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How To Treat Your Pet For Fleas

Is your pet dog or cat not acting like themselves lately? It might be because they are being attacked by fleas and it’s messing with their mood. Fleas have been jumping onto pet cats and dogs for ages and it unfortunately doesn’t matter what precautions your take and how much you clean your pets, fleas can still make themselves at home on your pet and make their lives an itchy and dreadful mess.

The moment your pet steps outside to go for a while, roll around in the grass or play catch at the park, they are vulnerable to fleas possibly joining them on the trip back home. That is why it is important to regularly check your pets for fleas and then know the right ways to treat them when you discover fleas on their bodies.

In this guide, we will share with you our expert tips as well as recommend you the best products we have at our Solutions Pest & Lawn stores for treating your pets for fleas. We will also show you the right way to use those products. 

A Little About Fleas

Fleas have been pestering humans and animals for thousands of years. There is a over 2,000 different species of fleas found all over the world, but many of the common fleas can easily be eliminated with flea control sprays and shampoos or even with some soapy water. 

Fleas are very tiny in size, ranging between 1/16th of an inch to 1/8th of an inch and are also quick little buggers, having the ability to jump high and long distances (up to seven feet high and more than 13 inches horizontally) with amazing speed which makes trying to track them down and kill them quite difficult. 

A flea infestation is often first realized when your pet is scratching themselves constantly trying to get those fleas off of them. Fleas leave small red irritating red marks where they have been biting and dogs and cats with itch these like crazy and make the marks worse. 

Eventually fleas will make their way off of the pet and jump onto your to satisfy their appetite for blood and begin jumping from family member to family member around the home until everyone is suffering. Since pets are the gateway for fleas to eventually infest a home, it is important to act quickly when your pets have fleas for the infestation doesn’t spread. To give your pets relief from flea bites and to cut off the flea infestation before it grows larger, follow these steps below.

Identify the Fleas Correctly

Before you dive into treatment methods for your pet cat or dog, you need to first determine that the issue are in fact fleas and not something else. When pets are scratching themselves, it doesn’t always automatically mean that fleas are afoot. If your dog is scratching their ears in particular more than any other part of their body, it may be a sign of an ear infection. If you see your pet scratching and licking other parts, they may be suffering from a food allergy or some other irritation. 

Fleas are extremely small so the best way to confirm or rule out the presence of a flea is a thorough flea inspection on your pet. If you can’t see a flea itself on your pet, you should then look closely for flea dirt, which is another name for flea feces. Run a flea comb through your pet to check for fleas and also inspect their sleeping areas. We have a much more detailed guide on how to properly inspect your pet for fleas here.

Controlling the Flea Infestation

Once you have confirmed that the issue with your pet is in fact fleas there are a number of options you can take. As always you could take your pet to the veterinarian so they can give your pet a thorough flea bath. Aside from this you could also bring your pet to any of our Solutions Pest & Lawn storefronts. A number of our storefronts have saturday flea and tick treatments for pets which you can take advantage of if you are local to a store. 

However if neither of these are an option feasible for you, you can also conduct a DIY flea treatment on your pet with the help of the professional quality flea control products we have here at Solutions Pest & Lawn.  There are a number of great products which can take care of your pet’s flea invasion and they are also safe to use on your pet and offer no complications or side effects.


There are several valid options for flea control that will eliminate the adult fleas on your pet as well as the flea larvae. Killing the larvae is vital because you don’t want the future generation of fleas to grow and continue their feeding frenzy. One of the best methods is to use a shampoo. At Solutions Pest & Lawn we have Pyranha Pyrethrin Shampoo for Dogs and Horses. This product can also be used to treat cats.

You want to create a really rich lather onto the animal by using a generous amount of shampoo, working it well into the pet’s coat. For best results, the pet should be left in the lathered state for four to five minutes before rinsing with warm water. Towel the animal off afterwards or let the pet drip dry. You can use this products to kill fleas and keep them away every couple of weeks.

Option 2: Petcor Spray

Another great product for treating pets for Fleas is Petcor Flea Spray.  Petcore contains pyrethrins which provide the knockdown of the adult fleas, and the Precor IGR keeps flea eggs and larvae from developing and can give you up to 7 months of control.

To use the spray, you’re going to want to start at the base of the tail and work your way to the head. Rub the pet’s hair in the opposite direction that it lays so that when you spray the product  goes down to the skin where the fleas and ticks are. For younger animals, you might take a towel, spray the towel and the pet and wrap the pets body in the towel and just let them sit there in the towel for 5 to 10 minutes.

