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Summer Doesn't Have To Mean Fleas

Do you and your pet dread the onset of summer and the fleas that accompany it? Does your furry friend spend most of the summer scratching and chewing and just being miserable because of those nasty little creatures?  Mine used to, and it broke my heart. I tried all the drops and sprays and shampoos and powders, but nothing helped. Until I realized that the only way to keep my pups flea-free was to keep the fleas from getting to them in the first place.

Now don’t get me wrong — most of those products are very effective as far as killing the fleas go, but obviously the animal has to already have fleas for the shampoos, sprays, and powders to work, and for the drops to work the flea has to bite the animal. Since the itch is a result of the flea’s saliva, which gets to the animal before the flea dies, even after using some ridiculously expensive drops my dogs were still scratching.

So is there any way to get to the fleas before they bite? Yes, but it requires treating both the animal and its environment. The 4 things I do to help my pups beat the fleas are listed below.

4 Tips to Help Your Pets Have a Flea Free Summer

    1. Treat the house. I use food-grade diatomaceous earth, a fine powder made of fossilized algae. It kills the fleas, is not harmful to humans or animals* (although it may make you cough if you inhale it), is relatively inexpensive, and easy to find at hardware, gardening supply, and pet stores as well as online. I spread it liberally on my carpets, let it sit for a few minutes, and then vacuum it up. Since I live in the south where the fleas are active year round, I use it once a week. I also use it on my couch since my dogs are a couple of couch potatoes.
    2. Wash their bedding regularly in hot soapy water, and dry in a hot dryer. This will remove and/or kill all stages of fleas from egg to adult.
    3. Spray them with a citronella bug repellant spray every time they go out, being careful not to get it in their eyes.
    4. Treat the yard/area where we walk. The diatomaceous earth can be spread around the yard without being a danger to pets or kids, and as a bonus works to control a number of other pests as well.

Flea control is a constant battle, but it’s a battle that can be won. It’s definitely more work than just putting the drops between their shoulder blades or popping them a pill every month, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll see a difference. And  believe me, your pet will thank you for it


Written by Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff Writer