Fleas and ticks are pests that can become big headaches for pet owners. If you have a dog or cat, you should know how to prevent them from getting fleas and ticks and be able to handle the situation if it arises. Proper pet care regarding fleas and ticks requires taking a proactive approach and keeping an eye out for problems.
You will need:
• Liquid spot-on flea preventative for pet
• Yard insecticide or nematodes
• Flea spray or fogger
• Flea shampoo
• Screw top jar
• Rubbing alcohol
• Rubber or latex gloves
Step 1: Prevent fleas and ticks by administering a liquid spot-on flea treatment to the animal. Select a product designed for the type of animal and the correct weight range.
Step 2: Wash pet bedding each week in hot water. If the animal sleeps on other areas like a throw rug or blanket, wash these as well.
Step 3: Vacuum carpets a minimum of once per week, giving a double vacuuming to areas frequented by pets.
Step 4: Treat the yard to prevent fleas from living there. Spray the area with an insecticide or apply nematodes. These microscopic worms kill larvae and cocoons of fleas, representing an eco-friendly flea preventative.
Step 5: If you rent a property, have an exterminator treat the area before you move in or do this yourself using a flea spray or fogger that prevents flea eggs from developing and kills adult fleas.
Step 6: A pet does not need to go outdoors to get fleas. Screen doors, cracks, and holes offer entry into the house. Fleas can even get into the home by attaching themselves to clothing. Check your pet regularly for fleas. Part the fur around the tail base on a dog and check the neck and ears of a cat. If you notice dark spots of dried blood, called flea dirt, or see tiny black wingless insects, the animal has fleas. Bathe the animal in a flea shampoo and after the coat dries, apply a spot-on flea preventative.
Step 7: If the animal gets a tick, remove it immediately. Fill a screw top jar with some rubbing alcohol to preserve the tick for testing in chase the animal gets sick. Put on the rubber or latex gloves. Have someone else hold the animal while you apply some rubbing alcohol to the bite. Use tweezers to grab the tick at a spot as close to the pet’s skin as you can. Use even, steady pressure to pull the tick straight up from the skin. Do not twist the tick or its mouth may remain embedded in the skin of your pet. Do not squeeze the tick or it may emit infective fluids. Place the tick into the jar and seal the jar with the lid. Disinfect the site of the bite, discard the gloves, and use soap and water to wash your hands. Monitor the bite spot for a few weeks to make sure it does not become red or inflamed.