Fleas are a not only a nuisance, causing irritation to both dogs and people, they are also potentially dangerous. The Black Death, a tremendous epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 30% of Europe's population, was brought about by these little carriers of the bubonic plague. And although dog owners are relatively safe from bubonic plague today, fleas can carry other nasty diseases such as Murine typhus (endemic typhus) fever, tapeworms, and Hymenolepis. So, what do we do to treat flea bites and to keep fleas away from our pets?
The traditional way of flea treatment is simple, if not effective. All you have to do is grab a pair of tweezers, and go at it; picking out any black and brown speck of the dogs hair and skin. While this method has to be the oldest available, I don't recommend it at all. Since one female flea can lay up to 10,000 eggs, this method would be extremely time consuming.
But Seriously, there is a three step process in getting rid of a small flea epidemic in your household, and here it is:
BATHE: In this step, bathe your dog with a flea killer shampoo. Lather up your hands with some of this stuff, and scrub down your dog until you are completely satisfied. I recommend at least fifteen minutes in the bath - just to make sure the dog is completely covered.
APPLY: Now, you are ready to apply a medicine onto the dog, making sure that the fleas will be completely killed. I use Frontline.
This is applied directly to the back of the dog.The medicine will be absorbed into the dog's oil glands, and then will be distributed evenly throughout the entire body. Any flea on his skin will be killed within twenty four hours.
CLEAN: Just getting rid of the fleas on the dog is not enough, as more and more fleas will emerge from their eggs. Everything that the dog has come into contact with needs to either be vacuumed or thrown into the washing machine. All of the toys, stuffed animals, rugs and blankets go into the washing machine with lots of Soap and Clorox. Vacuum all carpet and hardwood floors. Most of the flea population lives in the carpet in the larva and pupa stage. Vacuuming will eliminate most of the eggs and larva, and the rest who make it to adult fleas will hop onto the dog, only to find a Frontline flea killer all over the dog's skin.