Flea infestations can be a huge problem for pet owners, and many of us opt to use monthly flea treatments to guard against the pests. But despite doing all we can to protect our beloved pets, sometimes we still find ourselves scratching our heads when fleas appear out of the blue. If you too have asked yourself “I use monthly flea treatment – so why have I just found a flea?”, then you are at the right place! In this article, we’ll explore the various factors that could explain why you may have encountered fleas despite taking all the necessary precautions.
1. Investigating the Unexpected: Understanding the Resurgence of Fleas
The resurgence of fleas may be a surprise to some, but understanding the causes can help you protect your pets from this ongoing annoyance. There are a few interrelated factors contributing to the frequent flea outbreaks.
- Climate Change – Warmer temperatures and increased humidity create a hospitable and inviting environment for fleas to thrive in.
- Wildlife – Fleas are naturally found on wild animals such as raccoons, mice, and squirrels – and domesticated animals, such as cats and dogs, become exposed to these fleas when they come into contact with them.
- Pest Control – Countermeasures taken to combat or prevent fleas can create a false sense of security. They may prove effective in certain cases, but this treatment is often short lived.
All of these factors conspire to create an environment that allows the flea populations to remain ever-present and their populations to persist even in the face of human intervention. When investigating occurrences of fleas in your home, it’s important to weigh all of these conditions that contribute to their presence.
2. Letting Monthly Flea Treatments Take the Lead
When it comes to flea infestations, prevention is always easier than cure. Paying attention to your pet’s health and routine by providing monthly preventative flea treatment is the first step to staying flea-free.
The most effective monthly flea treatments include both a flea-killing adulticide and an insect growth regulator (IGR) to prevent flea eggs and larvae from hatching. To leverage maximum pest control, select a treatment that:
- Kills adult fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs and ticks
- Provides protection from flea infestations
- Lasts for a full month
Taking proactive steps to protect your pup can help ensure fleas aren’t a part of your routine. Monthly flea treatments are a great way to do just that.
3. Do-It-Yourself Flea Identification and Treatment
Identify the Problem
Your first step to remove fleas from your home is to identify whether or not you have a flea infestation. Search your carpets, bedding and furniture for signs of fleas or flea dirt, such as:
- Flea eggs
- Flea larvae
- Flea dirt (black flea droppings)
You may also be able to spot adult fleas, jumping from one place to another. Check the skin and fur of your pets for flea bites, or for little dark specks on their coats.
Remove the Fleas
Once you identify you have fleas, you can begin treating the infestation. A combination of methods is usually most successful:
- Vacuuming your carpets and furniture regularly – this will suck up the fleas and their eggs.
- Treating animal bedding, carpets and furniture with insecticide sprays – these will kill fleas, eggs and larvae.
- Preventing re-infestation with flea collars, flea powders, insect growth regulators and other pet products.
Remember to thoroughly clean after treating, as insecticides can be hazardous to humans and pets.
4. The Steps to Reclaim a Flea-Free Environment
Creating a flea-free environment for your beloved pet is not an impossible task. With dedication and perseverance, it’s not difficult to identify and manage flea infestations on or around your home. These four simple steps should help you successfully reclaim your space:
- Inspect – Check your pet and their surroundings for signs of a flea infestation, including scratching, flea dirt and bites. Vacuum your floors, furniture and pet bedding regularly to remove fleas and their eggs.
- Order and Administer – Purchase a flea medication for your pet that is specifically prescribed for their breed and sizing. Follow the dosage instructions and administer. If a topical treatment is suggested, use it according to the guidelines.
- Clean – After administering the flea treatment, thoroughly wash every bed your pet comes into contact with. Use hot water and an anti-flea laundry soap in all the wash cycles. Additionally, treat your carpets and furniture with a flea spray or similar product.
- Monitor – After successfully administering the flea treatment and cleaning your pet’s environment, keep an eye out for any further signs of fleas on your pet or in the home. Make sure to follow the instructions of the medication and clean regularly.
As a preventive measure, it’s best to create a flea-free environment as soon as possible, before a full-blown infestation becomes a problem. Additionally, consider setting up a flea combing routine for your pet to closely monitor for any fleas or eggs that may have lingered. Doing so will ensure that fleas are not an issue for them and your home.
If this situation is familiar, don’t be too hard on yourself. Flea infestations can happen even with routine monthly flea treatments, and the best course of action is to move swiftly to get rid of the flea and get back to your regular flea protection treatment. It’s hard to beat fleas entirely, but with a little diligence, persistence, and maintenance, you can ensure your home is flea-free – and you won’t be scratching your head ever again.