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Getting rid of Fleas

Getting rid of Fleas | QueerlifeZA Pets

The other 95% of fleas are living in your house or yard. That is why it is so important to get rid of the fleas in your house and on your dog at the same time.

For example: You wash your dog in a flea rinse today and you kill 20 fleas that are living on your dog. That means that there are still approximately 380 fleas in the egg, larvae and pupae stage, developing in your house waiting to hop back on your dog.

How do I get rid of fleas?- Treating the Flea Problem

Set aside a couple of hours to tackle the problem as it’s not a five minute quick fix job. You will be treating your pet and your pet’s environment for fleas.

It is important to treat all of your pets and your home on the same day. It is pointless to treat your house and not your pets, andit is also pointless to treat you pet and not your house as each one will re-infest the other if not treated simultaneously.

What you need to get started

Your vacuum cleaner is a very important tool in gaining control over fleas

You need to vacuum up all stages of the flea’s development. Eggs, Larvae and Pupae

Step 1 – Get rid of the flea infestation in the house

The first step is to vacuum. As previously mentioned only 5% of the fleas are living on your pet and that the other 95% are living in your house or yard. If you have dogs that live inside or regularly come inside the house you need to get rid of the vast majority of the fleas quickly and easily. You can achieve this by vacuuming them up.

Listed below is what you are vacuuming up


Fleas that are living on your dog lay eggs.
The eggs drop off your pet and land on your carpet or floor.


The eggs hatch and become larvae.
These little worm like creatures have hair structures which act like legs and enable them to move around.


After a while the larvae pupate. This means that they spin a cocoon around themselves and begin a change. In the cocoon they are changing into adult fleas. It is similar to a caterpillar which spins a cocoon and then emerges as a butterfly. However it is an adult flea that will emerge from this cocoon.

*Important Fact*

While the flea is in the pupal stage (above) it is impervious to insecticides. The cocoon is waterproof and no insecticides can get in to kill the developing flea. This is the reason you must vacuum up as many of these pupae as possible. The vibrations from vacuuming also stimulates the fleas to emerge from their cocoons and they will be exposed to the insecticide that will be used.

Where to Vacuum

Flea eggs fall randomly wherever your dog or cat goes, but once the eggs hatch they become larvae and have hair like bristles on the outside of their body that enable them to move around. This allows them to move to places they feel most comfortable in. They like to get out of the light and into crevices, so when you vacuum pay lots of attention to places such as near base boards, cracks in floorboards and under furniture, beds and rugs.

Step 2 – Spraying Insecticide

Flea Treatment For your House & Yard

The products at right are for illustration purposes only. Any spray which contains IGR is suitable.

You will need to purchase a flea spray containing IGR.  Check the label for this ingredient.

IGR is the most important part of this flea control purpose.

What is IGR?

IGR is short for Insect Growth Regulator. IGR acts as Birth Control for Fleas. It is a protein that works on the developing flea eggs and larvae and stops fleas from developing to maturity so they cannot reproduce.

Now it is time to spray the insecticide

Check the label for for active ingredients. You must use one that contains IGR if you want to totally eradicate all fleas from the house

Where to Spray?

Spray all floors, carpets, rugs and places your pet sleeps. Pay particular attention to dark places such as under furniture and beds. Spray all nooks and crannies and especially around the baseboards (skirting boards) of the room.

Vacuuming is very important pre insecticide spraying but not post spraying. Do not vacuum for at least two weeks after spraying.

Insecticide laws vary from country to country and even from state to state so it is difficult to suggest any particular product.  Below are a few suggestions of products that contain IGR.

Most people will find insecticides in aerosol form easier to apply than liquids unless you have a pressure sprayer.

Don’t forget to remove or cover any fish or reptiles that are in the house. Flea sprays can kill them. It is recommended that you remove any living creature from the house while spraying.

After spraying the insecticide try not to vacuum for about a week if possible as the IGR component will have a residual effect.

Don’t Forget about your Yard and Garden

Do fleas live in the yard?

Yes fleas can live outside the house in sand and gravel. Spray patios, under decks, verandahs, kennels, crevices, along fence lines and anywhere your dog sleeps. It is not usually necessary to spray the entire yard or areas which are exposed to sunlight as the larvae avoid bright places.

The flea spray you use in your house is fine to use in the yard too.

Next wash all of your pets bedding and soft toys. Shake them well and hang them in the sunlight to dry.
STEP 3 – Using a flea product on your dog

The older generation of flea control products (Flea powders, flea collars and dips) are now completely obsolete. The latest treatments are top-spots, which are much safer for both pets and humans. These are applied to the skin, usually between the shoulder blades and disperse through the dog’s coat. Usually applied monthly they include Advantage, Frontline and Revolution. Most top-spot flea treatments can be used on puppies from 8 weeks of age.

Advantage is applied to your pet and it spreads on the surface of the skin at the hair root level, aided by body movement, to provide whole body coverage. The revolutionary chemistry causes the flea’s nervous system to become impaired, and the flea dies. Reinfesting fleas, which likely come from the pet’s environment or outdoors, will be killed within two hours, with protection against further flea infestation lasting up to a month. (source: Bayer Animal Health)

Tablets for Killing Fleas on Dogs
Local supermarkets usually stock tablets that can be given to your pets to stop fleas. Most flea tablets are quite expensive.

Side effects can occur.

Have a chat to your vet or vet nurse to find out which Top Spot product would be most suitable for your dog. You may think that top spot treatments are expensive but it can be false economy to use anything else. Most of the top spot  products advise that you use them monthly but once you have broken the flea cycle in your home you will be able to use them less often. Of course keep in mind that a visiting dog or a neighbour’s cat in your yard can start the flea cycle all over again.

How can fleas harm my dog?

Fleas feed on your pet’s blood and make your dog uncomfortable A heavy infestation can cause it to become anaemic and unwell. Flea infestations have been known to kill puppies. Some individual animals are allergic to flea saliva and this causes the pet abject misery with constant scratching and self mutilation. The most common allergy dermatitis in cats and dogs is a flea allergy. Read more on Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Fleas also spread tapeworm from one animal to another. Read more on Tapeworm in Dogs

Still having flea problems after two weeks?

You may still see a few survivors up to two weeks after treatment, especially if the flea infestation was particularly heavy. The reason you may see these fleas is because at the initial treatment the fleas in the pupal stage have not been killed because of their insecticide proof cocoon.

If after two weeks you still have a lot of fleas you will need to repeat the treatment again in your house and on your dog.

For maintenance… Keep an eye out for tell tale scratching and act quickly if you suspect even a single flea. Re-apply the top spot or flea product your vet has recommended. Fleas breed very quickly and two fleas can soon turn into hundreds.

Remember, your vacuum cleaner is your best friend.  Vacuum well any area your pet goes. Wash bedding and toys often. Keep an eye out for tell tale scratching and re-apply the top spot or product your vet has recommended.

Herbal Product

HerbaZone Herbaguard is a solution that can be used as a pet shampoo or a head lice shampoo. To repel rodents and insects, sprinkle it undiluted in the pantry or around pet beds and food bowls.

This unique shampoo contains Khaki bush Extract, Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Peppermint Oil, Cajuput Oil, and Clove Oil, which act as natural insect repellents. It keeps mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and other insects at bay. It’s gentle enough to use on babies. The solution can be used as a pet shampoo or a head lice shampoo. To repel rodent insects, sprinkle it undiluted in the pantry or around pet cages and food bowls.

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