Option 3: Flea Dip

Dipping is a great way to quickly kill fleas on your pet. We recommend using Martin's Flea, Tick And Mange Dip.Simply mix this product with water in a container or bathtub that you can fit the animal into according to the label directions. Then you can submerge the animal into the fluid between 5-10 minutes. You can then take them out and towel them off or let them run around and drip dry. The fleas on them will have instantly died. You should do this every couple of weeks especially if your pet is active and goes outside a lot.

Option 4: Flea Spot Oil

Lastly, we carry spot treatment oil such as Martins Prefurred Plus For Dogs and Martin's Prefurred Plus Flea Treatment For Cats. These products contain Fipronil and Cyphenothrin and does a great job of killing fleas. It gets to work killing fleas within an hour and continues killing them for up to one month. This product is sold according to the weight of your animal.

For both dogs and cats the application is essentially the same. Apply the product directly on their back in between the shoulder blades and onto the skin.  Part the hair so that the product goes directly to the skin. 

Treat Your Home Afterwards

Once you have treated your pets, your job is not complete. Fleas may have made themselves at home by hiding in your carpeting and resting areas such as your couches and beds. We suggest vacuuming the entire house, including the hard surfaces as well as washing bedding materials, especially where your pets sleep. 

For a more detailed instruction on how to inspect and treat your home for fleas, please refer to our guides (How To Inspect Your Home for Fleas, How To Treat Your Home For Fleas).

Which is the best treatment for fleas?


Keep in mind that successful flea control does not mean just treating your pets but also treating the inside of your home and your yard. To do a thorough flea control program around your home, we highly recommend equipping yourself with our Solutions Guaranteed Flea Control Kit. This kit has all the necessary products needed to perform a full total treatment and control of fleas in your home and becoming flea-free.

The flea population can explode from a few bugs to hundreds in a matter of weeks so it is very important to detect and begin treatment early to make the process easier. For more instructions and advice, please call us at 800-479-6583, email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or live chat with us online. We’ll be happy to help you.


How to Inspect your Pet for Fleas


Fleas can be an irritating pest to deal with in the home. They are tiny, bloodthirsty parasites that can make for a itchy frustrating time. If fleas have made their way into your home, it’s usually through hitching a ride on your pet dog or cat. By inspecting and catching a flea invasion early on your pet, you can prevent the fleas from spreading through the home and latching onto you.


There are a number of signs which can tell you that your pet is suffering from fleas. Just by observing your pet you can probably tell that they have a flea problem. For instance, do you notice that your pet scratching themselves more often than usual? Maybe you notice that your pet is losing a lot of hair and is antsy, agitated and restless. These are all telltale signs that your pet may be irritated by fleas on their body which are feeding on them.


A pet owner should regularly check their pet’s skin and fur routinely, especially if you’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors.


How Pets Often Catch Fleas

Pets don’t want to be cooped up in the house all day. They like open spaces, they want to walk around and travel. Any good pet owner will routinely take their dog out for walks or have them tag along for a hike in the woods or to play fetch at the park. Even cats don’t want to lounge around in the house all the time and like the fresh outdoor air.


However, the side effect of going outside is that pets can be susceptible to fleas jumping onto their bodies and hiding in their fur. Fleas are parasites that need a host for their survival and it should be assumed that they could be lurking around, waiting in the wings at any park or field or outdoor area and will literally jump at the opportunity to get on your pet.

The Benefit of a Routine Flea Inspection For Your Pet

Every time you see your dog or cat scratching themselves, you should ask yourself, “does he/she have fleas?” Although dogs and cats itching themselves doesn’t always mean they have fleas, sometimes just like us humans, they have an itch not caused by fleas and it’s totally normal. However if you see your pet itching and scratching themselves more than normal, it would be wise to inspect them for fleas. It’s the best way to catch a flea problem early or a possible tick problem before it gets out of control.


Regular flea inspections of your dog or cat should be the norm in any pet owners home. The good thing about implementing this regular flea inspections is that it can easily be added into your regular grooming and hygiene schedule for your pet. Whenever your pets are stinky and are needing to get washed up, it’s a perfect time to check your pets for fleas.


Fleas can make life miserable for your pet and make them not seem like themselves. The earlier you can detect a flea infestation and treat it, the quicker your pet can go back to normal and feel comfortable. It’s also important to catch fleas early to ward of the potential of flea related health issues and the possible spread of diseases.


Fleas can multiply at an alarmingly fast rate– catching them early can put a stop to population growth and protect your home from coming down with fleas because they can very well start jumping off your pet and hide in your clothing and furniture and then you’ll really have a flea problem.


