How to Keep Fleas Out of the House & Off of Dogs

Overview

Once a flea population is established in your home, it is extremely difficult and frustrating to eliminate them. The best way to keep a flea infestation from taking over your life is to prevent one from taking hold. Flea season is usually in high gear by late spring or early summer, so treat your dog with an oral or topical insecticide in early spring. Keep a clean house, vacuum regularly, and remove any vegetative litter in the yard to discourage flea-carrying mammals from favoring the space around your home.

Step 1

Get a flea prevention treatment containing fipronil or imidacloprid from your dogs veterinarian or from a pet supply store. These prevention medications contain insecticides.

Step 2

Apply topical solutions to the base of the dogs neck, between the shoulder blades, where they will spread to the rest of the body and kill adults and flea larvae.

Step 3

Another option is to give your dog an oral insecticide containing lufenuron. You might also choose to administer an insect growth regulator (IGR) containing methoprene or pyriproxyfen. IGRs do not kill adult fleas but break the flea reproduction life cycle by preventing the larvae from turning into adults.

Step 4

Use washable pet bedding that you can easily toss in the washing machine. Wash your pets bedding at least once, if not twice, a month. Soapy water destroys all flea stages.

Step 5

Restrict your pets sleeping area. Dogs love to sleep all over the house, and with people whenever they can, but a dog who sleeps wherever he pleases will bring critters with him. Encouraging your dog to sleep in just one really comfortable spot will help to limit the areas you have to thoroughly clean.

Step 6

Follow a regular and thorough house-cleaning schedule. Vacuum carpets, floors, under couch cushions, and under furniture. You can even vacuum your dogs coat if you know there are adult fleas in it. Keeping your floors and furniture free from pet and people debris will remove the camouflage that flea larvae use to build their water-tight cocoons.

Step 7

Keep a tidy yard. Keep grass short and remove any yard clippings or leaf litter. Cut down tall weeds and grasses along fencerows and against the house or around stairs. These grasses eventually go to seed and attract small mammals that feed off those seeds, which, in turn, attract larger mammals that feed off the smaller ones. Mammals like mice, raccoons, and coyotes all carry fleas, and once they are present in your yard, they are bound to end up in your home.

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