas, one of the most important things is to keep on top of it. As far as I have seen, you can't just treat your house once and call it good. You really have to keep at it and do not assume that the issue is taken care of.

    Most people don't realize how easily fleas can move from one place to another and how long their eggs can sit before you even know you have fleas at all. They embed themselves in your carpet, your shoes and pretty much any kind of cloth. So you have to make sure that you use some kind of chemical that will kill the eggs too or you have to just be relentless about your cleaning methods. I prefer to do both.

    We have had flea before and I saw one just the other day. That is the first flea I have seen this year, so I wasn't too upset. We just gave all of our animals a flea bath the other day so I am wondering if that's why I saw one not on an animal. Either way, I'll be doing the relentless cleaning to be safe. But since we are surrounded by sand and have 3 animals I actually think we got off lucky this year.

  • Anonymous

    Fleas are not only a nuisance, but they can also carry disease. In fact, fleas were to blame for the spread of the Great Plague during the 1600's. This means that you want to eradicate the problem immediately. Not only to prevent your dog from itching, but to prevent illness. This means you need to not only find a way to kill the fleas that have taken over your home, but to also treat your pet so that they don't bring more fleas into the home.

    There are a number of flea treatments on the market ranging from collars to pills. However, some of these treatments can actually be very dangerous for your pet. That's why you need to make absolutely sure you choose a treatment that is safe and recommended by your veterinarian. If you'd prefer a more natural route, there are also a number of natural treatments, which can be found in many pet stores.

    Once your pet has been treated, you will need to determine whether or not you want to have an exterminator treat your home or if you want to do it yourself. Again, you can choose from chemical or natural treatments. Do note that while natural treatments are preferred, they can take longer to take effect.

  • Anonymous

    I almost always prefer natural methods over chemical methods when it comes to things like food and health care for me and my loved ones.  I consider my dog to be a member of my family and I love her like family.  In fact, my love for her is deeper than my love for some people that I know.  She is my best friend and she always has my back no matter what.  With a stature of about 6 inches tall and less than 10 lbs., she rushes to my rescue whenever she perceives there to be a threat to me, my family, or anyone else that I love.  This is why I try to make sure she is always healthy and safe.

    One thing that I have to caution people on with natural methods is that, these ingredients can be very strong.  I learned this when I was pregnant.  Natural methods are chemicals too, just chemicals that God designed, so they are usually healthier for you and your loved ones.  Make sure that you understand the strength of the natural ingredient you're using and that you clear everything with your vet first.

  • Anonymous

    I have never had a problem with a flea infestation. As soon as I saw a flea on my first dog, I immediately got medication to kill the fleas. This is something you must do immediately or risk having your home infested. Fleas love to live in carpeting and if you see one jumping around, chances are the infestation is bad. However, it doesn't do any good to treat the infestation without treating your pet for fleas. In fact, you'll just end of up with a vicious cycle. The home will be treated, your dog will go outside and pick up more fleas, and your home will be infested again.

    While I think natural treatment for a home infestation is ideal, it can take time to take affect. If you want to nip the problem in the bud, you need to call in a professional and have the home sprayed. However, if you are going to use natural methods, you must make sure your dog is treated with flea medication first. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and money.

    With all this being said, you cannot skimp on flea medication or you risk making your pet sick. This means you need to invest in high-quality medication that has been recommended by your vet.

  • Anonymous

    One time, I was visiting someone who lived in area that had lots of dogs.  Boy , areas like that seem to breed mega fleas sometimes. 

    My little dog never gets fleas.  I keep her very clean and healthy in that regard.  However, I walked her once when I was staying in this place.  When I got home, everything seemed normal.  Then, I walked past her bed and something (to quote Forest Gump), "jumped up and bit me!"  It was unbelievable!  I have never been bit like that by something I could not see. 

    The thing felt huge, and I actually think had I been looking at her bed at that moment, I would have seen it. 

    Well, that whole thing really sucked because at 2am, I then had to wash her bed, wash her, and then put a towel down for her makeshift bed.  Then I walked away for a second and she ran over to her bed pillows that I had piled in the corner ready to go into the laundry, so I had to wash her again and make sure everything infected was in the machine.  What an exhausting night.  Fleas are such an annoyance.

