Flea Control 2019


Flea Control 2019  - by Sandy Stutz NCMG

Welcome to Southeast Texas! For those of you with pets that are new to the area, you’ll experience almost a full year of warm temperatures. No doubt you’ll enjoy many days in the outdoors w/ your 4-legged friends. Unfortunately, you’ll also have to deal with fleas year round for this very reason. There is no “flea season” here. You’ll just encounter many more of the little pests in the summer.

Protecting your pet from fleas is an important part of keeping your pet healthy and happy.  Fleas are the most common external parasite found on dogs and cats. Fleas can not only cause your pet to feel uncomfortable, but they can also carry other illnesses or tapeworms.  In addition, if left untreated, a few fleas on your pet can quickly lead to a full-blown infestation in your home. It’s important to realize that the fleas you see on your dog or cat are only a small percent of the entire flea population. Fleas lay eggs that fall off your dog and/or cat into your home or where your pet lives or sleeps. These eggs hatch and become flea larvae that spin cocoons and become pupae. These pupae will eventually develop into pre-emerged adult fleas and remain in their cocoons until stimulated to emerge by the presence of a host. Only 5% of the flea population exists as adult fleas; the remainder is immature flea stages that are too small for you to see. Flea eggs make up 50%, while flea larvae make up 35% and pupae 10%.

Pet Parents have been asking me for over three decades, “What can I do about fleas?” I’ve written this article as a response to those folks that want a variety of options to choose from. This list of products and techniques are the most effective, in my opinion. This list has been compiled from my years of experience and combined with the latest information pulled directly from the manufacturers of the products themselves. I’ve divided the information into categories of most effective products (for use on your dog, your cat, in the home and on the yard, and you- the human), types of products (pharmaceutical pill, all natural repellent), flea management techniques, and then listed information to help you, the consumer, make the best choice given your lifestyle and personal views. There are a plethora of products not listed here. If a product is brand new on the market, if I don’t have enough information on it or I found it to be ineffective, I left it off. (I no longer recommend spot-on products, for example, as there are many other products that are safer and more effective currently on the market.) Expect that this article will change as new information reaches me. I am always trying new products and I plan on keeping this information as up-to-date as possible. Feel free to give me feedback on how these or other products have worked for you.

A word about “chemical”, “all natural” and “mechanical” flea control. Fleas reproduce rapidly in Southeast Texas and become immune to some chemical products before we do. I find that a chemical that used to work well on fleas when it is first introduced may not be as effective after a period of time. These products, used improperly, can cause health risks to humans and pets. Fleas can not become immune to products that work “mechanically” (more on this later),  and while these products tend to be safer for mammals, they kill fleas very slowly. If you choose to go the “all natural” route, keep in mind that this is often considered “pest management” and be prepared to work at it. Flea repellent products are not going to be effective for the person that doesn’t want to actively reapply product. If you have a super busy lifestyle, be honest with yourself, “all natural” may not be for you. 

Products to Use on Your Dog


 Capstar

What it is: Capstar (nitenpyram) is an orally administered tablet that provides fast flea relief. In fact, Capstar starts working within 30 minutes. A single dose of CAPSTAR should kill the adult fleas on your pet. If your pet gets reinfested, it is safe to give another dose as often as once per day. You will literally see fleas falling off your pet.

How it works: Capstar works by circulating in the bloodstream (flea food) of your pet. Within 30 minutes of feeding your pet a tablet (I like to use peanut butter) any fleas that bite your pet will die.

Pros: Very effective. Can be used on cats, dogs, puppies and kittens over four weeks of age. Is only in the bloodstream for 24 hours. Can be used on an “as needed” basis. Can be used with flea repellents and (according to Cindy, one of the Capstar consultants at Novartis) can be used safely with Frontline. No need to isolate pet after administering the product. No staining residue. Will not wash off. Not dangerous to humans.

Cons: The flea must bite the pet in order to die. Does not repel fleas.

Recommend: For use when you see fleas on your pet. Also comes in handy before visiting a place known to have fleas (example: the dog park or a walk on the bayou) to help prevent bringing fleas home. Can be used as a complement to your “all natural” flea repellent routine. (NOTE: If you are using Sentinel or Program then you must use Capstar to kill fleas when you see them. Sentinel and Program prevent fleas from maturing and are also made by Novartis to be used with Capstar. Neither Sentinel or Program kill fleas!)

Where can I buy it? Some veterinary clinics and some feed stores carry Capstar. (Call first.)