If you live in a house with more than one pet, it’s important to check every pet individually even if they aren’t itching and seem like they don’t have fleas. Fleas transfer to different hosts quite regular so if you know for sure that one pet has them, those fleas can very well also have jumped onto your other pets too so to be on the safe side, assign a time to inspect all your pets, one after the other.


How Fleas on Your Pet Look

If you’re going to inspect your pet dog or cat for fleas, it’s best to first know how fleas look like in the first place so you know what to look for.


The appearance of fleas, especially the adults, are that they are very tiny in size, usually ranging between 1/16 to an 1/8th of an inch long (1 to 2.5 mm). They have flat bodies and can come in a number of different colors, from brown, to brown with a reddish hue or even black.


What some might find hard to believe is that fleas don’t have wings. What they do have is an outstanding ability to jump high because of their 6 long legs. This allows them to move quickly and jump onto their hosts. It’s is the fleas leg speed and jumping that make them so frustrating for pets as they move to quickly for pets to claw them off or bite at them with their teeth/


Depending on your pet’s coat length and the color of their fur and skin, fleas may be very difficult to spot on your dog or cat, especially if their fur is darker and thicker than most. Couple that with the fact that they jump around and move quickly and it can be a challenge to track fleas down.


When fleas are hard to detect, a workaround to help you determine whether your pet has fleas to be checking for the presence of flea dirt. Flea dirt is essentially flea feces and they look like specks of dirt. One way to know for sure that what is on your pet is flea dirt is by getting them wet, if they turn red when wet then it is definitely flea dirt.


Steps To Inspect Fleas on Your Pet

There are a number of different ways you can go about inspecting your pet for fleas. Before inspecting it is good to know the main places where fleas are typically found on the pet body. Fleas like to hang around specific areas over others. Fleas are quite clever because the areas where they reside on a dog or cat are usually areas that the pet cannot reach out and scratch.


These spots are typically around the neck area and the lower back and base of the tail. Fleas also like to hide between the legs and around your pets armpits. The belly is also another prime area for fleas to congregate. Keep these hot spots in mind when inspecting. Below we have shared with you the top ways to inspect fleas on your pet.

1. Do the White Towel Test

One of the most clever ways to inspect your pet for fleas is by usual a white towel or light colored sheet. This trick is especially useful for dark furred pets. To perform the test, have your pet lay on their side on the white towel and begin to brush them. If there are dirt or dark spots dropping onto the towel, then that’s a great indicator that your pet has a flea problem.


Adult fleas can be easily identified with the help of a white towel or sheet as well. If there is a lot of specks found on the towel or sheet, then you know as we shared earlier that it is flea dirt whcih is a combination of blood and flea excrement. When dampening the flea dirt, the darkish color turns reddish brown and you can then be sure you have a flea issue on your pet.

2. Visually Check for Fleas on the Pet


There are times when you can simple take a close look at your pet and you will see fleas jumping about. While adult fleas are small and move fast, if your pet has a larger infestation, you can likely notice fleas right away. Smaller infestations of a couple fleas may go unnoticed.


To conduct a visual check, lay your pet on their side or back and start by looking at their belly then move to the base of the tail and then the head. If you notice any dark spots, again that may be flea dirt. As we said early, you can be sure its flea dirt and not any other debris by dampening those areas or putting the dirt in some soapy water. If you see a color change to a more reddish hue, there you have it: fleas.


3. Run a Comb Through your Pet

A helpful tool to use during a flea inspection on your bet is by using a flea comb. Picking the fleas you see off with your finger can be tough, but a flea comb can do a great job of knocking fleas off. Flea combs usually have a double row of teeth and is fairly inexpensive.


A flea comb gets fleas trapped between the two rows of teeth of the comb so you don’t have to worry about them bouncing away. Comb through your pets hair slowly to capture the mosts fleas and then have a bowl of hot soapy water handy to dunk in the comb after each swipe. This soapy water mixture will quickly kill those bloodthirsty parasites.



Inspecting for fleas can be a challenge, especially if your pet is darkly furred. However, if you use this clever tricks, the inspection process can go smoothly. Once you have inspected fleas on your pet, you can then go about treating your pet for fleas. Here at Solutions Pest & Lawn we have a great assortment of products which can eliminate fleas off of your pet such as Petcor Flea Spray and Martin's Prefurred Flea Treatment.


Check out our other flea guides and how-to tutorials. For more helpful advice and to get your pest control questions answered contact us by phone at 800-479-6583 or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com.


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