  • Anonymous

    I love dogs, but hate fleas.  I have been blessed (knock on wood) to not have major flea problems with any of my dogs.  This might also be because I've always chosen smaller breeds without a lot of fur because of my allergies. 

    I've noticed that many large dogs that my friends have had, had big time flea problems, not all of them, but some of them.  I was surprised that brewer's yeast could be used as a flea treatment.  I kind of have a thing for the stuff.  Ever since my days as a vegetarian, I would use it as kind of a gravy, and sometimes as a seasoning.  I am fascinated by all of the b vitamins it contains naturally. 

    I know some people find it disgusting, but I always kind of liked the flavor.  I'd imagine most dogs would too.  It compliments and even sometimes creates a meat like flavor.  I think this is such a convenient and simple way to treat fleas.  It's also so neat and clean.  Just sprinkle some on your pups food every day, and you're good to go.  It's probably healthy for her too.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who has ever had an infestation of fleas can tell you that it is certainly not much fun to live with. Also, it is not nearly as easy to get of them as you might think. Fortunately, this articles points out a number of different ways that this goal can be accomplished at least fairly easily.

    Of course, I imagine all of this will depend upon on how bad of an infestation you actually have. Some of the remedies or treatments sound really great, although I imagine you may have to use them several times in order to eliminate all of those jumpy little buggers.

    I really like the idea of using the soapy water under a warm light. The fleas will be attracted to light and jump toward it. They will land in the soapy water and drown because the soap is poisonous to them and they cannot swim.

    I also really like the idea of using Nylar. This is a chemical treatment, but it is still more or less natural and is fairly safe even around children and animals. This chemical actually prevents eggs from hatching.

  • Anonymous

    I do not think the problem is so much the method that people use. It is more of the way they use it. When you treat your house for fleas, you have to do it like you are trying to get rid of lice, only worse. In other words, you can't just treat the pet and the pet bedding. You have to treat everything in the house and the yard. I don't mean you should go out and bleach your manicured lawn, but you might want to treat around the entrances to the house, areas in the yard where the dog tends to spend his time, and any sandy areas you might have in the yard.

    You can't be subtle about it either. Make no mistake; you are trying to commit genocide on fleas…at least the ones in your yard and house. Make sure you wash all the bedding if your animal is on it at all. Take care of all of the furniture too because even if your animal is not on it while you are home (you lucky dog!), he probably is when you are not home.

    You just have to be really thorough. Once fleas get in your house, it's hard to get them out.

  • Anonymous

    Fleas can be a tricky problem to deal with. They can arrive into a home from a number of sources. Many people simply assume that the family dog or cat tracked them in, but they may have arrived through an infested box, carpet or some other item. If at all possible, you want to really try and determine what the source of the infestation was. Obviously, if it was something that has been brought in, you want to properly dispose of the item and then begin treating the home.

    If the infestation was brought on by an animal, than the animal should be completely treated and removed from the home until it has been decontaminated. Your vet should be able to recommend the proper course of flea treatment for your pet.

    The article provides a number of great solutions to getting rid of fleas. These are even broken down by natural and chemical methods. Some homeowners may prefer to use one type of method over another due to the presence of children or elderly people in the home, whereas others just want them gone in the fastest way possible.

  • Anonymous

    I was really worried about fleas this year. I thought for sure that they were going to be horrible just because the weather was so weird this winter. I thought maybe they would not have enough dormant time and would more or less overwhelm us this summer. I actually have not seen any yet, and yet I am surrounded by dry sand on all sides. No, I don't live in the Sahara. I live in Indiana, where it is apparently only going to rain if it can destroy buildings at the same time.

    Given that I was so wrong about the potential flea population this year, it makes me wonder what else I am wrong about when it comes to them. I had heard that I could plant certain plants that would make them stay away from my home, but I wonder how valid that idea is now. Not that I don't like flowers, but I don't want to waste my time planting them for a purpose that they aren't really going to serve. I believe lavender and marigolds were the two main flowers that fleas would stay away from. Does anyone have any experience in this and if so, are these even the right flowers to plant?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for all of the options you provided in here. I especially like the idea of using lavender since it smells good as well as working toward the goal of not having any fleas in the house. Sometimes it does not matter what you do though; you are going to get fleas in the house.

