Advise From a Groomer: Getting Rid of Fleas
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
"How do I get rid of these fleas? They're driving me nuts and I've tried everything!" Follow my step-by-step guide to getting rid of those pesky fleas that just won't go away.
Flea preventatives on your pet should always be on top of the list. Keeping your pet on a preventative is usually the best thing you can do so you don't get fleas in the first place. Always plan a visit with your veterinarian to figure out which preventative work best for your pet. Some dog breeds are very sensitive to flea preventatives and your vet should always approve of what you are using on your pet. Always buy a flea preventative from your veterinarian. As a dog groomer, I'd suggest giving your dog their preventative BEFORE you bathe them. This way, it can be properly absorbed through the oils of the coat before they are washed away. Always follow the directions on your preventative and make sure you don't bathe them too soon after as you don't want to wash it off and it doesn't work at all.
THE FLEA BATH
You have multiple options in which to approach a flea bath. You can drop your pet off at their vet hospital, so they can get a thorough check-up and bath or at your local, trusted groomer's salon. This way you can focus on cleaning your house and backyard and it is one less thing you have to do. Your pet will enjoy being pampered and will feel much better after they're clean. You can also pick up your pet later after the house and yard are all clean and you don't have to worry about them getting in your way.
You can also choose to bathe your pet yourself. My favorite flea shampoo lately has been the Bark2Basics Citrus Plus Flea Control Shampoo. It is advertised as an itch relief shampoo to help with flea bites but I have found that it kills fleas better than any pesticide version. It contains citrus and smells really fruity. It also cleans the coat well, kills most of the fleas and soothes irritated skin. After your pet is washed and dry, use a flea comb to make sure you get any fleas left behind.
*Please remember, if one of your pets in the house has fleas, there is a very good chance the other animals do too. Please thoroughly clean all pets, not just the one you think has fleas, otherwise, the fleas will continue to breed in your house and nobody wants that. Flea baths should never be the only thing done to get rid of fleas since it never gets all of them off.
Now that your pet itself is flea free you can't stop there. Fleas can sometimes live longer than 100 days without a live host so kill those little suckers before they get back on your pet! Just because you got a preventative from your vet that does not mean they are in the clear. These are called preventatives for a reason, so they work best BEFORE your house is infested with fleas, not after.
DE-FLEA THE HOME
You're going to need to do a deep cleaning of your home. Fleas hide in every nook and cranny unfortunately, so get ready. Fleas like to hide on floors and fabrics. If its a floor, vacuum it, and if its a fabric, wash it.
Floors: Fleas are on the ground because well, your pet lives there and so does it's fleas. Vet's Best - Flea & Tick Home Spray is by far the best home spray you can find. I'd make sure your pets aren't around or even in the same room since it has a very strong smell. After you let it sit, vacuum all carpets, and mop up the floors. Make sure you wipe down and spray the baseboards too (especially if you have carpet in that room) and underneath them if you can, that's where they like to hide and come out later.
Fabrics: (Including your couch, rugs, bedding, etc... anything that a flea can hide in, imagine it living there.) This may take the longest, but just wash, spray, and vacuum everything you can. The more thorough you are, the better!
Also, it may be a good idea to spray and clean your house not once but twice. Fleas can repopulate, so cleaning everything twice can help cut back on the chance of the fleas coming back again. For example, your first cleaning day is a Saturday, and then clean again the following Saturday.
Did you know that when you spray traditional pesticides on your lawn to kill fleas it also kills the beneficial insects of the environment? Of course nobody likes bugs, but some bugs are good! There is a nationwide shortage of bees in the country, and we need bees to pollinate our foods and flowers. Do you think just because you're spraying on your land it doesn't effect other wildlife miles away? Some chemicals work for extended periods of time even after you spray, sometimes months. You may think that's great but these chemicals also end up getting washed away through water runoff with the next rain and while still active, can spread very far and do harm to other life forms such as fish and frogs on the way. If you live by bodies of water, there may even be regulations in your area for what you can and can't put on your lawn because of this growing issue.
For your yard, I recommend Wondercide EcoTreat - Natural Outdoor Pest Control Concentrate. It's a safe product and it doesn't kill beneficial insects you like having around like the bees and butterflies.
I hope my guide is what you've been looking for and has helped you with your flea issue. If this post has helped you at all, let me know and comment below!