NexGard

What it is: NexGard (afoxolamer) is an orally administered beef flavored tablet that provides relief from fleas. It is the only tablet currently on the market that has also been proven to kill ticks AND is approved by the FDA to do so.

How it works: NexGard works by circulating in the bloodstream (flea food) of your pet. Manufactured in Brazil and marketed by Frontline Vet Labs, the active ingredient in this product effects fleas and ticks in much the same way as Frontline (fipronil). Once NexGard is in the bloodstream of a dog, any flea or tick that bites that animal will get a dose of the active ingredient. This ingredient causes the parasite to become "hyper-excited" (according to the manufacturer) and die of exhaustion. One dose is guaranteed by the manufacturer to last for 30 days.

Pros: Very effective. The only flea control tablet that also kills ticks AND is approved by the FDA! Can be used safely with Frontline if you want a product that also kills mites. (NexGard has not been tested for mites and although it may work, in theory, 2 of the representatives I spoke to did not recommend it for that purpose.) Very few possible side effects (which may include decreased appetite and dry skin). No need to isolate pet after administering the product. No staining residue. Will not wash off. Not dangerous to humans.

Cons: The flea must bite the pet in order to die. Does not repel fleas. Can not be given to cats.

Recommend: This is an excellent product for individuals that do not have time to pursue an herbal repellent program, but want a product that is safe for their family and is approved by the FDA to control ticks. Also, since this product is manufactured by the same company that makes HeartGard (for heartworms) and Frontline (for fleas, ticks and mites) it can be used safely with those products. Also, this tablet is flavored, so if your dog will eat HeartGard s/he will probably eat this product without any fuss.

Where can I buy it? Many veterinarians carry this product. Call first.



Comfortis

What it is: Comfortis (spinosad) is another orally administered tablet that provides fast flea relief. Spinosad, the active ingredient in Comfortis, belongs to a class of antiparasitics known as spiosyns, which are derived from a naturally-occurring soil microbe. It works by attacking the nervous system of adult fleas. A single dose of Comfortis will kill every adult flea that bites your pet before they can lay eggs.

How it works: Administer Comfortis with food for maximum effectiveness. Comfortis stores in the fat cells of your pet for approximately 30 days. Within 30 minutes of feeding your pet a tablet any fleas that bite your pet will die. For best results, administer every 30 days without interruption.

Pros: Very effective. Can be used on dogs and puppies over fourteen weeks of age. No need to isolate pet after administering the product. No staining residue. Will not wash off. Not dangerous to humans.

Cons: The flea must bite the pet in order to die. Does not repel fleas. Can not be given to cats. Consult your veterinarian if your dog has had seizures. Comfortis may not be appropriate for every dog. Comfortis does not control ticks.

Recommend: This is an excellent product for individuals that do not have time to pursue an herbal repellent program, but want a product that is safe for their family.

Where can I buy it? Many veterinarians carry this product. Call first.

Credelio

What it is: Credelio (lotilaner) is a small, chewable tablet that’s approved for all puppies and dogs 8 weeks of age or older that weigh 4.4 pounds or greater. Credelio lasts a full month.
Credelio kills adult fleas, treats flea infestations (Ctenocephalides felis) and treats and controls tick infestations [Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick), Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick), Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick)]. It is FDA approved for use on fleas, but is not yet FDA approved to treat ticks.
Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures. The most frequently reported adverse reactions are weight loss, elevated blood urea nitrogen, increased urination, and diarrhea. 

How it works: Administer Credelio with food. Studies have shown that it is not as effective on an empty stomach. Lotilaner, the active ingredient in Credelio, is indicated for the killing of fleas and ticks. Like most chemical pest solutions, it is a neurotoxin. The flea must bite the dog in order to die.

Pros: In addition to fleas, it also kills ticks. It is less expensive than NexGard. Can be used on dogs and puppies as young as 8 weeks of age. No need to isolate pet after administering the product. No staining residue. Will not wash off. Not dangerous to humans.

Cons: The flea must bite the pet in order to die. Does not repel fleas. Can not be given to cats. Consult your veterinarian if your dog has had seizures. While it is FDA approved to control fleas, it is not yet FDA approved to control ticks. Is somewhat less effective for the treatment of flea allergy dermatitis than Comfortis or NexGard.

Recommend: If your pet does not have flea allergy dermatitis and you want a product that controls both fleas and ticks, this might be a good option for you.

