Lifestyle

How to prevent fleas and ticks on your pets

With the arrival of spring, comes the revival of fleas and ticks. Get on top of these pesky pests, before they take control of your pets...and your home.

If you are not pedantic about sticking to a strict flea and tick prevention routine (which, let’s face it, is a hack and costs a fortune), you need to follow these three steps to keep your pets and your family healthy.

Keep it clean

One flea can lay up to 2000 eggs in their lifetime, so you want to catch the eggs before they hatch and start a new flea life cycle. Thoroughly clean and vacuum all the spaces they love including carpets, furniture, cracks and crevices. Clean out your vacuum outside the house, putting the contents straight into a rubbish bag. Pet houses need to be vacuumed too and beds, blankets and any other bedding should be cleaned weekly in hot water. In a rush? Put pet bedding into a dryer on high heat for up to 20 minutes. No more fleas!

Know how to check your pets

Ticks are generally easier to spot than fleas. While grooming or just petting your dog or cat, check the fur for black specks (flea droppings) or white specs (flea eggs). You can also use a flea comb to check the fur. If your pet is scratching or nibbling its skin a lot, it’s probably because of fleas. Hotspots are also often an indication of fleas.

Start a prevention programme

Whether you opt for a monthly spot-on or quarterly oral flea and tick treatment, or prefer a natural remedy – make sure you start somewhere and do it regularly. Diatomaceous earth is a safe, non-poisonous talc-like powder made from silica (the stuff you find in sand and cat litter) and kills fleas by drying them out. Sprinkle the powder on carpets, pet bedding (or even your own) and furniture. Let it sit for a couple of hours and vacuum it up. You can sprinkle it on your lawn – a flea’s favourite hide out place.

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