Fleas and ticks are uncomfortable for pets and humans alike, and because these parasites can spread diseases and cause anemia, it is imperative that pet owners take steps to control them. Fortunately, there are many options available for controlling fleas and ticks on cats and dogs, making these pests less of a problem.
To minimize flea and tick infestations and protect your pet…
- Comb your pet regularly, using a flea comb to remove eggs and debris that harbors fleas and ticks. Concentrate on the back of the neck and base of the tail, where these pests are most common.
- Keep your pet properly groomed, removing matted hair as well as loose, broken hair that can conceal fleas and ticks. In summer, short trims can help remove places where pests may live.
- Bathe your pet regularly, using mild shampoos and conditioning products to keep their coat in the best condition. Flea treatment shampoos can be helpful, but use them carefully to prevent accidental ingestion.
- Wash pet bedding frequently using the hottest possible water settings and second rinses. Do not hang pet bedding to dry outside, as it may become contaminated with fleas and ticks again, even if clean.
- Vacuum carpeting, rugs, upholstery, drapes and other areas where fleas and ticks may hide, and dispose of vacuum bags immediately so pests cannot escape. If you are renovating, consider replacing carpeting with shorter piles or opt for non-carpeted flooring.
- Keep grass mowed short, as fleas and ticks thrive in longer grass. Pruning shrubs can also help eliminate these pests, and keep pets out of wild fields and long grassy areas.
- Use pesticides to control fleas and ticks under bushes, shrubbery, and decks, as well as underneath porches, inside window wells and along fences. These dark, damp areas are prolific breeding grounds for these pests.
- Consider using different flea control products, such as collars, powders, pills, drops, or sprays, but choose the most appropriate product for your pet's breed, size, and age. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations and to discuss possible complications or reactions your pet may have to various flea control formulas.
To most effectively protect your pet from fleas and ticks, use multiple techniques and keep up pest control assiduously. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate fleas and ticks, using different steps can help pet owners keep their pets comfortable and their homes free of pest infestations.