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Effective Flea Treatments For Dogs and Cats

Updated on September 29, 2012

The Life Cycle of a Flea

Adult fleas can live 3-4 months
Adult fleas can live 3-4 months | Source

How Did My Pet Get Fleas?

Our pets can get fleas from other animals. The flea can jump from one pet to another. The eggs can hatch in your yard and then jump onto your pet. When the fleas are feeding on your pet, they inject their saliva into the skin of the animal. The salivary proteins cause a dermatological reaction, like a flea allergy on the skin. It causes the dog, cat, bunny to bite and scratch. They may even lose their hair in the affected area. A few fleas can cause a big problem. Fleas are blood sucking pests that can cause anemia in a puppy or kitten or elderly dog or cat. Some fleas can transmit tapeworm.

Fleas can easily go unnoticed, until your dog or cat has an issue. Fleas are very common.
Most fleas don’t live on human beings, but they can bite and cause a person’s skin to become irritated. Fleas have the potential to transmit other infections too. The adult fleas feed on the blood of the cat. In young kittens, they can get anemia because of this. This can cause your kitten to become weak, and make it prone to other health issues. Some cats can develop skin diseases and scratch a lot because they become allergic to the flea saliva.
Cats who get fleas may show very little signs of infestation. Cats lick themselves to keep themselves clean. From this activity, they can ingest the fleas. This makes it difficult to find any fleas. If you see your cat itching a lot, fleas could be the culprit. If you have bites around your ankles, you may have fleas.

How to Get Rid of Fleas

Vacuum often so that you help to reduce the infestation. Vacuuming will not eliminate the fleas. Make sure you get rid of the vacuum bag immediately after vacuuming, so the immature fleas don’t grow inside the bag and then re-infestate the house. To get rid of fleas, you need to be extremely thorough. Be sure to get inbetween, and in every nook and cranny to treat for the fleas. Dispose of any pet beds, or launder, or treat with a flea control product.

You can get flea products a variety of ways. Flea collars, flea shampoos, powders, foams, sprays, topical applied monthly, and oral liquids. The best way to deal with fleas is prevention. Flea preventatives are either I nsect development inhibitors (IDIs) or Insect growth regulators (IGRs). Both act on the receptors that mammals don’t have, only insects do, making this safer to use on your pet.

Natural Ways to Treat Fleas

  • herbal flea powder. You can purchase them in natural food stores and pet stores. To make it yourself, mix equal parts of any of these powdered herbs such as rosemary, fennel, eucalyptus,fennel, wormwood, yellow dock,rue. Put the herbs in a jar used for spices and shake sparingly over your pet .Move their fur backwards so it gets onto the base of their fur, and use on their belly, neck, and back. Apply several times a week. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before you use any product on your pet.
  • herbal flea collar has insect repellent herbal oils. Some are designed so you can add the oils as needed. Look for them at natural food markets. Also check with your veterinarian about the safety of any product. Natural does not necessarily mean safe.
  • natural skin tonic. lemon skin tonic may be an effective flea repellant that you can make yourself. Take a lemon and slice it with the peel,very thin. Boil one pint of water and add the sliced lemon to the boiling water. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, take a sponge and apply it to your pet and let it dry. Do this everyday if your pet has severe skin reactions to the fleas. Talk to your veterinarian before using this or any other product on your pet.
  • brewer's yeast and garlic added to your pet's diet. Some research has shown that these products ork to reduce flea infestation and some studies have shown these to have no effect. Your veterinarian may have more information that can help you in treating your pet and your home against fleas.

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Products that Eliminate Fleas

  • advantage II contains insecticide imidaclopreloprid and IDI pyriproxyfen. Advantage II is a very effective topical treatment that is applied monthly. It eliminates all stages of the flea life cycles
  • frontline plus contains fipronil, and S-Metoprene, IGR to eliminate fleas at every stage
  • frontline top spot get rid of adult fleas by applying topically
  • Biospot Spot On kills juvenile and adult fleas topically
  • Program is an oral preventative to stop the development of flea eggs.

Whatever product you use, be sure to follow manufacturer’s save directions.

If you treat your cat using a mist or a spray, don’t use a topical flea application also. Wait some time before you apply anything else to not overload your cat with flea products. Talk to your veterinarian about their experience with flea products.


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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Mackyi, It is always nice to see you. It is a good idea to avoid places fleas can be, but sometimes they can live in your own backyard and becomes hard to avoid, unless you use a flea preventative

    • profile image

      mackyi 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing yet another helpful hub toknowinfo. I also think we should desist from taking our animals to places(parks, in bushes etc) where we think they might have been exposed to flees in the first place! It's also good to treat the home environment.