It’s hard to enjoy life when you’re scratching at fleas. While the fleas can create a world of discomfort for your pet, the good news is that they’re easy to prevent. If you notice signs of fleas in your home or on your pets, you will want to take action right away.
Follow these 4 steps to get rid of fleas fast & prevent future infestations:
1. Treat your pet
Your pet’s warm, furry coat and nourishing blood supply are a flea's dream home. Here’s how to get rid of fleas from your pet’s fur:
- Treat your pet with a suitable flea protection product. Our stores and clinics stock a wide range of flea treatments including spot-ons, oral tablets and chews, flea collars and more. Visit our handy guides to help you choose the products that best suit your cat or dog.
- Wash your pet using flea shampoo. Ask the team at your local Animates store about the best options for your pet. Shampoos and rinses kill fleas living on your pet, but don’t offer residual protection.
Note: you can apply a spot-on treatment after a bath, only once your pet is completely dry, but do not apply within 72 hours after the bath, as this reduces its effectiveness.
- Purchase a flea comb. As an immediate short-term solution, you can use a flea comb to get rid of fleas from your pet’s fur. Have a bowl of warm soapy water handy to dunk the critters once you comb them out of your pet’s hair. Fleas typically reside around the neck and tail areas.
2. Treat your home
Fleas breed at an enormous rate. The fleas you see on your pet represents only 5% of the flea population. The remaining 95% are hiding in the surrounding environment - both indoors and outdoors. Here’s how to start eliminating fleas from your home:
- Use a powerful vacuum on any floors, upholstery, and mattresses. Cracks and other tight spaces are usually good hiding places for fleas and their eggs. After cleaning, take the vacuum outside and discard the contents. Where your pet particularly spends a lot of time sleeping or resting, continue to vacuum these areas frequently for a few day. If possible, have your carpets professionally cleaned.
- Employ a steam cleaner for carpets and upholstery, including pet beds. The combination of high heat and soap is the enemy of fleas in all stages of life. Pay special attention to any hot spots where your pet usually lies down.
- Wash your pet’s bedding in hot water. Dry it at the highest heat setting. If the infestation is severe, consider getting rid of old bedding and replacing it.
- Treat the carpet and your pet’s bed with a flea spray. Ask our store staff for product recommendations.
- Use a veterinary-approved household flea spray or a flea fogger throughout your home. Make sure to carefully read the label instructions to keep your pets safe while you treat your home.
3. Treat your yard
Your lawn and yard can act as a breeding ground for fleas, which can then hitch a ride on your pet (or you) and be brought inside to wreak havoc in your home. Here’s what you can do to eliminate the fleas in the yard:
- Mow your lawn once a week, as fleas can hide in the longer grass.
- Clear clutter and remove all debris, such as dead leaves and twigs.
- Keep your pets out of crawl spaces or other areas where wildlife with fleas might go.
- Clean kennels, dog runs, or dog houses (or anywhere where your pets spends time outdoors) with hot, soapy water.
- Ask your gardening centre about nematodes, which are small worms that can eat parasite eggs. You can spread them around problem areas in your garden to help remove fleas.
- Treat the yard with an insecticide. Speak to a professional and follow the label instructions carefully.
- Let sunshine in. Fleas like it dark, so increase the light your yard receives by doing some tree and shrub pruning.
4. Preventing fleas
The best way to keep your pet and home flea-free is to establish a regular parasite control program for your pet. By maintaining an effective year-round preventative treatment and always being diligent in observing for signs of fleas, you’ll have a much better chance of preventing fleas from coming back.
Over-the-counter parasite prevention treatments can be administered to your pet as a tablet or chew, spot-on, spray or collar. These products have unique benefits - with some providing protection from more than one parasite, including fleas, ticks & intestinal worms.
For more advice on how to treat your cat or dog for fleas, speak with your local Animates team or pop into your local Animates Vetcare clinic. Our knowledgeable store and clinic teams can make recommendations for flea treatments that you can do at home to keep your pet flea-free.