How to Get Rid of a Flea Infestation

You've noticed the telltale signs of fleas on your dog. You've examined your pet to confirm that — drat! — you have a flea infestation on your hands.

Follow these steps to completely free your dog and your environment of freeloading fleas:

  1. Bathe your dog carefully.

    Make sure to cover the entire dog with lather from the shampoo, keeping the shampoo on the dog for several minutes.

    Some shampoos include ingredients such as rosemary, tea tree, sage, cedar, peppermint, orange, eucalyptus, and pine needles, which can help repel the nasty creatures.

  2. Gather up your dog’s bedding (and your own bed linens if your dog shares your bed) and throw them in the washing machine for a tumble with hot water and your choice of detergents.

  3. Vacuum all areas of the house to which your dog has access.

    Place the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and tape it securely shut before disposing of it outside. Otherwise, the little critters will hop out and reinfest your house.

  4. Vacuum your car if your dog travels in it frequently.

If you have a severe flea infestation and these remedies aren’t adequate to deal with the problem, speak with your veterinarian about the use of pesticides. Be sure to use pesticides with great care, since some pets are sensitive to them, and accidental overdose can be lethal to any pet.

Pesticides sold by veterinarians frequently are more effective than those sold in pet and grocery stores. Be sure to use a pesticide that not only kills adult fleas but also prevents the maturation of eggs into larvae and adults. You can use a spray or a fogger, but in either case, be sure your now flea-free dog is out of the house while these chemicals are at work.

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