Why Do Fleas Keep Coming Back
Is your dog still hopping with fleas, even though you never forget their monthly flea treatment? Seeing fleas with treatment does not necessarily mean that it’s not working. You may need to up the ante of your flea eradication strategy to keep fleas out of your home for good.
How Flea Medication Works
Most flea treatments work in multiple ways. They can repel pests to keep them from ever hitching a ride on your pet. They may also contain an insect growth regulator that prevents larvae from maturing and reproducing. Some kill fleas on contact. Some only kill fleas after they have bitten your dog.
For example, the popular spot-on treatment Frontline works in two ways. It contains fipronil, a broad spectrum insecticide that disrupts the nervous system of the flea and kills it within 12-18 hours. The flea does not have to bite your dog, it just has to come in contact with any area of their body. Frontline also contains S-methoprene, an insect growth regulator that keeps fleas from reproducing.
Any fleas on your dog’s body will be dead within 12-18 hours after initial application. However, there still may be adult fleas, eggs, or larvae in your dog’s bed, camping out in your carpet, or residing in the shrubs, tall grass, or fallen leaves in your backyard.
So, when your dog goes back to infested areas, they’ll once again be infected with fleas or their offspring. The flea medication will, again, need about 12-18 hours to kill off the new batch of bugs.
Other Hosts In And Around Your Home
Keep in mind that when you’re at war with fleas, all animals in your home need to be treated. Even indoor-only cats, and even rabbits and other small animals can contract fleas from your dog and may continue to host fleas and pass them back to your dog. Always make sure your pet’s flea treatment is safe for their species. Flea treatments for dogs are often toxic to cats and small animals. .
Wild animals can also bring fleas to your property. Feed your pets inside, keep garbage covered, and remove fallen tree fruit to help keep flea-carrying feral cats, raccoons, and possums out of your yard. .
Treating Your Backyard For Fleas
If your dog has fleas, your backyard most likely does too. Treating your property for fleas is essential to ending your flea problem for good.
Fleas love moist, dark areas. They lurk in tall grass, shrubs, leaves, and wood piles. Grass should be short as to not attract fleas, but it should be no shorter than 2 inches, as too-short grass becomes uninhabitable to fleas’ natural enemies, spiders and ants. Clear away any clutter, brush, wood, and leaves.
Spray the perimeter of your yard with flea spray. Treat any dark, moist places like crawl-spaces, garages, and sheds.
Treating Your Living Space For Fleas
When fleas take over your home, they may take to biting you and other human family members. Fleas tend to burrow in carpets, on bedding, furniture, and other soft surfaces.
You’ll need a multi-pronged approach to start eradicating fleas immediately and to keep them away for good. Sentry Home & Carpet Spray kills fleas on contact and contains an insect growth regulator to keep eggs from hatching.
Use a home spray anywhere your dog frequents, including carpets, couches, and beds. Natural products like Natural Chemistry are also effective but may need to be applied more frequently. Flea eggs can lie dormant in carpeting for months. Sprinkle salt or diatomaceous earth in carpeting to dry them out, then vacuum to draw out any remaining pests.
Always read the directions and safety guidelines on the label before using any flea product and use only as directed.