There are many ways to prevent fleas from hopping on your pet and letting them enter your home, but sometimes prevention comes a little too late. So, what are you to do if you discover your pet has fleas?
The following are a few ways to help rid the critters before they get out of hand.
Don't Wait for an Infestation - Even though the life of a flea is very short, they reproduce in great numbers, and very rapidly. Waiting even days to start attacking the fleas will mean more flea eggs scattered in your home and on your pet. Your best bet at beating them is to begin the attack the moment you discover them.
OTC and Prescription Drops - If you are able, you can get an immediate appointment with your vet for flea medicine. The drops begin to work right away, but they may not be a great choice if you have young kids around, or if your pets are handled frequently. The chemicals in the drops are essentially poisonous, and are not recommended for young pets either.
Treat Carpets and Bedding - Flea baths, drops, and collars are not going to rid the fleas on their own. As your pet walks around, it is dropping flea eggs into the carpet, perhaps in the couch fabric, and around its bedding, food area and litter boxes. You will need to continually treat all these areas for up to a week or more, until the egg cycle is destroyed. When you vacuum, be sure to empty the bag each time to keep the critters from hopping right back out.
Consider the Outdoors - You should also treat your outdoor areas, since the fleas most likely came from your yard. If you have outdoor rugs, you will want to wash and treat those especially. Try to keep your pet indoors until they are protected from fleas and their eggs. Therefore, when they return outside, the fleas will hesitate before hopping back onto your pet.
Home Remedies to Consider - If you can't get to the store right away for flea medicine, or you are afraid of chemicals, you can consider some home remedies. Some vets will recommend a bath in Original Dawn dish soap (in the blue bottle). Salt will kill fleas, though it can irritate your pet's skin. It is best used on carpeted surfaces, and it has been known to begin killing within hours. It will not, however, kill the eggs.