If you have a cat or a dog that you allow on the bed or that manages to get on it anyway, you will probably have to get rid of fleas from your bedding at least once. Most pet owners use something like Advantage to take care of their pet’s fleas, but despite what the manufacturers may say, most chemical flea deterrents have a diminished effectiveness after time. As long as there are fleas, flea baths for dogs (and cats) will be necessary. This step by step guide will walk you through the process of getting rid of the fleas that have infested your pet, your bedding, and quite possibly your skin.
Step 1: Wash all infected bedding, linens and cloths
The first thing to do is strip off the infested bedding and throw it in the wash immediately. Sheets, pillow cases, comforters, quilts–nothing is exempt. If you suspect your clothes and linens have flea eggs in them as well, throw them in the wash too. Don’t use normal laundry detergent for this job. Use something like 20 Mule Team Borax. Borax is an old fashioned detergent that is great for getting rid of ants and other pests organically. It may not be as fresh scented as Tide, but it will do the job.
Step 2: Give your pet a flea bath
You may be accustomed to squeezing the little tube of Advantage or other chemical flea deterrent on your pet’s neck every two months, but the more you use these products, the less effective they become. There are undoubtedly better and more expensive anti-flea collars, chemicals and additives, but a good remedy is a natural one. It might not be the easiest twenty minutes you’ll spend, but washing your dog or cat in the tub with dish soap will rid the animal of fleas and flea eggs. Make sure you scrub behind their ears, on their belly and all over their back and legs. Follow this up with a warm towel and a flea comb. You might unveil more evidence of infestation than you bargained for.
Step 3: Apply Neem or other herbal spray
Neem has an odor that pets may find offensive, but it works. You spray a little on their fur and work it in with a soft brush. Your dog or cat will probably spend the evening trying to lick it off, but it deters fleas. It does not last forever, so it may be a process you’ll have to repeat once every couple of months.
Fleas can be quite a bother for both your pet and you. There is nothing as unsettling as finding flea eggs on your bedding. Split them with your fingernail, fast! Rather than rely on chemical additives that are supposed to work but don’t, wash your sheets in borax and use a natural remedy for fleas. For ways to rid your home and garden of fleas, here is a guide.