A flea infestation can occur in any pet owner's home. Cats and dogs can bring these pests indoors where they can then breed and become difficult to eliminate. Prevention is the best method of controlling flea outbreaks. Protect your pet with a flea control product recommended by your veterinarian. Both chemical and organic treatments are available to eliminate fleas. When attempting to eliminate fleas and ticks from the home, you must treat the pet and all furnishings, such as carpets, furniture, cushions, draperies, pet bedding and toys. Also treat outdoor areas such as yards and patios to prevent flea reinfestation.
Remove toys, water bowls and bedding from outdoor areas.
Spray patios, sidewalks and shady areas where pets spend time with malathion, chlorpyrifos or propoxur. These are chemical insecticides that should be used with caution. Follow package directions carefully.
Apply an insect growth regulator such as pyriproxyfen to flea eggs that remain in soil and between patio pavers.
- According to Texas A & M University, pyriproxyfen gives the longest lasting control for flea elimination.
- Flea problems generally require more than one treatment. Repeat insecticide applications 10 days to 2 weeks apart, according to PestProducts.
- Severe flea problems can take as long as 8 weeks before results are seen.
- Concentrate spraying efforts on shady areas. Flea larva are unlikely to survive in sunny areas or places where there is heavy foot traffic.
- If you prefer an organic method that is not toxic to the environment, use borax. Sprinkle the powder in areas where pets spend time, between cracks in the patio, and on lawn areas. Borax should not be used on animals that groom themselves, such as cats and ferrets.
- Diatomaceous earth is another natural insecticide that is not toxic. This product acts in the same way as borax, in that it scratches the flea's exterior causing the insect to desiccate. Sprinkle along the patio and between pavers. According to K9Web, you should use natural grade diatomaceous earth rather than pool grade.
- Keep children and pets out of the patio area while it is being treated with insecticide sprays. Allow the spray to completely dry before allowing the area to be used, at least several hours to a full day.
- Cover outdoor pet dishes and bird baths before spraying insecticides.
- Always observe your pet for side effects after using any flea treatment or insecticide on the animal or in its area. Contact your veterinarian if your pet exhibits symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, disorientation or seizures.
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