I have dealt with fleas for over 25 years, as long as I’ve lived in this house and had pets. Thankfully flea control has come a long way and the stuff actually works now, because where I live the fleas also live. Recently I saw a discussion about flea control on-line and I got pretty ticked off. (Ticks are another problem where I live.)
Among the suggestions were sprinkling baking soda in the carpets and using vinegar as a perimeter spray. I’ve heard it all when I mention fleas to my neighbors, from “I just bathe my dog in Head & Shoulders” to “I just use the flea shampoo”.
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Every one of those suggestions is useless! Although I do shampoo my dog with Head & Shoulders for its anti-itch properties, I prefer to spend my time and money on something that works. Fleas are so hard to kill it takes 24 hours to drown them. There is no homeopathic/organic/natural remedy that will prevent or control fleas on your pet and in your home. Let me repeat myself here.
There is no homeopathic/organic/natural remedy that will prevent or control fleas on your pet and in your home.
Flea control before Advantage
Pre-Advantage days were a nightmare. I would spray cracks and crevices, under furniture and appliances because fleas lay their eggs in dusty places. Pre-Advantage was flea bathing a hissing spitting cat and then using flea spray on the same hissing spitting cat and then watching them drool big gobs of slobber on my bed. I’m sure I’ve still got the scars on my arms to prove I’ve been in the trenches when it comes to battling fleas.
The flea sprays of the time would kill fleas on contact (as long as the spray touches them) and then prevent flea eggs from hatching. I would spend $50 or so annually on these products – the best there was then – and entire weekends battling fleas. I never won the war until Advantage came on the market. Advantage turned my dog into a walking flea killer. Applied once a month any fleas that wanted to hop on that snack bar ate their last meal.
Flea Control that works!
If you really want to control fleas on your pet – get Advantage. It actually works and you won’t need to spend an entire weekend crawling on your hands and knees spraying under baseboards. We have even used Advantage on Guinea Pigs – your vet can help you work out the correct dosage – with absolutely no harm to the Pig.
Signs you’ve got a flea problem.
Excessive licking and chewing is always the first sign. It is hard to see the fleas themselves – one way to do it is firmly and rapidly rub the fur on your dogs back up and down, then quickly turn them over, the fleas will all run to the dogs belly. This is hard to do with a larger dog or a dog wary of being in a submissive position.
Even if you don’t see the actual flea – signs of flea dirt are just as accurate. You’ll see flea dirt in the crease of their hind legs mostly but also around their anus. Fleas will go to a dogs eyes and anus for moisture – which is why if you are using flea shampoo you suds up their neck and back-end before working on the rest of the dog.
Areas that your dog can easily chew will have thinning fur or bald patches. Sometimes you can see actual clip marks from their teeth in the fur from chewing. Some dogs will develop a severe flea allergy resulting in serious skin issues, including flea allergy dermatitis. Fleas feed on blood, so they can also cause anemia and even grosser than the blood sucking thing – they can give your dog or cat tapeworm.
If you have fleas
Flea products sold in pet stores are not effective. Flea shampoos will kill the fleas on the dog, but will do nothing to prevent re-infestation. There are drops sold in pet stores, made by Hartz, etc. that can work as a temporary measure but they are nowhere near as effective as Advantage or Revolution (also effective for preventing Heartworm) or any of the other brands your vet can supply. Advantage can be purchased on Amazon. It will cost more than vinegar, baking soda or borax, but it actually works.
If you’re going to put a chemical on your dog, and you will have to if you want to control fleas, it may as well be one that actually works. Let me repeat myself here.
If you’re going to put a chemical on your dog, and you will have to if you want to control fleas, it may as well be one that actually works.