How do you tell if your pet has fleas ?
One of the first signs of a flea infestation is that your pet will be scratching and seem quite irritated. On closer examination you could find adult fleas in the coat or at the base of the fur on the skin. You may even find flea dirt that looks like small black specks of grit, similar to finely ground pepper. This is actually digested dried blood.
How do pets get fleas ?
Flea eggs can remain dormant for astonishingly long periods of time under a variety of conditions. They lay dormant in the garden, or in your carpet and furniture, until they are able to hitch a ride. They jump great distances to find a host and travel on pets and even on people.
Can humans get fleas ?
Humans can get fleas. These pests cause more problems for our pets than for us, but we can still fall victim to their biting ways.Can humans get fleas? At the end of the day, fleas are blood sucking insects and humans are warm-blooded mammals, just like your dog or cat. Therefore, we are targets. Fleas cause more problems for our pets than for us, but we can still fall victim to their biting ways.
The reason fleas are not a more common problem for humans is due to our lack of body hair. Fleas thrive on dark, moist, and warm environments like our pets’ fur. This also makes these pests difficult to spot on our pets, while on humans, they would be more easily noticeable.
Human flea bites do happen and nine times out of ten it is due to our pets being infected. When your dog or cat is the target of a flea infestation, they are essentially acting as a carrier. Not only do you need to battle the live fleas, but you need to protect your home from future pest problems in the form of larvae and unhatched eggs. Similar to pet fur, flea larvae and eggs are often found buried in thick carpeting and furniture, as it is most like their natural habitat.
However, unlike pets, humans do not need, nor can they take, tick and flea prevention medicine. We repeat, do not use pet prevention products on yourself or your family members. The best way to prevent flea bites to yourself is to protect your pet year round. This will ensure your dog and home remain flea-free.
7 Ways to Naturally Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs
1. Use a flea comb
A flea comb is the easiest and most effective way of getting rid of fleas. It keeps your pet well groomed, healthy and happy (as it gets all that attention!). Buy a good quality product that combs all fleas out of all sizes, including eggs and larvae. Most eggs and larvae do not reside on the pet but in case they do, you don’t want to leave them out. Before using a flea comb with narrow teeth, make sure the fur on your dog is not tangled to avoid pain when you comb it. I use this comb on my two dogs.
2. Enhance your dog shampoo
While there are many flea specific shampoos on the market, you can also turn ordinary dog shampoo into a flea shampoo at home. Add half a cup of any good dog shampoo to half a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and two cups of water. Pour this mixture in a bottle and use it to bathe your pet every week. For larger breeds, increase the quantities in proportion. After you bathe your pet, do not let your pet run around in grassy trails or lawns where fleas reside. Continue to comb the pet’s fur thoroughly and bag all the fleas.
3. Use apple cider vinegar to repel fleas
Add one teaspoon full of fermented apple cider vinegar to a quarter liter of water and let your dog drink this throughout the day. The apple cider vinegar keeps the skin/coat of the dogs slightly acidic which naturally repels fleas and even ticks for that matter. While it is a good idea to keep your pet’s coat slightly acidic, do not directly apply the ACV to the skin since it irritates broken skin. Consult your vet as to how much ACV your pet might safely ingest based on its body weight.
4. Wash bedding and use heat
Wash all bedding designated for your pet and also any other fabric your pet is likely to lie upon. You will be surprised how easily you can get rid of the fleas, eggs and larvae when you wash with a strong detergent. Drying is effective too when it comes to killing eggs, larvae and adult fleas. If the fabric can be put in a dryer, you should dry it in the electric dryer on maximum heat for best results.
5. Use boric acid powder
Use boric acid powder (or Borax) to dust areas that are not exposed to sunlight and areas where the humidity is higher than 50 percent. Make sure your dog doesn’t lick off the boric acid powder as some dogs don’t tolerate it. After a couple of days, all the eggs will dry out and get neutralized. The larvae will also suffocate to death. After this, all you need to do is vacuum away the debris and the boric acid powder.
6. Make a flea collar
Use two drops of lavender oil or tea tree oil in one teaspoon of water and apply the solution all over your dog’s collar or sprinkle the solution on a kerchief and tie it around your dog’s neck. This will keep the fleas at bay.
7. Periodically vacuum the floor
Fleas like moist and warm areas. If you are not diligent about cleaning and vacuuming, think again. Your pet goes around the home all day and probably rests in every nook and corner of the house. So do vacuum it periodically and thoroughly in order to prevent fleas from multiplying and infesting your entire house and yard.