Spring has sprung, and it’s time for fighting fleas and ticks again. Are you winning the battle to keep fleas and ticks off your pets and out of your home? Here are five vet-approved recommendations for winning this ongoing struggle.

Use Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Products.

There are a lot of products available today – from homemade remedies, to holistic products, to prescription choices. So how do you pick the most effective product for your pet? When comparing products, you’ll want to make sure they will continue to kill fleas and ticks over a long period of time; they will quickly eliminate the fleas and ticks; and they are very safe to use.

In addition to over-the-counter solutions, talk to your vet about the many prescription options. Some can kill fleas within 30 minutes, some are given monthly, and others last several months. Another option would be a flea and tick collar, but if you take your dog swimming on a regular basis, know that the period of effectiveness will be cut shorter.

Combat the Entire Life Cycle of Fleas.

Killing the adult fleas on your pets is not enough. You must stop the fleas from breeding. Once a flea starts feeding on your pet, it lays 40-50 eggs a day in a 48-hour period. The key is to choose a product that disrupts the growth or full development of these eggs into adult fleas. If your pet has a raging flea infestation, talk to your vet about a fast-acting flea elimination product.

Treat All the Pets in Your Home.

To prevent re-infestation, it’s important to treat every pet in your home. Even if your cat is an indoor cat, it could be carrying fleas that were brought inside by the dog and could become the source of another flea infestation in the house.

Find and Treat Flea Dens.

Flea dens are created when a flea-infested animal rests in one place, such as a pile of leaves or under a porch. The fleas and eggs drop off onto the ground and create a hot spot of fleas just waiting for your curious dog or cat to come over and sniff the animal smells. If this happens, treat your pet with a fast-acting flea product, then treat the flea den with an outdoor yard spray designed to kill fleas.

Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum.

Once fleas are in your home, the flea eggs will be left wherever your pet walks or lays. Your carpeting, furniture and bedding are key hiding areas. Since the hatching process is an evolving cycle, it’s important to vacuum your home and furniture every day and wash your bedding.

Related: Is That Flea Dirt on Fido

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