You've spotted some fleas... what now?
The first thing to do is to establish whether you actually have a flea infestation.
Most flea treatments work by killing the flea once they land on and bite your pet. In most cases, there’s not an invisible shield bouncing them away. If you’re finding dead fleas on your pet, this means the treatment is working but your pet is likely visiting a high flea area and as such they are visible on the fur. If they’re alive, and there’s more than one, this can very quickly turn into an infestation in your home and you need to get on top of it.
Check your pet and speak to your vet (or a professional) about retreating them.
Do a thorough inspection of your pet. If you find multiple fleas there are a few important things to do. Firstly, give your pet a flea bath. There is a range of products available at your local vet or pet store that can be used safely in conjunction with their usual flea treatment. then, comb out any live or dead fleas from their fur, ensuring to also get as much remaining flea dirt as possible.
If needed, you can re-treat your pet with a chewable or spot on treatment, but ensure to speak to your vet or a veterinary professional first, as treating your pet too regularly can cause some nasty side effects like vomiting and diarrhoea.
Treat the environment.
The problem with fleas is that once you have an infestation, they’re mighty hard to get rid of. It super important to treat the environment (your home) to ensure to remove all fleas, eggs and larvae from the area.
Firstly, you’ll need some flea bombs from your vet or the local supermarket. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and use the right amount of bombs, as each one only treats a certain size room and underrating will result in reinfestation.
Next, strip the beds – make sure to strip all the bed sheets, couch covers, any loose blankets etc and put them in the wash. You’ll need to put your pets sleeping blankets or beds in the wash, too. Make sure you use a hot wash cycle, as this will also kill the fleas.
Lastly, vacuum. Now this isn’t any ordinary vacuum, you need to be rough with it. Flea larvae hatch due to vibrations in the carpet, so when the carpet has been treated, you want them to hatch so that they die OR get vacuumed up. It’s generally a good idea to vacuum the entire house 2-3 times to ensure to get them all, as well as ensuring to empty the vacuum bags into a sealed bag and into an outdoor trash can.
Prevention is better than cure.
It’s always easier to keep the fleas away, rather than treating an infestation once it occurs. There’s a common misconception that we don’t need to treat our pets for fleas over the colder winter months, but this simply isn’t true. Fleas can survive in many areas outside, or on rodents, in sand or dirt or even under your house where it’s a little bit warmer. Your pets can pick these critters up anywhere and before you know it, one becomes many.