Fleas can live by sucking the blood of mammals and birds. There are many different types of fleas, and while some can live on the blood of more than one species, many fleas can also live on the blood of a particular species. Even if there are ticks that are specific to humans, you are susceptible to more than 1 species of tick. Fleas on pets can also attack you, and have the potential to spread disease and parasites.
Method 1 of 5: Seek Professional Help for Fleas
Step 1. Watch out for flea necklaces
Many flea collars are ineffective and some even contain organophosphate compounds that are potentially toxic to pets. The only flea collars that have been shown to be both effective and safe are the Saresto collars, which can be purchased at your veterinarian.
Step 2. Ask your veterinarian for local treatment
Local or “spot-on” treatments are treatments that are applied directly to the surface of the animal's skin to kill fleas quickly. Part of this monthly treatment should be taken for a full year as a preventative. Remember that just because a product kills lice doesn't mean it's effective. Use an approved flea medication to kill lice, which indicates the product is indeed useful. Make sure the product you choose is labeled for pets. Cats can become seriously ill (or even die) if given special dog flea medication. Meanwhile, Frontline products can kill rabbits. Some of the commonly used flea medications include:
- Permethrin: many dog flea medications contain permethrin alone or in combination with other medications to effectively get rid of fleas on dogs. This drug is not safe for all animals, and can cause health problems in humans and dogs.
- Dinotefuran and pyriproxyphen (known as Vectra) are used to treat fleas in cats. Be warned: Vectra 3D is a dog flea remedy that contains permethrin and is harmful to cats.
- Fipronil and (S)-methoprene (known as Frontline Plus for Cats): these products are used to kill larvae and nits, as well as adult fleas. This product can also kill mites and mallophaga.
- Imidacloprid and pyriproxyphen (known as Advantage II): these products can kill fleas at all stages of their life. Be sure not to buy a product with a similar name, namely Advantix II, which is a product for dogs, and contains permethrin which is dangerous for cats.
- Selamectin (known as Revolution): use this product once a month. This product can also kill fleas, heartworms, ear mites, and sarcoptic mites.
- Pay attention to the chemicals you use. Products such as Advantage made by Bayer contain neonicotinoids which are known to have serious ecological impacts including the reduction of bee populations worldwide.
Step 3. Consider asking your vet for oral flea medication
Swallowed drugs usually take effect quickly, also do not leave a residue. However, this drug can only be obtained from a veterinarian. Your vet can also suggest the best option for you. Many of these monthly treatments should be used a full year as a preventative measure. These drugs include:
- Lufenuron (known as): this drug is available in tablet, oral suspension, or injection form. Give this medicine to pets with food once a month. Be aware that this medication will not kill lice but will make them sterile so they cannot reproduce. If the flea infestation on your pet is severe enough, this remedy may not be the best choice as you will have to wait for the flea to age and die. This remedy is best used in a clean home as a preventative for fleas.
- Nitenpiram (known as Capstar): this medication is available in pill form. Give this medication to your pet as directed by your veterinarian to kill adult fleas and their eggs.
- Spinosad (known as Comfortis): this medication is available as a chewable tablet that you must give your pet once a month to kill fleas.
Step 4. Visit whether a salon or vet nearby provides a pet bathing service to clean fleas
Many doctors and veterinary salons provide this service. For small pets, you should visit the vet, not a vet salon. Pet salons usually rarely have poultry flea cleaning equipment. Be aware that once the animal is bathed, and the body is dry, there is nothing else to prevent the tick from jumping back into the animal's body.
Method 2 of 5: Bathing Animals to Kill Fleas
Step 1. Use only water
Most flea treatments are impossible for some animals, such as guinea pigs. In this case, showering may be the only option for you. By bathing the animal in warm water, not hot water, the fleas will be drowned out. However, since it doesn't kill nits, you may have to comb the animal's hair and repeat this treatment.
- Fleas will jump onto the animal's head and face as you start to wet its body, so it's best to start with the neck and then work your way up to the rest of the body. This will limit the movement of the flea jumping onto the pet's face and ears.
- Use room temperature or slightly warm water so your pet doesn't startle.
- Discontinue treatment if small animals are frightened. Animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs can die from a fear-induced heart attack.
Step 2. Use dish soap when bathing animals to kill fleas
Although it can dry and/or irritate your pet's skin, dish soap is effective at killing fleas. This soap is toxic to fleas, and can be used to control their attacks. Be sure to rinse the pet's body thoroughly.
Step 3. Buy an anti-lice shampoo
Shampoos like these are specifically designed to treat fleas on certain animals. Look for a shampoo formulated for your pet. Be sure to follow the instructions given carefully, to prevent injury to your pet.
Step 4. Rinse thoroughly
Always rinse your pet's body thoroughly. Leftover flea treatment products can irritate the animal's skin and potentially cause problems. Taking the time to rinse any remaining soap, shampoo, or herbal treatment from the animal's body will help repel fleas while ensuring that no product remains and causes the animal to feel uncomfortable.
Method 3 of 5: Using Powder to Control Lice
Step 1. Purchase insecticide powder from your veterinarian
Various insecticide powders are available for different animals, with different chemical compositions and dosages. You should consult your veterinarian before using this powder to ensure it is safe for your pet. This option has been replaced by many other treatments for controlling lice. One of the downsides of using powders is that they can be inhaled, which can be unhealthy for you and your pet. This powder is useful when it is impossible to bathe the animal.
Step 2. Use food grade diatomaceous earth
For flea-infested birds, this option may be appropriate. Mix diatomaceous earth with sand and then give it to the poultry to spread on its body, or you can also sprinkle it on the bird's body. Be sure to wear a mask while using diatomaceous earth. Although not harmful to poultry, this material can cause skin and lung irritation for humans.
