Fleas love the Fall

Every autumn we see an increase in flea infestations.  Fleas love the weather conditions in the fall.  Your best line of defense against fleas is to check your dog often.  Purchase a simple 99 cent flea comb.  Start at their neck and run the comb down the dog’s back four or five times.  Examine the hair stuck in the comb.  Look for either a live flea or small black flecks that look like grains of pepper.  This is flea “dirt” or flea excrement.  You will probably see the flea dirt before you find a live flea unless your dog is really infested.  If you find either take action immediately.  A house can get infested very quickly.

The most aggressive, but costly,  approach is to leave it to the professionals.  Contact a groomer and tell them your dog has fleas.  You must tell them out of courtesy and so they will use the right product.  Ship them off for the day while you have a professional exterminator come in and spray your house.  You will have to leave for a few hours because this is a poison.  The pros will treat the house properly and come back a second and third time to make sure the life cycle of the flea has been broken.  All rooms must be treated even if the dog doesn’t go in that room.  Fleas will travel to the untreated room to avoid the poison.

If using a professional is not in your budget you need to be extremely thorough.  Buy a flea fogger for each room of your house.  You will need to repeat the treatment 2 weeks later and possibly in another 2 weeks.  You can use a product like Capstar on your dog to kill all the living fleas.  This will not treat the eggs though.  Follow all directions on any insecticide.  You will need to use a monthly flea treatment like Advantix, Advantage or Frontline.

I also recommend an all natural approach afterward for maintenance.  Sprays like Evolve have cedar oil, peppermint oil, and clove which repel fleas.  They are pet and human safe.   Check  your pet often to stay on top of fleas.  The more aggressively you treat the first sign of fleas, the faster you will get rid of them.  If you are incomplete in your treatment you can be plagued with infestation for months.  It only takes missing one flea to start the costly process all over again.

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