    I saw a comment up there about skipping right to the chemical method of getting rid of fleas and I tend to agree with that. Normally, I try to be kind to the environment and use natural remedies for myself and my family, including the animals. In this case though, I have had first hand experience of what happens when you do not get those little things out of your home as soon as you can. And for me, that is intolerable. I am not afraid of spiders or mice. I find other bugs mildly annoying, but there are two things I cannot live with under any circumstances; fleas and roaches. When it comes to them, yes, I will bust out whatever chemical will work the fastest. I will apologize to Mother Earth, but I will not live with fleas and I don't want my animals to either.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who has ever suffered through a flea infestation can tell you it is neither pretty nor fun. These little devils can explode in population incredibly fast. Even if your pet brought just a few home, they can soon become a full fledged infestation that causes a lot of havoc (and itching).

    First, determine what the source of the problem is. Many times this will be a family pet. However, it may also be a rug, boxes or other material that was brought into the home. If the pet is the cause, then have them professionally treated. If it is a physical item, then remove that from the home and dispose of it properly.

    According to the author, there are over 2,000 different varieties of fleas. They are also very small, ranging in size from less than 1/16th of an inch to about 1/8th of an inch. They are also very active and keep moving from person to animal, etc… They can jump about 7 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontally.

    Fleas can be eradicated naturally and chemically. The author provides some good suggestions like soapy water under a warm light and boric acid.

  • Anonymous

    I think that if I did have a flea infestation problem, I would not bother with the natural methods that may be less harmful environmentally or whatnot, and I would go straight for the hard chemicals.  Call me crazy, but I think when it comes to fleas, you just cannot afford to mess around.

    This kind of attitude is why I take my dog into the vet every year around the beginning of springtime to make sure they are as well protected from fleas and ticks as I can possibly make them.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as the saying goes and I firmly believe that getting ahead of the problem and having my pets take care of early has done wonders for my avoiding this problem. 

    If I ever did have the infestation that I so desperately want to avoid, I think I would go straight for the boric acid solution to cleanse my dog and get rid of the fleas.  They are just fleas after all and fleas are your basic run of the mill invertebrate insect that depends on its exoskeleton for support and life.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, fleas have got to be some of the creepiest creatures that were ever put on this planet. I really try to live my life in such a way as to have some kind of appreciation and respect for every creature on the planet, but these things just push me to the edge. Maybe if I could find some purpose they serve on the planet I could be better able to deal with their existence, but at this point, I just do not see it.

    I did not know they had sticky traps for fleas either. I am not sure whether to laugh at the thought of that or get sick at the thought of it. I mean, can you imagine walking into the room you have that thing in and seeing all those nasty little fleas all over it? That would not be the way I would want to start my day. Of course, that is probably better than using the powder to get rid of them, especially if you have small children or other pets that might get into the powder on accident and hurt themselves with it.

    What would be really cool would be some kind of electronic signal that you could send out to just stop them where they stand. A remote control flea killer. I can just see it now.

  • Anonymous

    Many people who have a flea problem are concerned about finding a natural way to eliminate them. Using harsh or harmful chemicals may not be an option for homes with children or elderly people who may be especially sensitive to the chemicals used in commercial flea eradication products.

    The author of this post has provided a number of different ways that we can go about treating a flea problem naturally. One of the methods that appealed to me was using warm light and soapy water. At night, when your pet goes to sleep, simply put a dish of soapy water underneath a night light. Make sure that this is close to the ground so that the fleas can reach it. They will be attracted to light, but cannot swim and will drown. Of course, it will only be adults who are caught, but it is certainly a good start.

    I also liked the idea of using Nylar. This is especially useful in homes with tile, wood or linoleum flooring. I have tried this before and it works great. Just treating once or twice a year can do wonders for flea control.

  • Anonymous

    I am all for using all natural products, but after dealing with these things in a friend's house, I think if my house got infested like that I would be totally willing to put any kind of chemical you told me to on my carpet. Those are some very vicious little creatures.

    A friend of mine collects dogs like some people collect Love Is dolls. He just keeps getting more of them and he loves every single one of them. One day I know I am going to see him on some animal hoarding show or something. Anyhow, I hate to even go over there because the fleas are so bad. As soon as you walk in the door they are climbing all over you. They seem to really like the color white. I know this because I've tried different colors before I go over there to see if I can minimize the issue. I really feel bad for him and the dogs. He doesn't mean to treat them poorly like that. I think he either can't afford to do anything about it or just doesn't know where to start.

