Fleas are an irritating and potentially overwhelming pest problem—and once you have a few, it doesn’t take long before they’re infesting every inch of your house. This is an especially high risk if you’re a dog owner and frequently let your pups out to play or take them on walks. Even if your own home and yard are flea-free, there’s no way to ensure every spot on which your pooch steps is as well. But fear not, for there are some excellent preventatives out there, as well as remedies for those oh-so-dreaded infestations.
Flea collars aren’t one of the strongest preventatives, but they are one of the cheapest. If you walk your dogs or take them to the park for playtime, throw a flea collar on them as a first line of protection. I always start the summer with a flea collar while I gauge that season’s pest problem—they’re cheap and I’d rather not use the stronger chemicals if unnecessary.
If the flea collar isn’t assuaging your flea issues, you may need to move up to the stronger stuff. Advantage/Advantix and Frontline are great products, though they can be a bit pricy, so shop around at various pet stores, veterinary offices and even online. I prefer Advantage, or Advantix for flea and tick prevention, but many people have great luck with Frontline as well. Just make sure you know your dog’s weight range and buy the appropriate dose and only apply once a month. Just a note, fleas must actually bite your dog in order to die, so don’t worry if you still see fleas on your pet—this product won’t give them the opportunity to breed and create an invasion.
Oral Flea Prevention
There are now several decent oral flea preventatives on the market, though I have heard of some side effects like vomiting and diarrhea. If this route interests you, talk to your vet about the right product and dose for your dog. Again, once you have the information, shop around to find the best price.
If you do find yourself with a flea infestation, bypass your local pet stores and all those stinky sprays, powers and carpet cleaners. They’re expensive and severely lacking in the way of “bang for your buck.” In the past when I’ve had a flea problem that finds its way into my home, I turn to trust Raid bug bombs and foggers. Sure, they leave your house smelly, but a few hours with the windows open and you’ll be none the wiser. And yes, you have to leave your house for around 4 hours, but what a wonderful excuse to take your pup to the park or for a flea dip at your local grooming salon. Follow the directions carefully and make sure there are no pets or critters left behind during the fogging. It’s quick, easy, inexpensive and will rid your home of those biting little buggers.