Does your dog love the great outdoors? Then chances are he’s coming in contact with some unsavory pests. When it comes to free-loading on a furry friend, fleas are notorious hitchhikers that can eventually end up inside your house. Don’t worry, there are simple solutions to keep fleas off of your pet.
All About Fleas
Fleas are tiny, wingless parasites that feed on the blood of other animals to survive. Because they are so small, they can easily go unnoticed in your pet’s fur. Even if you find them, it may be difficult to identify them. They can’t fly, but they have six long legs that make it easy to jump great distances from host to host. Brown to reddish brown in color, their bodies are hairy, thin, and flat.
Does Your Dog Have Fleas?
If you suspect your dog has fleas, the best way to find out is to thoroughly inspect his fur using a special comb. These crafty creatures tend to hide in warm, hard-to-see places like armpits and groins. Or, give your dog a bath, and examine the water in the tub afterwards. The fleas look like tiny, dark specks floating in the water.
Keep Fleas off of Your Pets
There are several methods to prevent fleas from feeding on Fido. And some natural methods work just as well chemicals, but are safer for your pets, the humans that apply them, and the environment.
- Dehumidifiers. Fleas can’t survive without humidity. Create an unfriendly environment for them by using dehumidifiers in your home for a few days. This will kill them, as well as their eggs and larvae.
- There are plenty of flea collars on the market that are chemically treated to keep away pests. And you can even make your own natural version by adding a couple drops of an essential oil like cedar, eucalyptus, or lavender to a handkerchief and placing it around his neck. These essential oils naturally repel fleas.
- Fleas have an aversion to the smell of cedar. Use cedar wood chips in your yard by mixing them in with mulch, or create a wood-chip border around the outer perimeter.
- Citrus is a natural flea repellant. Before your dog goes outside, lightly rub freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice into the fur. It should help ward off the parasitic pests. But be careful, citrus oil extracted from the rind can be harmful to cats and dogs. Only use juice from the fruit pulp.
- Fleas dislike vinegar. And a pet who has been treated with a vinegar concoction is just as undesirable. Make a natural flea repellent with one part water and one part apple cider vinegar. Put it in a spray bottle and spritz your pup all over, avoiding the eyes. Then, let your pet dry naturally. This is good to do before you let your pet out to play, and it can be repeated as often as you like.
Maintaining a Flea-Free Pet
Prevention is the best defense against fleas. Keeping your pet in good health is key, because these parasites prefer to feed on weaker hosts. Give your dog a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and regular vet check ups.
Because dogs tend to pick up fleas outside, maintaining your yard can help deter these pests from picking on your pet. Remove leaf piles, rubbish, and old outdoor furniture so that fleas have less places to hide and lay eggs. Also, regularly mow the lawn, prune bushes and trees, and weed. Fleas like moist, shady areas and a neat yard gets more sunlight. If you think you have an infestation in your yard, give it a heavy soaking with the hose. Flooding your yard washes away fleas and their eggs.
Keep it clean inside your home as well. Make sure to reduce clutter and vacuum regularly. Wash your pet’s bedding often, and dry it on high heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes. This kills fleas, larvae, and eggs.
There are many ways to keep fleas off of your pet. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] to find out more on how to keep your yard and home free of fleas and other pests.