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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Foil Fleas

Foil Fleas

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Nothing puts a damper on fun like the appearance of fleas! If you're not prepared for them, they can infest your pet and your entire house. And as if the itching and scratching they can cause isn't enough of an annoyance, your pet can also develop a reaction to fleas if he is allergic to their bite. Fleas will feed on anyone they have access to--human, dog, or cat--but the wingless insects most favor pets because their warm fur provides the perfect environment for breeding! Here are some tips to help you foil fleas:

Figure Out Flea Season:In many areas, September is often the worst month for flea infestation; however, the severity and length of flea season depends on where you live. Flea season can last four months in some states but in warmer climates, fleas can live all year long. Ask your veterinarian when fleas are most prolific in your area and treat early and accordingly.

Flea Products Can Help: Fortunately, plenty of flea control products are on the market, including flea collars, foggers, powders, and liquid spot-on topical treatments. Be sure to read and follow the instructions listed on the label and ask your veterinarian if anything is confusing. Wash your hands after you apply it. And remember, a full month of protection from fleas and ticks can be provided as part of a Professional Bath and Brush or Full Service Groom.

Invest in a Flea Comb:When using a really fine-tooth flea comb, fleas are trapped in the tiny teeth, which can then be dipped into a bowl of soapy water to drown them. Bathing can be especially effective if the flea infestation is moderate to severe. Be sure to buy appropriate shampoo and follow the directions, which usually recommend leaving it on for a few minutes before rinsing off your pet.

Treat Multiple Members of the Family:Remember that the flea that infests cats is the same one that pesters dogs so fleas can migrate from pet to pet, spreading infestation. If you have multiple pets, treat them all at the same time.

Don't Forget to Re-Apply: Most treatments are only effective temporarily so set your schedule, know it, and stick to it. Reminders on family calendars will help you know when it's time to stock up on flea fighters and then to apply them once again.

Remember the Rest of the House: Successful eradication will require treatment of the house, car and anywhere else your pet goes. Don't forget to wash your pet's bedding regularly in hot water. If your pet normally sleeps on your bed or carpeting, which can be difficult to wash, put something washable, like a blanket, in his preferred area. Vacuum frequently as well and change the vacuum bag even if it is only slightly full so that it doesn't become a flea breeding ground. This can help prevent re-infestation. You should also spray and treat rugs, baseboards, furniture, and pet areas with a flea premise spray.

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