Where can I buy it? Many veterinarians carry this product. Call first.

Euca-Leuca-Lime Pet Shampoo

What it is: Euca-Leuca-Lime Pet Shampoo is a concentrated all natural shampoo that kills fleas and soothes skin that has become irritated by them.

How it works: May be diluted 6 to 1. Wet the animal thoroughly and apply shampoo. Massage in well. Allow 10 minutes contact time and rinse completely. Eucalyptus and d-limonene kill fleas and ticks by removing the waxy coating that protects their exoskeletons. Melaleuca (tea tree oil) heals irritated skin. 

Pros: Cleans well and leaves a nice aroma. I have found that this product will absolutely kill fleas. It is therapeutic for a range of skin issues, too. It can be used on all warm blooded companion animals. This is the product professional groomers use. 100% safe and effective.

Cons: Does not repel fleas. Is not tearless. Use care when shampooing around eyes.

Recommend: Can be used once a week on pets during warm months and as needed the rest of the year. 

Where can I buy it?  PetProductDelivery.com carries Euca-Leuca-Lime Pet Shampoo.



Nature's Protection Herbal Shampoo

What it is: Nature's Protection's Herbal Shampoo is a natural flea and tick shampoo for dogs.  

How it works: Shake well before use. Wet the animal thoroughly and apply shampoo. Massage in well. Allow 5 minutes contact time and rinse completely. The natural combination of Cedar Oil and Peppermint repels fleas and ticks.

Pros: Cleans well and leaves a nice herbal aroma. I have found in my experience that this product will kill fleas if worked into the coat properly and left on for a full 5 minutes.

Cons: The flea repelling aroma only lasts a couple of days and should be used with the Nature's Protection Herbal Bug Spray as part of your flea repellent program. Use with conditioners or colognes will diminish the flea repellent qualities.

Recommend: Use weekly during warm months or as needed during the rest of the year and when fleas are seen on the pet. Nature's Protection Herbal Shampoo and Nature's Protection Herbal Bug Spray work together synergistically for extra support.

Where can I buy it?  Pet Product Delivery.com carries Nature's Protection Herbal Shampoo.


Nature's Protection Herbal Flea and Tick Collar

What it is: A disposable, adjustable nylon collar embedded with essential oils to repel fleas and ticks. 

How it works: Like all herbal repellent products, it works by making the environment uninhabitable for pests. Aromatic oils cause the pores that fleas and ticks breathe through to close.

Pros: Safe for all dogs and cats over 4 months of age. Safe for humans and the environment. A compliment to your herbal repellent routine. Cruelty free. Pleasant aroma.

Cons: This is not a replacement for the rest of your herbal repellent routine. Does not kill fleas. While we may enjoy the aroma, your pet may not. An animal's sense of smell is much stronger than our own.

Recommend: Let's face it, most flea collars contain chemicals that are not healthy for humans, cats or dogs AND they are completely ineffective when it comes to killing fleas. Still, people that could not be bothered to do more continue to buy them. Nature's Protection Herbal Flea and Tick Collars are a nice alternative to toxic chemical flea collars and since they work mechanically, fleas can not become immune to them. Use as part of your herbal repellent routine, not as a replacement. For best results use with Nature's Protection Herbal Shampoo and Nature's Protection Herbal Bug Spray.

Where can I buy it? PetProductDelivery.com carries Nature's Protection Herbal Flea and Tick Collars.



Products to Use on Your Cat

Capstar

What it is: Capstar (nitenpyram) is an orally administered tablet that provides fast flea relief. In fact, CAPSTAR starts working within 30 minutes. A single dose of CAPSTAR should kill the adult fleas on your pet. If your pet get reinfested, it is safe to give another dose as often as once per day. You will literally see fleas falling off your pet.

How it works: Capstar works by circulating in the bloodstream (flea food) of your pet. Within 30 minutes of feeding your pet a tablet any fleas that bite your pet will die.

Pros: Very effective. Can be used on cats, dogs, puppies and kittens over four weeks of age. Is only in the bloodstream for 24 hours. Can be used on an “as needed” basis. Can be used with flea repellants and (according to Cindy, one of the Capstar consultants at Novartis) can be used safely with Frontline.

Cons: The flea must bite the pet in order to die. Does not repel fleas.

