The sooner you discover a problem, the better.
Just like with many other problems, prevention is better and easier to solve than curing a flea infestation. As you can imagine, it is easier to cure a beginning flea infestation than it is to get rid of one that is already well-established and has been in your home for a longer period of time.
How can I recognize a flea infestation?
The most apparent signs of a flea infestation is the black specks that can be found lieing around the house. On top of that, the constant scratching of your pet can be an indication. If you suspect your dog or cat may be suffering from fleas, the first thing you should do is comb its coar with a special flea comb. You will often be able to spot fleas or little irregularly shaped black specks dropping from your pet's coat. These black specks are flea faecal matter! This consists of undigested blood. Therefore, it is best to put some (paper) towels, wet cloths or newspapers below your pet. The faecal matter that lands on the surface beneath your pet will be clearly visible as red circles. This is a clear indication of a flea infestation.
Checking your cat/dog ...
Fleas are often located in the warm, moist areas on your pet. This means that you should definitely check the waist, "armpits", neck and behind the ears when you suspect your pet might have fleas. These warm and moist areas provide fleas with the ideal circumstances to reproduce. Therefore, they often gather here. Upon combing the coat, you should be able to spot several fleas in these areas.
How to get rid of a Flea Infestation?
Naturally, there are various methods to get rid of a flea infestation. It all depends on your personal preference and whether you are treating or preventing a problem. To prevent a flea infestation, you could use one of our natural repellents, that will deter fleas from your pet and house. However, when your pet is already infested with fleas, it is quite likely that your house is already the home to the fleas as well. Only 5% of all fleas are on your pet, the other 95% is in their surroundings. For treating a current flea infestation, you could use medicines and insecticides that kill fleas.
If you do not treat your home environment at the same time as treating your dog, reinfestation will occur very quickly. Except for the adult fleas, the 95% that is settled into your home, consists of eggs, larvae and pupae. There are various household flea sprays, powders and fumigators available that can help you break the flea life cycle and solve the problem.
Except for using these medicines and insecticides, vacuuming can be a very effective method of removing many of the immature flea stages. However, it will not solve the problem entirely, since you will remove eggs, pupae and the food source only. On top of that, it is good to know that you should change your vacuum cleaner back afterwards. The benefit of vacuuming frequently is that the activity produces vibrations, which will encourage the pupae to hatch, making the newly hatched fleas susceptible to control using household insecticides.
Washing pet bedding at least once a week, will help remove all immature stages of the flea life cycle. This can help you keep on top of flea infestations and help you get rid of it when you already have one. Of course, when you have washed the pet bedding, you should still treat the environment. Fleas, eggs, pupae and larvae might be located elsewhere and will simply infest the pet bedding again if you do not treat the rest of the areas your pet visits frequently.
If you have noticed that the fleas are already on your dog or cat, choose an approved veterinary medicine to get rid of them. Depending on the regulations in your country, you can purchase these over the internet or at a local pet store. You can choose from a wide range of products, such as collars, sprays, shampoos, spot ons and in some countries they even have tablets available.
If you are simply treating your pet to make sure you will not have any flea infestation in the future, you can use a repelling product, based on natural ingredients. These products do not kill fleas, but will deter them from jumping on your pet.