  • Anonymous

    I have had a home that got infested with fleas. I am a clean person and didn't even have any pets at the time. It was just a horrible season for fleas and I live in a very sandy area, so they were just rampant. I got rid of them in my home after treating the whole place, including the yard.

    But I wonder how you can prevent bringing fleas home from places you visit. That year a lot of people had fleas, so I was paranoid when someone would come to my house or when I would go somewhere. I know I can ask people to take their shoes off when they come to my house, but I was wondering how else I could prevent fleas from even be attracted to my shoes or carpet or anything.

    I've heard that you can wear certain scents to repel fleas, but I don't know the details of it. But I wonder if you could do that on your clothes to prevent them from even wanting to come near you.

    It would be interesting to know if they are like some insects who are attracted to certain colors or anything like that. In fact, I'd like to know that for fleas, ticks, and lice.

    • stephania van volkenburg

      If you have a walkway to your home, you can plant lavender along the border of it, so that as people walk by they are brushing along and if they have any fleas on there legs, they will most likely vacate.

      I have to laugh at people that advise planting mint around the house. It is fine if that is all you ever want to have, because you will have a harder time getting rid of the mint then you ever had getting rid of the fleas.

      However, that being said, a few large, overgrown, pots by the door will work wonders as well (CanineJournal Website Owner Note: We do not encourage placing very large plants by doors as burglars could hide in them). You can then remove sprigs of lavender and mint, and place around home to help prevent and detour fleas.

      I can't wait till I can move to a place where I can do this as well. I have mint by my door, but that is all i can really have here. It is to be noted, that just like plants trying to avoid pest, the best 'medicine' is prevention, by healthy diet, it is also same with pest.

      It won't stop a determined bug from biting ya, but when you eat and are healthy, then pest would prefer the 'less' healthy person, and might move on past you for others. And drinking mint tea everyday, is a big step this way. And I , IMHO, believe the smell seems to come out, and detour em… I was drinking mint tea every day, and never had a bite till a few weeks after my mint plant died for the winter. Then I started getting bit again when I would be around animals.
      Might be worth a try to drop a few mint leaves each day in your animals water.

  • Anonymous

    I think part of the reason that people have such a hard time getting rid of fleas is because they don't take the treatment far enough. I never thought about that before until I got a serious flea infestation in my house and didn't even have a dog! I live in a very sandy area and it just so happened that in that year, the fleas were just horrible. You could hardly avoid bringing them in the house just by walking through your back yard.

    I had to treat my house and my yard. I think most people just treat the animal, and maybe vacuum the carpet. They aren't treating the source of the infestation or the other places the fleas might be. And if you have pets, they can be anywhere your pet happens to go.

    First things first – use Advantage to prevent fleas and ticks and you can save us all a lot of hassle.

    Then be proactive by taking your shoes off before you come in the house. Do you realize the things that come in your house on your shoes? You can even carry the Parvo virus on your shoes without even knowing you were exposed to it. Even if it doesn't harm your animal, it might hurt others that come in your home or yard.

    Make your home unappetizing to fleas. The same plants that were mentioned in this article can be planted around your home. Fleas don't find them attractive and may avoid them. And, if you have them planted around your home, it makes it that much easier to treat your animal if he or she does get infested.

  • Anonymous

    The author of this article handles the topic well I think. I think that the best advice is to try and first determine what the cause of the infestation was. This may lead to better treatment methods. If you determine that the there needs to be a more active solution, the author also suggests that you may consider calling a professional. Obviously, this is likely going to be the quickest (and most assured) resolution to the problem.

    In many cases, you may even decide to attempt to solve the problem on your own. Almost any type of home and garden shop these days will have a number of flea eradication products which may be purchased. Just buying such a product does not, however, guarantee you a solution. Many of these simply do not live up to their promises. The author is quick to point this out.

    Personally, if I needed to rid myself of fleas, I think I would use a combination approach. I like the idea of the warm soapy water placed under a nightlight, combined with a pet treatment and the use of nylar to prevent juvenile fleas becoming adults.

