As the weather warms up, the fleas start to come out. Left unchecked, fleas can be an uncomfortable problem for your pet and for you.
Thankfully, there are some easy ways to prevent fleas from being uninvited guests in your home.
Start with these three preventative steps. If you still find fleas, step up and fight them with three more steps.
Step One: Keep a Clean House
Don’t give fleas a cozy place to set up. Vacuum all of those crevices that might have dirt and debris. Turn over couch cushions and vacuum underneath them. These are prime hiding spots for fleas.
Step Two: Kill Any Fleas You Might Already Have
Diatomaceous (DIE-at-a-MAY-shuss) earth, which is also called D.E. or Diatomite, is a powder you can sprinkle to get rid of any potential fleas you may have. It’s non-toxic, so won’t hurt pets or kids. D.E. is available in most pet stores.
Borax works in much the same way for your carpets and is also non-toxic. Sprinkle it around and then vacuum it up after a few days.
You can find Borax in most grocery stores.
Step Three: Consider Bonus Defenses
Fleas have been known to avoid cedar chips and eucalyptus leaves. They hate the smell of both.
Use cedar chips around the yard to help prevent fleas from living near your house. Try lining your fence with them.
Indoors, you can use either eucalyptus leaves or cedar chips: both will help. Just make sure your pet can’t get to them too easily. Cedar chips may cause digestive problems if your pet eats them. Eucalyptus can be potentially toxic, but the flea-fighting scent lasts a long time.
What if you think your pet already has fleas? Follow these three steps.
Step One: Check for Fleas
Brush your pet over a white towel. If what looks like dirt comes off, this could be flea droppings. Gather some of the ‘dirt’ up and put it in rubbing alcohol. If you see red, that means fleas.
If you don’t see any signs of fleas and your pet is still scratching, it could still be fleas. Some pets have an allergy to flea saliva which can make them itchy even from just one or two bites. So, it can still help to follow the ‘Preventing Fleas’ steps above.
And it can also help to...
Step Two: Give Your Pet a Bath
Bathing your pet will drown any fleas they might have and soothe any itchiness. If you have a cat... good luck.
Step Three: Adjust Your Pet’s Diet
You can make your pet less tasty to fleas by mixing garlic, brewer’s yeast, or nutritional yeast into their food.
If you have a bigger dog, a bit of garlic is safe. Unfortunately, it can be toxic to cats and smaller dogs. Instead, use either brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast. Both are inactive yeasts so they won’t upset digestive balance.
This flea season, take an active role in the fight against fleas. But if you’re still having problems, think about these other options: