If you have pets, chances are you have faced (or will face) a flea issue. The strong back legs of fleas allow them to easily jump around from pet to pet and from home to home. Too, with their rapid reproductive cycle, they can infest a home is mere months. Therefore, if you have any type of pet—a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a hamster, a gerbil or another type of furry friend, it is imperative that you find a non-toxic way to get rid of fleas.
What are fleas? And does my pet have them?
Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of your pets. Cats, dogs, hamsters, ferrets and rabbits can all be at risk of a flea infestation. Fleas are difficult to detect due to their minute size (measuring around 1/8 of an inch or less). The first sign that your pet has fleas: excessive scratching and agitation. When you see this, check your precious pet for signs of flea activity, keeping in mind that fleas are fast and really dislike light. Look especially within furry areas and on the belly, inner thighs, groin and armpits of your pet—anywhere that's warm and protected. Make sure to examine behind the ears and along the back and neck, too. (Basically, check anywhere there's fur!)
Look carefully. Use a fine-toothed comb to separate the hair and search along their skin. You may see small brown specks, which are called "flea dirt." This is the matter that fleas leave behind after feeding. It will turn red when blotted with a tissue, as this "dirt" is partially digested blood from your pet.
What is a flea's life cycle?
Fleas have four life cycles: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. Their life cycle is short, taking anywhere from two to three weeks to several months, depending on conditions. Each distinct stage has a different impact on pets and on your home.
A flea’s eggs can be found on your pet, but because they are not sticky, they tend to fall to the ground and land in a host's environment: carpet fibers, floor cracks, pet beds, couches and even your bed (if your furry one sleeps with you).
After hatching, flea larvae do not bite their host. They feed off of organic debris and the dried feces of adult fleas, which is basically just dried blood. If you find that your pet has "flea dirt" (the feces of adult fleas), then you have an infestation.
This is a dormant cocoon stage. Nestled in their protective cocoon, fleas can survive for long periods of time, only emerging when triggered by signs of a potential host.
As an adult, the female begins to lay eggs—up to 20 per cycle and up to 500 over their several month life span. Using their strong sense of smell, fleas will crawl or jump to what they're most attracted to (a host) and use light, heat, movement and carbon dioxide to find one. With their incredible jumping ability, a quick trip to the dog park or lazy meander of your kitty down the block can introduce a single (quickly problematic) flea to your home.
How do they get into my home?
I just mentioned that fleas can jump, but how well can they do it? Fleas can
jump up to 80 times their height and up to 200 times their body length—that's
nearly 5.5 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontally. Impressive! They easily enter your home by hitching a ride on your pet that has been outdoors or through close proximity to other pets (that, of course, have fleas). If your housing is connected, as in you live in an apartment or a condo, be extra mindful of the spread of fleas from neighbors' pets.
Are fleas dangerous to me?
Fleas are common pests. They are not only a nuisance with their incessant biting, but those bites can be harmful to both pets and humans. In pets, they can cause anemia and transmit tapeworms. In humans, they can also transmit tapeworms
and, in some areas, spread typhus and plague. It is important to be wary of the
signs of fleas on pets and in your home and to treat them at the first sign of an
What do I do if my pet has fleas?
The market is filled with flea and tick remedies. From powders to pills, there is a solution for your pet. The main trouble with treatments is that some only target fleas within a certain stage of their life cycle. So, which remedy is best for your pet? And which will help alleviate the issue quickly? Let’s review some of the conventional flea treatments.
Collars can be effective, but only in the area where the collar is worn. In addition to limited coverage, another primary concern is that the collars are toxic. Children can touch the collar and then ingest the chemicals by putting their hands in their mouth. The same can be said for pet play. Your friend or neighbor's pet may inadvertently put their mouth around the collar and then ingest the harmful pesticide.
Powders can be helpful (and messy). In addition, since the product is dust, it can be inhaled during the application process. While most powders are non-toxic, that does not mean they would not cause health issues if ingested or licked. The same goes for your children: just like collars, if your children inhales or touches the powder, it can cause health concerns.
The biggest issue with flea dips is that they contain pyrethrins. Pyrethrins are a natural insecticide that help rid pets of fleas. However, don’t let the term "natural" fool you. The pest control industry often uses synthetic man-made pyrethrins, called pyrethroids and not the actual oils from the chrysanthemum flower. They can be effective, but must be properly administered. An untrained pet owner can overdose their pet, causing harm to the pet, himself or herself and children.
Pills are becoming common among those who do not want to handle the above-mentioned methods. However, while they are a simplest method, many of the current products on the market contain a pesticide that can be harmful to pets. A recent study has questioned the use of these products due to their danger.
This form of pet protection is the most popular, primarily because the best flea sprays are on-contact and dispose of active fleas immediately. There are two types of flea sprays: house-use and outdoor-use. While they are generally easy to apply, the amount you use needs to be controlled.
Indoor flea sprays
Over the counter products can contain the same pyrethrins that dips use, so use caution when purchasing flea spray for your home. Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under is an indoor flea spray that does not contain pyrethrins. It is a natural remedy to protect your pet from fleas.
Outdoor flea sprays
A flea and tick yard spray can help prevent fleas from even getting across the threshold of your home. Treatment of lawns and areas your pet frequents can be beneficial. But like other sprays, these can be toxic, not only for your pet and children, but also for your garden.
Best flea spray for your pets
One thing to understand when treating pets for fleas is that most treatments are not all-purpose. Many, like pills, collars and some sprays, are designed for certain types of pets. For example, you will have both a flea spray for dogs and a flea sprays for cats.
Best flea spray for dogs
One of the main problems with some forms of treatment is that they only dispose of one stage of a flea’s life cycle. Even the best flea spray for dogs can only tackle specific stages. Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under Non-Toxic Insect Spray is different in that it is effective against fleas at ALL stages of the life cycle: eggs, larvae, pupae and adult. It is also effective against ticks and bed bugs (and more). It is a safe alternative to over-the-counter methods that can be toxic.
It is important to mention that some studies have shown that essential oils can be harmful in higher amounts for dogs. These dangers exist when the oil is at a high dose. Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under contains clove and cinnamon oils, but the percentage of these oils is minimal, having been highly diluted with water and is completely safe for your furry friend when used as directed.
Best flea spray for cats
The same issues with treatments that occur in dogs occur with cats and other pets like rabbits and hamsters. They are all prone to fleas and, in turn, infesting your home with these parasites. The difference in the treatments for cats, verses the treatments for dogs, lies in the product's active ingredient. Note: these differences are mainly in shampoos and dips and do not apply to sprays.
Just as we mentioned with essential oil treatments for dogs, there is a certain level that is also dangerous to cats. Once again, Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under is an effective treatment that is well below the harmful limit and is equally safe for your cat. Of course, in both cases use common sense: don't spray it in your pet’s mouth or near their nose or eyes.
Natural flea sprays
With the numerous methods of treating pets and homes for fleas, there is inevitably the DIY market that comes up with various natural flea sprays. These solutions include:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Citrus fruit like lemons
- Dish detergent
While they may save you money and may work, some home remedies, like Borax, can be dangerous if not handled properly. There are other side effects to do-it-yourself methods too.
How to get rid of fleas
Unfortunately, fleas are difficult to get rid of completely, as most flea treatments are only useful during certain stages of a flea’s life cycle. Thus, repeated treatments are required to eradicate your pet and home of fleas completely. The best flea spray, Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under, is exceptional in that it is easy to use, disposes of all stages of the flea’s life cycle and is completely safe for repetitive use when used as directed.
Begin by spraying on-contact, as this will keep the adult female flea from laying her eggs. It is not necessary to douse your pet in Six Feet Under, but rather spray a fine mist and then massage our warm, slightly spicy smelling non-toxic product into your pet's skin. When the female does not lay her eggs, the infestation will weed itself out as you dispose of the adult fleas. As fleas are brilliant at hiding in their host, though and if your home (or yard) still has fleas in it, you will need to apply multiple treatments.
Treatment of the infested areas is just as crucial. Thoroughly clean where fleas or "flea dirt," which will look like a sprinkling of black pepper, have been spotted. Begin around your pet’s sleeping area and any play areas like those popular with cats. Regular carpet cleaning, especially with a steam cleaner, as the combination of soap and high heat is the enemy of fleas at all stages of life, vacuuming, paying special attention to cracks and other tight spaces and washing fabrics that pets rest on in hot water and then drying them at the highest heat setting, will help get rid of the eggs. Keep in mind that when using a vacuum, either immediately dispose of the bag after vacuuming or, as some have suggested, place a flea and tick collar inside the bag to help dispose of any eggs that may hatch.
After having cleaned and vacuumed your carpets and washing all bedding, as a final step of treatment, spray a fine mist of Six Feet Under on all of the above mentioned areas: carpet, bedding and any upholstery where the pet is active.
The final word
If you have a pet or want to get a pet, fleas come along with the package. So, plan ahead. Preparation is part of the responsibility of bringing a furry little one into your home. Have an effective means of keeping these pests out of your home by using a proven product like Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under.
Dr. Killigan’s team of professionals has worked hard to create the best pest control products for your home. Six Feet Under is just one of the many solutions we have designed to return ‘classy’ to your home. Not only are our products effective, but they are also beautiful to look at. Your visitors will be clueless that you have a pest issue.
All products are 100% safe and toxin-free. We hold fast to our company motto of Killing Them Softly. This means that we never use harsh chemicals in any of our products. If you are not completely happy with how Dr. Killigan’s works for your pet, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us and we will do what is needed to make things right.