Flea Control Options
Few things are more troubling for indoor dogs and cats as home flea infestations. When a flea problem is suspected, quick identification and control is key. Unfortunately, it’s easy to overlook flea problems until it’s too late. A female flea lays about 200 to 400 eggs over the course of several days. It takes anywhere from a couple days to several weeks for the eggs to develop into larvae, and then seven to 14 to develop into pupae before finally becoming an adult. By the time you notice your dog or cat scratching incessantly, the infestation has usually taken hold, with thousands of new eggs in your walls, fabrics and furniture just waiting to hatch. The best flea control options for controlling fleas are Frontline Plus, food-grade diatomaceous earth and neem oil - each of these highly effective options is explained in greater detail below. When these products fail to yield complete results, sometimes an exterminator is needed to put an end to flea problems.
The best flea control products for dogs and cats start with Frontline Plus. This potent product is applied to the skin of the dog or cat to be absorbed into the pet’s oil glands. Over the period of one month, a combination of fipronil and (S)-methoprene is distributed through the pet’s hair and skin, infecting and destroying fleas. These products may produce negative side effects for some animals, but many don’t experience side effects when the product is used as directed. It is always best to do your own research before using products that could put your pet’s health at risk.
Applying food-grade diatomaceous earth around the home in places where fleas reside is another effective way to mitigate flea problems for dogs and cats. The small, dust-like particles produced from fossilized remains of plants are like sharp glass to small insects, physically harming their bodies to kill them. DT earth can also be applied to pet fur. Diatomaceous earth is largely harmless to humans and pets but, as a fine particle, can cause irritation in the lungs for people with breathing issues. Food-grade diatomaceous earth can be purchased for around $10 from most hardware stores.
Neem oil, made from an Indian native tree, is another highly effective remedy against pests such as fleas. Neem oil can be found at local health stores in tincture form as well as ordered from one of the many online suppliers. Neem oil can be applied directly to a pet’s fur and rubbed in or it can be used in a spray or shampoo. To make a spray, 1/2 an ounce of neem oil can be mixed with 1/2 an ounce of mild soap along with about two cups of water. When used as a spray, be aware that neem breaks down over 8 hours so needs to be used right away and mixed again before next use. Prevention is always the preferable way to deal with pests, and neem oil is effective in this manner.
Sometimes, flea control products aren’t good enough to get problems under control. Well-known extermination companies such as Orkin and Terminix offer comprehensive flea-removal services with money-back guarantees when jobs aren’t completely finished. You can also check for local companies that specialize in flea extermination services. If you’re worried about the use of insecticides in your home, you can also find natural flea removal services that will guarantee their work. Any of these options can help make your home a better place for your dog or cat.