Recommend: For use when you see fleas on your pet. Also comes in handy before visiting a friend or relative that may have fleas to help prevent bringing fleas home. (NOTE: If you are using Sentinel or Program then you must use Capstar to kill fleas when you see them. Sentinel and Program prevent fleas from maturing and are also made by Novartis to be used withCapstar. Neither Sentinel or Program kill fleas!)

Where can I buy it?  Some veterinary clinics and some feed stores carry Capstar. (Call first.)​



Revolution

What it is: Revolution (selamectin) is the simple way to protect your cat from heartworms, fleas and other harmful parasites. Revolution is a systemically acting, broad-spectrum parasiticide that has a well defined safety profile combined with excellent efficacy to help protect your cat against a wide variety of parasites.

How it works: Revolution enters the bloodstream through the skin. Concentrations of Revolution in the blood and tissues prevent heartworm disease and prevent and treat roundworm and hookworm infections. Revolution selectively redistributes from the blood to the skin and other tissues, where it provides protection against fleas, flea eggs, and ear mites.

Pros: The only spot-on product found to be nonmammal toxic. Lasts 30 days. Easy to use. In addition to fleas, it also protects against heartworms, ear mites and other parasites. I have never seen a cat on this product with fleas. (I do not find the Revolution made for dogs as effective against fleas and have met some vets that only carry this product for cats for the same reason.)

Cons: Approximately 1% of cats experienced temporary hair loss at the application site.

Recommend: For use on all cats. (Do not use in sick, weak or underweight animals.)

Where can I buy it? Some veterinary clinics carry this product (call first).


Euca-Leuca-Lime Pet Shampoo

What it is: Euca-Leuca-Lime Pet Shampoo is a concentrated all natural shampoo that kills fleas and soothes skin that has become irritated by them.

How it works: May be diluted 6 to 1. Wet the animal thoroughly and apply shampoo. Massage in well. Allow 10 minutes contact time and rinse completely. Eucalyptus and d-limonene kill fleas and ticks by removing the waxy coating that protects their exoskeletons. Melaleuca (tea tree oil) heals irritated skin. 

Pros: Cleans well and leaves a nice aroma. I have found that this product will absolutely kill fleas. It is therapeutic for a range of skin issues, too. It can be used on all warm blooded companion animals. This is the product professional groomers use. 100% safe and effective.

Cons: Does not repel fleas. It is not tearless. Use care when shampooing around eyes.

Recommend: Can be used once a week on pets during warm months and as needed the rest of the year. 

Where can I buy it?  PetProductDelivery.com carries Euca-Leuca-Lime Pet Shampoo.


Nature's Protection Herbal Flea and Tick Collar

What it is: A disposable, adjustable nylon collar embedded with essential oils to repel fleas and ticks. 

How it works: Like all herbal repellent products, it works by making the environment uninhabitable for pests. Aromatic oils cause the pores that fleas and ticks breathe through to close.

Pros: Safe for all dogs and cats over 4 months of age. Safe for humans and the environment. A compliment to your herbal repellent routine. Cruelty free. Pleasant aroma.

Cons: This is not a replacement for the rest of your herbal repellent routine. Does not kill fleas. While we may enjoy the aroma, your pet may not. An animal's sense of smell is much stronger than our own.

Recommend: Let's face it, most flea collars contain chemicals that are not healthy for humans, cats or dogs AND they are completely ineffective when it comes to killing fleas. Still, people that could not be bothered to do more continue to buy them. Nature's Protection Herbal Flea and Tick Collars are a nice alternative to toxic chemical flea collars and since they work mechanically, fleas can not become immune to them. Use as part of your herbal repellent routine, not as a replacement. 

Where can I buy it? PetProductDelivery.com carries Nature's Protection Herbal Flea and Tick Collars.


Products to Use on Your Lawn

Diatomaceous Earth

What it is: Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable, all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. The diatoms are mined and ground up to render a powder that looks and feels like talcum powder to us. It is a mineral based pesticide. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural compound. However, the continual breathing of any dust should he absolutely avoided.

How it works: By removing their outer waxy covering, Diatomaceous Earth kills insects mechanically, causing dehydration. Insects cannot become immune to this long lasting, odorless powder. Apply liberally on your lawn. Reapply after it rains, but when the ground is dry.

Pros: Completely nontoxic. It is safe enough for your pet to injest. It absolutely will kills fleas.

Cons: Like all dust, could cause eye and lung irritation. Takes 12- 36 hours to kill fleas. Not effective in a damp environment. After rain, it can not be reapplied until the ground is completely dry.

