Contrary to popular belief the simple act of putting on a topical flea control or administering a chew is NOT a silver bullet for fleas. A huge range of flea treatments are available these days, but most infestations spread beyond the help of topical treatments or chews. But come on, do you really think that this little 1 ml tube will have much of an effect on your entire house, or your back yard? Probably not.
Now these products will definitely take care of the fleas ON your dog or cat but what a lot of people don’t understand is that 95% of fleas live in the environment your pet frequents, not on your best mate. Most of these actually live in the dirt surrounding your house or in your carpets.
There are a huge range of flea treatments available these days, but most infestations spread beyond the help of topical treatments, and chews don’t really have any environmental effects at all.
You can treat your pet for fleas religiously, but dogs and cats with flea sensitivity or FAD unfortunately won’t respond perfectly to treatments unless you also combine them with environmental controls. This is primarily because a lot of the products actually need a parasite to bite your pet to kill them.
For indoors, a professional flea bomb will include ingredients to provide fast knockdown of adult fleas and larvae. Ingredients to “break the breeding cycle” to provide long lasting protection against future infestations.
If your companion spends a good deal of time outdoors, it’s important to treat these areas to manage fleas and other pests. The good news is these preventative steps generally only need to be done once or maybe twice a year.
When making a list of steps, you should address both the fur-kids indoor AND outdoor flea or tick problem, and account for which areas probably need treating. These should include any spot where your pet sleeps, such as their bed, the kennel, carport, and where they almost definitely like to nap, under the house or deck.
Other areas to be treated are where fleas breed and hibernate which is mainly; gardens, shrubs, and mulched areas especially anywhere it’s sandy. To rid these areas of fleas, many pet owners use pyrethroid sprays famous for killing fleas and ticks fast. These can be applied through a sprayer attached to a hose, allowing rapid treatment of large areas, or can be diluted and applied with a watering can on smaller spaces.
Although pyrethroids are chemical imitations of naturally occurring compounds that incapacitate an insect nervous systems, not all pet owners are comfortable spraying them in their yards. One thing you must definitely know is that these pyrethroids are can be very poisonous to cats. Even applying a topical pyrethroid, like Frontline, to your dog can actually make your cat very, very sick if they live in the same house. Especially if they ever sleep together. It’s one of the main reasons why FleaMail doesn’t use any products that contain these pyrethrin based compounds.
There are however quite a few alternatives. Desiccants are naturally occurring substances that pull water from fleas, causing them to dry up and die, quite quickly.
Diatomaceous earth, silica gel, and sodium borate are all desiccants that can be applied in your yard to control fleas and other pests.
Another natural solution to outdoor flea infestations are beneficial nematodes. These microscopic round worms which are available at many garden centers, kill pests and other insects by entering the body and releasing a bacteria that kills fleas quickly.
While they can be highly effective in some situations, these worms have a limited area and season of usefulness, as they die in temperatures above 35 degrees and below 7 degrees. They are also sensitive to light and drought. Cedar wood chips are another natural alternative to fight fleas, as fleas are repelled by it’s scent but to you, me and Rover it smells kinda nice. Sprinkle chips in shady areas, such as under the porch, outdoor furniture and under your dog’s bedding.
Once your pest problem is under control, you can drop regular maintenance to every 6-12 months. And of course, continue using your regular flea treatments, like FleaMail, on all of your pets, all year round. This way you can make sure that your furry best friend is living their best life.