A Detailed Guide to Flea Prevention
To avoid the inconvenience and hassle of dealing with a common pest, flea prevention is the best route to take. Once they enter your home on the backs of your pet it is likely too late. Work through these steps to form a battle plan against fleas.
Plan a prevention strategy before you see any evidence of fleas. By the time they show themselves on your pet, they have already laid their eggs around your home. Adult fleas take a couple of months to make the change from egg to flea, so the insects biting your pet have been in their fur for awhile. Also, that adult flea can lay thousands of eggs over a very short period of time. Once you’ve seen the mother flea jumping, she’s laid the base of her extensive family.
By that time, flea prevention has moved to flea control and extermination.
To avoid that process, investigate your options. The most time consuming and natural way is to detect the fleas right away. Use a special comb to inspect the coat of your pet every day and most especially after he has been outside. You can use tweezers to remove anything you find, be it fleas or thistles. Check all of the folds in your pet’s skin, including their ears and between toes and in the joints. This way is high maintenance but eliminates the need for any chemicals.
You can also check for fleas by rinsing your pet. It’s not as thorough as combing, but if your pet is rinsed over a light colored towel, the fleas will jump off and you can spot them. Kill the pests by drowning them in water with a drop or two of cooking oil.
Natural methods of flea prevention include many different herbal combinations. Some claim that drops of rosemary or lemon oil on your pet’s collar will repel fleas. Rinsing your animal with apple cider vinegar may also repel the insects. A concentrated homemade lemon steeped tea sprayed onto their fur and rubbed onto their heads has also been touted as a home remedy. Another common household item that can be used in flea prevention is a flower-scented shampoo. Rub it into the fur of your pet and let dry. The scent acts as a deterrent. Garlic may also repel fleas, but is harder to imagine adorning your pet with that.
An understated but important method of flea prevention is to maintain good health in your pet. Feed them nutritious food, exercise them regularly and give them supplements. Fleas are less likely to invest a healthy animal. B complex vitamins and omega 3 and 6 are important to include in their diet.
There are also many commercial products that are made to repel or remove fleas. Some are simply for spot applications and others are a shampoo or lotion. If you choose a spray-on method, be sure to apply in a well ventilated area and don’t spray at your pet’s face.
Be sure to read all labels and instructions for the product you have. Some may not be safe for cats and some are too strong for use with young animals. Purchase a product that is formulated for your pet specifically. Be careful to not over apply a chemical based product, as it may cause skin irritation or other more serious side effects.
Another ingredient to watch for is insect growth regulator, which will stop the fleas from maturing if they’re present. This can be used in addition to other prevention products and is useful on the pet, in your home and in the air.
Flea prevention can take many forms, but it is an important process in the health of your pet. Choose the method that works for you and be diligent in keeping this pest at bay.