Recommend: If you are not yet infested w/ fleas. The best defense is a good offense. Can also be used in the home, but not recommended for floors, especially carpet because I have found that it sometimes stains (see NaturVet No Flea Carpet Crystals). Safe to use on pets, but makes a big mess, makes the hair look terrible and could irritate eyes (other products are better on the pet). Use only when the ground is dry.

Where can I buy it?  Most lawn and garden stores carry this product.



NaturVet Yard Odor Killer Plus Citronella

What it is:  Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride (disinfectant pesticide) and Citronella Oil (insect repellent).

How it works: Connect to a garden hose and spray on any outdoor surface.

Pros: I found this product to be absolutely 100% effective at repelling fleas. ELIMINATES ODORS IMMEDIATELY. 100% Money Back Guarantee.

Cons: The first ingredient in this product is listed on several websites as mildly toxic to the environment. I was disturbed to find that not only did it repel fleas, but everything else in the yard. Lizards literally leapt through the fence to get away!

Recommend: This is a great product if you already have a flea infestation and also have a problem with urine and fecal odor in the yard. Use weekly during warm months and after a heavy rain.

Where can I buy it?  Most lawn and garden stores carry NaturVet Yard Odor Killer Plus Citronella.



Orange Guard

What it is: A water based indoor/outdoor insecticide that may be used around food, humans and pets. Made from d-Limonene (orange peel extract) and inert ingredients, Orange Guard is EPA-registered.

How it works: The active ingredient d-Limonene (orange peel extract) destroys the wax coating of the insect's respiratory system. When applied directly, the insect suffocates. The citrus fragrance of d-Limonene acts as a repellent.

Pros: Kills fleas and other insects on contact. All ingredients generally recognized as safe by the FDA. May be used around food, humans, and pets. Fresh citrus scent! Indoor-Outdoor use. Broad range contact insecticide and broad range residual repellent. Can be sprayed directly on lawn. Orange Guard is 100% biodegradable and water-soluble. Orange Guard is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute. Easy to use. No known physical or health hazards of any kind. According to the manufacturer, can be diluted w/ water (5 to 1) to avoid burning ornamental plants.

Cons: Could burn some ornamental plants if not diluted. Not labeled for use on pets.

Recommend: For any home or yard suspected of having an insect problem. I highly recommend this product. I've been using it for years.

Where can I buy it? Lowe's and some other hardware stores carry Orange Guard.




Products to Use in Your Home


NaturVet No Flea Carpet Crystals

What it is: 99% Boric Acid. It is a flea killing powder.

How it works: NaturVet No Flea Carpet Crystals is a dry crystal powder that works on the carpet and under the cushions of upholstered furniture to kill fleas. It works mechanically to dehydrate them.

Pros: Fleas can not become immune to Boric Acid. It is generally considered to be not much more toxic than table salt. No hassle. Apply once a year. Will kill all insects coming in contact with it. 100% Money Back Guarantee.

Cons: This product works slowly.  Not effective on homes that have little or no carpet. Can be irritating if it comes in contact with skin, lungs or eyes. Children and pets should not be in the treatment area until after application area is treated. Harmful if swallowed.

Recommend: For any home with carpet or rugs.

Where can I buy it?  Most hardware and feed stores carry NaturVet No Flea Carpet Crystals.


Orange Guard

What it is: A water based indoor/outdoor insecticide that may be used around food, humans and pets. Made from d-Limonene (orange peel extract) and inert ingredients, Orange Guard is EPA-registered.

How it works: The active ingredient d-Limonene (orange peel extract) destroys the wax coating of the insect's respiratory system. When applied directly, the insect suffocates. The citrus fragrance of d-Limonene acts as a repellent.

Pros: Kills fleas and other insects on contact. All ingredients generally recognized as safe by the FDA. May be used around food, humans, and pets. Fresh citrus scent! Indoor-Outdoor use, although I prefer it indoors for fleas. Broad range contact insecticide and broad range residual repellent. Can be sprayed directly on all hard surfaces including floors. Can be used on carpeting as a prewash spray for fleas. (Steam clean carpet after treatment.) Orange Guard is 100% biodegradable and water-soluble. Orange Guard is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute. You may spray pet bedding to control fleas. Easy to use. No known physical or health hazards of any kind.

Cons: Leaves a harmless oily residue. You will probably want to mop the floor after treatment, but this will eliminate the repellent property of this product. Not labeled for use on pets.

