Flea Fiasco - A True Story: Tips For the Best Way To Get Rid of Fleas As Told By a Healthy Spot Team Member
My pup Lola kept biting at her butt. She’d play with her favorite flamingo toy, then stop and bite. Lap up some water, then stop and bite. Finally, I picked her up to examine –I found black specks. That’s dirt, right? Please just be dirt. We drove over to our local Healthy Spot to show one of the staff members. My fear was confirmed – flea dirt. Then I saw a little brown bug scurrying across Lola’s tail. I screamed and almost dropped her.
Hi, I’m Emily, the Digital Marketing Manager at Healthy Spot. You’d think after two years of working for Healthy Spot and writing articles, social media posts, and educating myself on products I would be calm, cool, and collected about this situation. That was the exact opposite of my reaction. The truth is that as much as you educate yourself, nothing can prepare you for the first time you see a flea burrowing in your pet’s behind. Despite this, I will give you the tips and tricks I learned that might help you for the first time (or next time!) your pet has fleas:
Don’t Panic. I panicked and it did not help the situation. At the end of the day, it’s just a bug. A bug you can take measures to get rid of and prevent in the future.
Test the specimen. If you are in denial like I was that the black specks on your pet are flea dirt, you can confirm your suspicions with an easy test. Collect as much of the black specks from off your pet as you can and place them on a paper towel. Put a few drops of water over the specks and wait for about 30 seconds. If the specks turn red, it’s flea dirt. Flea dirt is a nicer term for flea droppings and these droppings contain blood – that’s why they’ll turn red. It’s not the most glamorous process, but it will give you the answer you need.
Spot the difference between a flea and a tick. If you’ve never seen a flea, you might be wondering what you’re even looking for. Fleas are tiny and brown with six legs. You might see them jumping across your pet or burrowing in their fur. Ticks, on the other hand, are small arachnids and have eight legs with round bodies. They cannot jump or fly. You may see one burrowing into your pet’s skin.
kay, so now you know it’s officially fleas. Clean. Everything. I’m talking the floors, the rugs, the dog bed, the dog toys, the sheets, the blankets – everything. This will ensure you eliminate any fleas or flea dirt from your home. If possible, wash items in warm or hot water. For things that are not washable, try Wondercide Flea & Tick Spray. It did a great job of cleaning the rugs and couch and left a nice clean smell. You can also use this spray directly on your pet as a flea and tick repellent!
Become a detective. It’s important to figure out where the fleas came from so you can prevent your pet from getting them again. I thought of all the places that Lola goes and worked backwards. I checked in with everyone in my office and at Healthy Spot daycare, checked my car, searched our apartment, etc. I finally realized she was picking them up on our evening walks because I always spotted a lone flea on her right when we got back inside. Now I know to spray her each time before we go on walks!
Flea baths are amazing. Healthy Spot’s Grooming Salon offers a Bug Buster Package that worked wonders for Lola. It includes all-natural flea and tick shampoo, a medicated bath, a deep conditioning, and vanilla-scented flea repelling powder. By the time they were done with her, there wasn’t a black speck or creepy crawly in sight! Plus, she smelled great! It’s important to get a flea bath as soon as you realize your pet has fleas so they do not spread to other pets or humans, so call Healthy Spot right away if you see a flea on your pup!
Start proactively protecting. Since southern California is warm year-round and fleas love warm weather, I decided to start using flea prevention products all year. I put Earth Animal Daily Herbal Powder in her food each morning and spray her with Wondercide Flea & Tick Spray or Earth Animal Herbal Bug Spray when we go on walks or hikes. In summer when the weather is warmest, I also add in Pure + Good Flea + Tick Shampoo and Conditioner for her baths when I wash her at home and Frontline topical treatment for extra protection. All products are available at Healthy Spot and I couldn’t recommend them more!
Remember it happens to everyone and it’s okay. You’d be hard pressed to find a pet owner that has never experienced fleas (if you find one, give them my contact info! I want to know their secrets!) Take a deep breath and know that you now have all the tools you need to get rid of fleas and keep them away!
Do you have any tips on the best way to get rid of fleas? Share them in the comments below!