  • Anonymous

    This article examines many different ways to get rid of fleas – both natural and chemical methods. Personally, I think most people just simply want them gone, although I imagine there are also a number of people that might be drawn to one method or another. Perhaps if there are children or pets in the home, there may the desire to avoid any and all chemical methods (although just because a chemical method is used, this does not mean that it is unsafe for pets or humans…just unsafe for fleas!).

    Some of the natural remedies are actually quite ingenious. I really enjoyed the idea of putting some warm soapy water under a night light. The light draws out the adult fleas, which end up jumping in the water and drowning! The only downside is that you will only eradicate the adults (and probably not all of them).  Another natural solution is sticky pads controlled by an electronic trap. I do not think this would be too terribly effective, and the author also points out this method can take weeks to work. I like the boric acid idea also. This comes as a non-toxic powder and is effective on fleas.

  • Anonymous

    This article provides a lot of excellent information regarding not only flea removal but also the reasons why this can occur and exactly the steps you need to take in order to resolve the issue for good. Many flea removal products out there (according to my personal experience) do not work as well as they claim, which means that simply going and grabbing the first bomb or other treatment you see is not the ideal way to solve this problem.

    I like the fact that the author recognizes this. This article was obviously written more from the point of view of how to help people actually handle a delicate and complicated problem. One of the first things that is mentioned is for someone with this type of problem to actually determine the cause. Knowing the cause will make it much easier to solve and may lead in the direction of a solution which is better targeted for your specific problem.

    As an example, assume your infestation is the result of the family pet. Obviously, in this case you want to get the dog or cat treated. There are a number of options for this (flea baths, collars, etc…).

  • Anonymous

    Fleas can be a very difficult situation. Since they are so small, multiply rapidly and cause a lot of itching and discomfort they can really cause a lot of stress and difficulty in your life. I remember when our cat brought fleas in to the house it was like a living nightmare. Especially since it took me a while to realize what was happening (they were biting my little daughter, who for some reason did not say anything).

    This article provides a well-balanced treatment of the issue of flea removal. The main premise is that there is no single best method to use in order to get rid of fleas. The author also points out that you could try a number of different chemical or natural solutions or methods. The best way for you will depend on your own situation and what your deeper reasons are (maybe you have small children in the house, for example).

    I think it is also important to understand that just because something is labeled as a cure, it may not necessarily work. Remembering our own experience, we tried several different solutions which had almost no effect before finding something that actually solved the problem.

  • Anonymous

    I live in a very sandy area. Fleas are pretty common around here, even to people who don't have pets at all. I've actually had to clean my carpet with ammonia before to get rid of fleas. It wasn't that I had pets or that I was unclean. It was just that they come in on your pants and shoes. At any rate, there are things I learned to do that help control fleas.

    Take off your shoes when you come in the door. You should do this anyhow just because you can keep your house cleaner and avoid dragging things through your house that you may not even realize are on your clothes.

    Use plants that fleas avoid. Plants in the mint family sometimes detract fleas as well as mosquitoes, so they are almost a must in the summer time. Lavender also has the same effect on fleas and mosquitoes. I think both of these work because their odors either mask yours and your pets or are unattractive to pests like these.

    I don't know about feeding my dog vinegar. I don't think he would actually drink water with vinegar in it. We do give him regular flea paths and put his flea and tick drops on him though.

     

  • Anonymous

    This article opened my eyes to a lot of different facts about fleas and flea infestations. I suppose I was just ignorant, but I always thought that fleas only lived on certain animals, like cats and dogs. However, I now see that it is also possible to acquire fleas from a number of other sources. How angry would someone be if the open a box or a gift and find out that it is infested with fleas? Yuck!

    Obviously, a person wants to make sure that all of their pets have been treated for fleas and other pests, but I suppose that this treatment can vary in its effectiveness. Since I have never had a bout with fleas, I am unaware but have heard that these bites can itch like crazy and this may even leave small little scar-like marks on certain people who have been bitten. The author also points out that these bugs may start off only biting one person in the house (although they will soon start attacking others as well).

    Some of the stats were interesting as well. I was unaware a flea could jump up to 13 inches horizontally. Now I understand why they are so active.

