Living in the State of Florida bring the odds for a flea infestation beyond likely. We don’t have that “freeze” and once they take over, it’s a chore to win the battle. If you own a house pet in Florida, you WILL battle the Flea takeover. I would even find it safe to say that it will happen once a year! With all of that being said, no matter what State you live in, there are fleas to fight. I have decided it’s to kick off the new year, I will share what I have used, what I have learned and now, what I can’t live without.
Shampoos – Don’t Waste Your Money! Anything that says is kills fleas and eggs and keeps them off and makes pay pay a gazillion dollars you need to run as far away as possible from. Killing fleas with shampoos is all that is possible and you don’t have to pay over a couple of dollars to do that. Dawn Dishwashing soap is the miracle flea killer.
The secret is that Dawn – or any dishwashing soap – dissolves grease. Fleas have a greasy barrier that they use to survive in water. The dishwashing soap dissolves that greasy barrier and actually dissolves their exoskeleton. You will need to use a flea comb to remove the carcasses but that’s easier that jumping fleas now isn’t it?
Now that you are in the know, the next secret is to make a mixture of 50% water and 50% dish washing soap in a squeeze bottle. An old dishwashing soap bottle works perfectly! Now, while the flea infested dog is still DRY, squeeze the mixture on them. The fleas won’t be able to engage their greasy barrier. Normally people get the dog wet first, and then shampoo. Making senses? Anyways, that’s my insta-flea-killer secret
Topical Treatments – Just a dab ‘ll do ya! Well, I say that with some limitations. Off all of the topical flea treatments out there, I have found Advantage II works the best. A dab will kill the fleas on a dog in a couple of hours. Unfortunately, I have a line of dogs (Teddy, and several of his off spring) that the topical treatments simply do not work on. They appear to be immune to the stuff. The other problem I have with the tropicals is that they wash off. That 30 day treatment goes right down the drain, especially with show dogs that are bathed regularly and are usually the ones exposed to fleas while on the show circuit. I would recommend Advantage II to any pet owners that do monthly bathes and do not take your dogs out much. Of course, if their dog is not immune 😉 And if you bathe and treat at home, do NOT apply the treatment while the coat is wet. Wait until they are completely dry before applying the topical.
Natural Alternatives – So far we have been discussing the treatment of the dog only. There are many treatments can be used to treat your home and your dog. My favorite is Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. Sprinkle some around the outside of your house and create a barrier to help keep insects out. And if fleas have made it into the house, you can sprinkle it around the inside too. Borax is a guaranteed flea killer and if left if your carpet or bedding for a couple of days, will dry out and kill fleas and flea eggs. DE will do the same thing in a much more natural and safe way. Sprinkle it in your doggy beds, carpets rugs – even your dog! Another trick is to sprinkle a bit into your dogs’s food. It is an all natural dewormer too! Pretty cool aye?
Another option that I would add to the “natural” list is the Isle of Dogs Flea + Tick Spray. With extract of AloeVera, Sage, Chamomile, Sea Kelp and Grapefruit seed extract, this stuff kills fleas instantly an it totally safe to use on young puppies. SO very happy about that!
Pill Solutions – When I heard about an oral feel treatment, I can tell you, I was a bit concern. My thoughts have always been “inside bugs- inside treatments / outside bugs – outside treatments”. After several conversations with my vet, reading as many reviews that I could find and doing a test run on a couple of dogs here in our house I am here it tell you that I am a major fan of Comfortis! It’s a miracle pill that I now have all of my dogs on. Sure, you need a prescription to get it but it is so beyond worth it. No more need to worry about the flea protection washing off either! That is itself makes it worth every penny. Each pill lasts 3 days and a 6 month supply will run you around $100.00.