Recommend: For any home suspected of having an insect problem or for anyone wanting to control insects at work or in the home. I highly recommend this product. I've been using it in my own home and my salons for years.

Where can I buy it?  Lowe's and other hardware stores carry Orange Guard.




Products to Use on You - the Human

Skin-So-Soft Original Bath Oil

What it is: A popular brand of bath oil that has been used for generations. The ingredients have changed slightly over the last 6 or 7 years, but the fragrance and efficacey have remained intact. Current list of ingredients: mineral oil, isopropyl palmitate, dicapryl adipate, fragrance, jojoba seed oil, tocopheryl acetate, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate. They have removed the BHT which is a good thing (in my opinion), and replaced the carrot seed oil with jojoba. Soldiers in the navy and marines on two continents have been using this to repel pests for decades. I currently live in The Woodlands and literally go for a walk in the woods several times a day where mosquitoes are as common as pollen after a big rain. I spray on Skin So Soft before each walk. This product works on all biting insects, but it must be reapplied.

How it works: The herbal fragrance and oily consistency of the product discourage fleas (and other pests) from biting.

Pros: It works and your skin will be softer.

Cons: Only the original formula repels insects. Must be reapplied frequently, so purchase the spray variety for best results.

Recommend: When you know you've blown it. You didn't treat your pet, yard and home regularly for fleas and now they're jumping on you. Use this product daily until your flea population is under control.

Where can I buy it? Local Avon rep Kathleen McDonald

Nature's Protection Herbal Bug Spray

What it is:  Nature's Protection Herbal Bug Spray is a liquid infused with a natural blend of aromatic herbs and essential oils that have a fresh, minty fragrance. 

How it works: The preventative power and minty scent of these gentle oils are non-offensive to people and dogs, but loathed by fleas, ticks & mosquitoes.

Pros: It repels all insects and is safe for use on yourself and your warm-blooded pets.

Cons: It doesn't have the staying power of Skin-So-Soft Original Bath Oil, so it must be applied more frequently. 

Recommend: When you need something to repel insects on you and your pets.

Where can I buy it? PetProductDelivery.com carries Nature's Protection Herbal Bug Spray.


Simple Techniques to Control Fleas

If your home and pet become infested with fleas, it can take a long time to get the situation under control. This is a case of the best defense is a good offense, especially in Southeast Texas. So, let’s start by using the information above to decide which products we’d like to use on our pets. Yes, your pet must be treated for fleas year round in this part of the country and the best day to start is today! Remember, if you choose to go the all natural repellent route alone, you must have the time and inclination to do it every day or it won’t work. Whether you choose to use a pill, an herbal repellent product or a combination, weekly bathing in a good flea shampoo is recommended if your pet travels off your (flea treated) property, especially during the warm months. If you are not up to the task yourself, have a professional do it. 

Now that you have your pet treated, what about the yard? If you already have an infestation, you may want to go with the NaturVet Yard Odor Killer Plus Citronella or Orange Guard once a week, at least until your problem is under control, then switch to Diatomaceous Earth. Or you can start with DE, but remember that this is a slow kill. Either way, you MUST treat the ENTIRE yard, not just where you imagine the fleas “might” be. Many a client’s flea treatment program has failed because they spot treated the yard.

Treating your home (or regular cleaning if you have not yet seen fleas) on the same day you treat the pet and the yard is important. Laundry should be done on this day, as well as sweeping, vacuuming and mopping. I even vacuum my hardwood floors after I sweep and before I mop. There is anecdotal evidence to support using pine cleaners and a product called Murphy’s Oil Soap for their flea killing and repellent properties. If you have already seen fleas however, it is best to use actual products manufactured to kill and repel fleas (see above) in addition to these fine cleaning products. Like the yard, the ENTIRE home must be treated if fleas have been seen.

The very best way to prevent your pet, home and yard from becoming infested with fleas is to follow the simple techniques outlined here...and then keep your pet on your own property if you are able. Families with indoor/outdoor cats are going to have a much more difficult time controlling fleas than those that have indoor cats.  Likewise, dogs that go to the bayou and the dog park are likely to pick up fleas and bring them home. If you live in a townhome or apartment without a yard, or you enjoy the dog park, try using a repellent product on your dog before you leave for your walk even if your pet is on a flea killing pill.

I hope this article was helpful. I’ll continue to add products as I find ones that are effective. Please feel free to call me any day of the week should questions arise: 832-549-1730. I promise to answer calls in as timely a manner as possible.