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Killing Fleas on Dogs using 3 Easy Steps

Updated on July 6, 2011

Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs in 3 Steps

It takes some work to kill fleas on dogs, but with these three easy steps, you can do it.

The itching, the scratching, the biting all go hand-in-hand when you have a flea infestation in your home. And not only is your dog miserable, so is your family. Your dog won't stop scratching and biting and your family has the embarrassing telltale signs of red fleabites on their arms and legs.

To put a stop to this, you need a plan for dog flea treatment. Here is a step-by-step plan to rid your home of fleas once and for all.

Get Rid of Fleas for Good

To get rid of fleas, you have to follow a 3-step process. First, you need to treat your outdoor area. Next, take your dog outdoors and treat him for fleas. Finally, while your dog is still outdoors, treat the inside of your home for fleas.

Follow the steps in this order. By treating your outdoor areas first, when you treat your dog his fleas will jump off into the insecticide you’ve place outside and be killed. You don’t want them jumping off inside your home.

Finally, after you treat your dog outside, leave him outside and treat the inside of your home. Here are details and choices for each of these steps.

Kill Fleas on Dogs

Step #1 - Killing Fleas Outdoors

In each of these steps to kill fleas, you have several choices. One way to kill fleas outside is to use an insecticide that you spray or sprinkle on your lawn. Most insecticides are toxic. They do a good job at killing fleas but aren’t environmentally friendly and can be toxic to dogs and humans. This is a big concern if you have children playing in the yard.

A natural flea killer you can use to kill fleas outside is Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth is made from tiny fossilized water plants called diatoms. The diatoms are ground up to form a completely natural substance that is a lot like talcum powder.

This product works because its microscopic razor-sharp edges cut the protective covering of insects causing them to dehydrate and die.

Mix the Diatomaceous Earth with water and spray your yard paying extra attention to your dog's favorite areas. Don’t forget garbage cans, windowsills, doorframes, sewer pipes and drains when spraying. Once you have treated your lawn, it's time to take your dog outside and treat him for fleas.

Killing Fleas on Your Dog

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Step #2 - Killing Fleas on Your Dog

The fastest and easiest way to get rid of fleas on your dog is to use flea drops. Some of the more common flea killing drops on the market are K9 Advantix, Advantage, Frontline, and Biospot. You apply the drops between the shoulder blades of your dog and they kill fleas anywhere from one to three months.

Flea drops contain Fipronil, Methoprene or Permethrin. These are all types of insecticides that either kill adult fleas before they can lay eggs or work as insect growth regulators that keep flea larvae from maturing.

Flea drops are strong and can sometimes cause side effects. Do not use flea drops if you have a puppy under twelve weeks old as they have strong chemicals in them that are harmful to puppies. If you don’t want to use strong chemicals on your dog, you can either comb the fleas and eggs out or try a natural mixture.

Combing fleas out of your dog's coat is time-consuming but effective. With one bowl of clean water and one bowl of soapy water, comb your dog. Each time you run the comb through your dog's coat, dip it in the soapy water, then the clean water. This process drowns the fleas. Continue until you’ve combed your dog thoroughly. After combing, bathe your dog in flea and tick shampoo.

If you want to try an all-natural flea powder, you can make one yourself. Mix in equal parts as many of the following powdered herbs as you can find: eucalyptus, rue, wormwood, yellowdock, fennel and rosemary. Sprinkle this mixture over your dog and rub into his coat.

You can also use Diatomaceous Earth as a powder on your dog. But, you need to take special precautions so neither you nor your dog breathes it. It's best to wear a mask and cover your dog's mouth and nose. It isn't poisonous but can irritate the mucous lining of the mouth and nasal passages of both you and your dog.

Step #3 - Killing Fleas Indoors

Now that you’ve killed the fleas outside your home and on your dog, it's time to move inside the house. Leave your dog outside and use one of these methods to kill fleas indoors.

The first thing you need to do is to vacuum thoroughly. This includes the carpet, curtains and upholstered furniture. Vacuum thoroughly, especially where your dog sleeps. Don’t forget to vacuum under furniture and appliances. After vacuuming, remove the bag from your vacuum cleaner, close it up in a garbage bag, and put it in an outside garbage can.

After vacuuming, you can try several things. A flea bomb is very effective but you need to take special precautions like covering food and dishes. Everyone, including your dog and other pets, needs to leave the house for around three hours depending on the bomb. After returning, you need to vacuum and wipe up the powder the bomb leaves behind.

Flea bombs are very effective because they are thorough. They get in the cracks and crevices you miss and they also get behind and underneath furniture and appliances where you might miss.

The bombs are very effective at killing adult fleas and their eggs but they don’t kill fleas in the dormant stage. To get rid of fleas completely after using a flea bomb, you need to vacuum every day for approximately 21days. The vacuuming stimulates the pupa to hatch and sucks them into the vacuum. Just to be safe, you may want to use a second bomb after the first 21 days.

If you don’t want to use flea bombs, you can sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth or Mule Team Borax in your home. These two powders work the same and dry out the adult fleas and larvae. They are effective but you need to be thorough when spreading it. Make sure you get it in all your carpets, in cracks and crevices, under appliances, and on upholstered furniture. Leave the powder for at least a couple of hours, and then vacuum.

There's no doubt about it - it takes work to kill fleas on dogs and to rid your home of flea infestations. But, by following these steps and choosing which methods you prefer, you can effectively get rid of fleas once and for all.


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      Ron Pelka 5 years ago

      will putting a mothball in the vaccuum bag be of any benefit in killing the fleas in the bag as you continue to vaccuum your entire house ?