Fleas can be one of the most annoying aspects of owning a pet. They aggravate both you and your pet - dog fleas and cat fleas can and will bite people as well, and flea bites are itchy and a pain. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to deal with the problem of fleas - both preventative measures you should take to avoid them in the first place and ways to get rid of them once your house is filled up with these unwelcome guests.
There are a couple of important flea control products you should look into: the main ones are Frontline, Advantage, Program, and Revolution. There are a variety of other products, and even some cheap, natural ways to try to get rid of fleas. Because of the health risks involved with your pet having fleas, it's really better to use home remedies for fleas as a backup, and not as a primary way of getting rid of fleas. However, this site will give you information on all the products and suggestions for all kinds of ways to get rid of fleas - ultimately, it's your choice. The site has pages on each of the major products as well as on each of the generic ways you can try to deal with your problem.
Flea Control Information: The following pages will give you useful information for trying to develop a flea control program for your dog or cat.
Flea Control Tip Sheet - The basics, for if you want a quick summary of the different ways you can get rid of fleas on your pet. If you've got no clue what you're doing, start out here.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFO:
Safety Guidelines for Flea Medications - This page is a must-read. The EPA has issued a study showing hundreds of pets each year die, and thousands get sick, because owners misuse flea medicines. Read and follow the instructions, and read here for common mistakes that can make your pet sick.
Identifying Counterfeit Flea Medicines - Major brands like Advantage and Frontline have been targeted by illegal counterfeiters from other countries who pass off cheap, unregulated medicines as if they were legitimate products. This page will help you make sure you've got the real thing.
Basic Information on Fleas:
Pictures of Fleas - Not sure what they look like? Go here.
Flea Bites - How to deal with the pain and itching that you come to expect as
part of getting bitten.
Flea Infestations - How to know when your home is infested.
Diseases From Fleas:
Flea Allergy Dermatitis - Is your pet allergic to flea bites? This is important to know, because if your pet is showing severe symptoms you'll need to take immediate action. It often accompanies fleas, so if you see any symptoms beyond scratching you should probably check out this page.
Flea-borne Typhus - This is a problem for humans who have been bitten by fleas. It's easily treatable, but it can kill you if you get it and don't go to the doctor.
General Ways to Kill Fleas:
How to Kill Fleas - Basic information on the ways that fleas can die.
Natural Flea Control - Interested in getting rid of your pet's fleas without using chemicals or nasty products? Check out this page for various home remedies and other
Flea Treatment - How you should develop a plan to treat fleas in your home.
Dog Park Tips - What to do if you have to take your dog regularly to a park where other dogs play.
Flea Repellant Plants - Information on plants you can put in your yard or garden to keep fleas away.
Flea Medicine - What you need to know before you buy flea medicine - the factors to think about and the risks
Specific Flea Control Products:
There are a ton of different medicines, drops, sprays, or whatever that you can get to put on your pet. Most of these last for a few months, but there are a lot of differences between the various brands. The following pages give you a summary of what each one does and how it's applied. You'll generally want to think about: how long you need it to work, if you need it to kill both fleas and ticks, any bathing restrictions, age restrictions (many can't be used on kittens or puppies), and effectiveness.
The following ones you may not have heard of:
Diatomaceous Earth - A special kind of soil made from crushed-up algae fossils, this can be dusted around your yard and will kill fleas by dehydrating them with tiny cuts.
Nematodes - Millions of little microscopic worms that you spread around the yard to naturally kill fleas.
Flea Traps - Flea traps are an environmentally safe way to catch fleas using small heat lamps and a glue pad inside.