Step 3. Make sure the products you use are pet safe
There are many different types of powdered products available, but not all of them are safe for pets. Some of these can kill or injure your pet. Different pets have different tolerances for different products, so be sure to talk to your vet about the active ingredients in the treatment you are using.
Method 4 of 5: Combing Pet Hair to Repel Fleas
Step 1. Purchase a flea comb or a fine toothed comb
Fleas can cling tightly to pet hair, and flea eggs can also cling very tightly, so a fine-toothed comb should be used to get rid of them. The flea comb is specially designed for this purpose. Make sure the teeth of the comb you use are of the right length and density for your pet.
Step 2. Have a bucket of water near you
This bucket filled with water serves to drown the fleas that have been combed out. In addition, this bucket of water is also useful for wetting the animal's fur when combing so that it helps limit the movement of fleas. Make sure to use warm, but not hot, water.
Step 3. Move the comb in the direction of hair growth
Comb from root to tip, also from head to tail. This technique is especially important when combing lice. Fleas like to cling to the roots of animal hair, so if you don't brush along the hair shaft, some of the fleas may be missed.
Step 4. Do it slowly
While it may seem tedious, the time you spend manually removing fleas is well worth it. This treatment can be very effective in controlling and treating flea problems in animals. Do not rush to comb the animal's hair, or this treatment process will actually take longer.
Step 5. Repeat this treatment every few days
Comb fleas on your pets more than once. That way, you have the opportunity to monitor for new fleas, as well as check the health of the animal's skin. Don't just watch for fleas, but also check for signs of irritation or injury from grooming your pet.
Step 6. Be aware that fleas only need to jump onto the animal's body to attack it, and most fleas live around, so it may take a long time to control a flea infestation by combing the animal's hair
Method 5 of 5: Cleaning Everything
Step 1. Act quickly
The speed at which the tick kills is very important for controlling and overcoming its attack. Don't let your pet flea problem get out of hand. The longer you delay treatment, the worse the attack will be, and the more difficult it will be to treat it. Dealing with flea infestations as soon as you notice them is very important in solving this pet problem.
Step 2. Clean the environment around the pet
Carpets in the house are the most likely to be inhabited by fleas. Look for an environmentally friendly borax-derived powder to sprinkle on the carpet to prevent fleas. Clean the pet's bedding, as well as any areas it uses frequently. For small animals, clean the cage and toys with hot soapy water. Dispose of bedding in the form of grated wood or old newspapers.
Step 3. Vacuum or steam clean
Fleas can survive at home, away from their hosts for a long time. So, often cleaning the house by vacuuming is very important. Steam cleaning is also a great way to get rid of fleas from your home because steam can kill them. Be sure to do one or both of these methods during and after you give your pet flea treatment.
- Washing and cleaning the entire house will help prevent fleas. If you do, the fleas won't have the time and space to live and reproduce.
- Discard the suction bag afterward to prevent re-infestation of fleas.
- Vacuum cleaners can kill fleas like chemical products.
Step 4. Wash all fabrics
Lice can hide in bed sheets, towels, and clothing. So, make sure to wash everything in hot water so that the lice and eggs die. Wash the curtains and pillows too as they can harbor fleas too. Soak your pet's bedding in hot soapy water for at least 15 minutes, wash, rinse, and let dry, or dry with a towel. This will destroy the waxy coating on the tick until it dehydrates and dies.
Step 5. Do not let pets touch the furniture in the house
If your pet has fleas, you don't want them to spread throughout the house. Keep in mind that fleas can live for several months on furniture and will quickly attack your pet again whenever possible. By keeping your pets away from furniture, you can control the spread of fleas in your home.
Step 6. Spray the Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) onto the floor and bedding
IGR products, such as Nylar can stop the growth of lice and thus break their reproductive cycle. This is especially useful when you are trying to deal with a severe flea infestation. The most economical way is to buy a concentrate product and mix it according to the instructions in the package.
- Usually, this product should be used at least twice, with a gap of three and a half weeks. Spraying it on areas of the house frequented by animals once a month during flea season is also often helpful.
- IGR is non-toxic to mammals so it is a great choice for use in homes with children or small animals such as hamsters.
- If you catch a tick, put it down the toilet bowl or dip it in rubbing alcohol. Also read how to make a flea trap.
- Ticks carry tapeworms. So, keep an eye on your pet after they have fleas as they may also carry these gastric parasites. Currently, there are over-the-counter tapeworm drugs which are generic preparations of the Droncit drug previously prescribed by veterinarians.
- Many flea shampoos have an age limit, which means some kittens and dogs can't use them. Also, be sure to rinse the shampoo thoroughly, so your pet doesn't feel uncomfortable from the soap residue.
- Keep in mind that "natural" products from the store may be toxic to animals. "Natural" products are by no means safe, even arsenic and nightshade are natural!
- When you see a tick, you can catch it with tape.
- If your pet likes to fall asleep or sit in a place without a washable mat or blanket, provide one of these as upholstery. That way, you can wash it more often.
- There are products that will allow you to get rid of fleas on your lawn to prevent them from attacking your pets and home again. The most important product to use is the Insect Growth Regulator which can stop the growth of lice. On the other hand, insecticides are only able to kill adult fleas. In fact, fleas only spend 15% of their lives as adults. The remaining 85% of the life of the tick is spent waiting for it to hatch and develop into an adult tick. So, do not let the lice develop into adults.
- Using beneficial nematodes is a natural way to control flea infestations.
- Fleas can jump right back into the pet after shampooing.
- Call your vet if your pet has a rash or other allergic reaction, and is still scratching his body after about 2 weeks.
- Cases of severe flea infestation may need to be treated by a veterinarian.