How to Control or Get Rid of Sand Fleas on My Dogs

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Controlling sand fleas (common fleas, according to the University of Florida) is difficult in that the dogs and the premises must be treated or else the fleas will move back and forth from the pet to the premises. If you treat only the dog, fleas in the carpet, dog bedding, furniture and fleas outside just re-infest the dog, causing a vicious cycle. The fleas bite humans when humans walk into an infested area, including the yard.

  • Treat the premises with flea control by vacuuming or steam-cleaning carpets and furniture, including pet beds and baskets. Wash throw rugs, if possible. If not, make sure you vacuum the throw rug and the area under the throw rug. Empty the vacuum immediately, and take the trash out so that the fleas do not get out of the vacuum cleaner.

  • Spray the inside the home with an insect growth regulator such as methoprene, piriproxyfen or hydroprene. When used with residual sprays, the adult flea population is greatly reduced, according to an article from the University of Florida's entomology and neamatology department. Insect growth regulators prevent the larvae from becoming adults. Insect growth regulators should be applied every three months.

  • Spray insecticides inside the house. Spot-spray them into cracks or on surfaces. Be sure to treat areas where your dogs go, such as the living room carpet, and if your dog is allowed on the furniture, treat the furniture. Apply insecticides according to the instructions on the package or at least at three-week intervals.

  • Treat the landscape with insecticides. Follow the instructions on the insecticides for application and for frequency of application.

  • Treat your dog with flea treatments available from your veterinarian. A flea collar is often ineffective by itself, and some dogs are allergic to flea collars. A flea collar is usually more effective on short-haired dogs. Prescription spot treatments are the most effective at treating fleas, and must be applied every month.

  • Comb and shampoo your dog frequently to remove adult fleas before they have a chance to lay eggs. If you are using a spot treatment, be sure to wait as recommended before bathing your dog (depending on the type, anywhere from a few days to two weeks).

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep pets off treated furniture and out of treated areas until the pesticide dries.
  • Do not apply insecticides directly to dogs.

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References

  • Photo Credit Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images
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