  • Anonymous

    When my dog had fleas, I had to learn some stuff on my own.  What I learned surprised me.  Sometimes one of the primary causes of flea issues can be diet!  While natural solutions to flea problem are excellent once fleas have already come into your house, you've got to take action.  Make sure the problem doesn't happen again by taking a close look at your pet's diet and health.

    It may seem strange that a diet can actually cause skin problems and flea issues, but with a little thought it's easy to see where the connection is. Fleas thrive where natural defenses such as skin and hair oils are absent or weakened. Animal diets are directly responsible for the health of their coats, and therefore their first layer of defense against fleas.

    Unfortunately, many people don't realize that the typical pet food found at local stores is often a poor choice for dogs and cats. For one thing, both bagged and canned cat food from many commercial sources are often intended to stay on the shelves for as long as possible under the best conditions, which means that they may be packed full of preservatives and other unnecessary and unpleasant chemicals. Of course, the best conditions aren't always so great when the ingredient list goes off topic. For example, many commercial versions of pet food include various offals and grains that cannot be included in human food and provide manufacturing companies with a way to get rid of extra waste that they cannot use any other way. The details of the ingredient list often hide parts such as intestines, udders, heads, hooves, and a variety of weak grains with low nutrition.

    The result is a surprisingly poor diet that can often lead to more frequent issues with fleas. So take a close look at what type of food you buy, and then look up reviews online and try to find more healthy options. Many stores include healthy pet sections with organic and healthy pet formulas (after all, many pet food businesses do exist to maximize your pet's health and not just get rid of extra ingredients).

    So there are several practices you can incorporate to reduce your flea attack problems. First, make sure your pet is getting enough omega 3 and other essential oils that will keep its coat in top condition. Second, consider cooking pet food yourself occasionally so pets get directly nutritious, real meals. Rice, vegetables and protein can all be part of a pet diet. Minced beef, liver, and chicken are all ideal options for maximum health. Raw pork, however, is a no-no because of parasites. An organic beef bone can be an awesome extra snack for a dog to promote continual health, too.

    Finally, be sure to talk to your vet, because the vet knows the species and condition of your pet, that will be the best source for diet advice when it comes to the details.

  • Anonymous

    These are some great natural solutions to getting rid of fleas, but please keep in mind that a bad flea infestation can be very difficult to get rid of. Fleas tend to easily live in any type of fabric – at least for a short amount of time. This means if you have fabric sofas instead of vinyl or leather and carpet instead of smooth floors, there could be many different places fleas could hide from your treatments, no matter how assiduously you apply them. In many cases it is better to take even more care after you use a flea treatment than before. Recurrences, when the flea infestation rises up again and is even more difficult to control, can be common.

    Another problem is that many pets might go right outside and get fleas from the same place again, where it is a particular area or another pet they play with. Even if you make sure that all the fleas in your house are dead, the problem can occur again. This is why some people prefer to use topical treatments on their pets in order to solve the problem. In case of recurrences, you may find that "traditional" or organize solutions are not as effective as you want them to be. Sometimes the best solution is to give your pet flea repellent baths with shampoos designed to take care of the problem, or use medicines that can kill the fleas continual for an extended period of time. Are these ingredients toxic? Absolutely. But they can be more effective, faster, and potentially even safer in the long run if the fleas keep coming back over and over.

    For those very serious about taking care of the flea problem, there are stronger pesticides that can be used sparingly to wipe out a particularly nasty infestation. Well, most are nasty. Vacuuming is indeed an excellent way to remove fleas, as long as you vacuum very thoroughly, removing dust from all the fabrics in your house, including the dusty areas under the furniture that are all too easy to avoid. Some people say that you can remove up to 50 percent of the eggs that fleas lay with a thorough vacuuming job. But after vacuuming, you will want to use a pesticide that has two primary reactants. The first is called an adulticide, for the obvious reason that it kills all the adult fleas in the house. The second type of pesticide is an insect growth regulator like Nylar that will kill all the eggs. A good professional will use a treatment that includes both kinds of powerful flea killers.

    If you choose to take steps yourself, keep in mind that fleas are hardy creatures, but not everything else in your house is. Avoid using the stronger pesticides around kids, fish, weaker plants, and anyone who has lung problems or other serious conditions. When in doubt, evacuate everyone and use a fogger while your pet is at the vet.