5 Ways to Prevent a Flea Infestation in Cats | Series Part 1 of 2
We love our cats, but no one loves having to deal with a flea infestation! Besides being a major irritation for both you and your cat, fleas can trigger allergies and skin irritation. They can also transmit bacteria and tapeworms. The best way to keep you and your cat from suffering is to actively protect your home from fleas. We recommend five ways to keep your cat and home flea free. Consider taking the time to implement at least a few of these tips — the more you use, the fewer fleas with which you will have to contend.
1 – Indoor Flea Infestation Prevention
Prevention is the best cure for a flea infestation. Though many pet pest control products exist, they rely on chemicals like insecticides and antiparasitics. We prefer a more natural approach!
Diatomaceous earth is crushed or ground fossils of single-celled algae, called Diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is purified to contain a maximum of 0.5-2% crystalline silica. This level is considered non-toxic, meaning it can be ingested safely. For use in pets, humans, and gardens, only food-grade diatomaceous earth should be used. It is extremely effective for killing fleas that are hiding in carpets, beds and baseboards. It is not harmful to cats or humans, even if ingested. Sprinkle generously on areas where fleas might be hiding. After three days, vacuum up the residual powder. Repeat if necessary.
2 – Wash, Vacuum, Repeat
Anywhere your cat goes, there’s a potential for fleas, eggs, and larvae to drop off. Even if you’ve removed all the fleas from your cat, if you don’t take steps to remove them from your house as well, the cycle will never end.
Without a host (you or your cat), adult fleas can survive for up to 3 months. During that time, they’ll simply wait for something to walk past, and when it does, they’ll hop on! Flea eggs hatch into larvae after around 10 days. The larvae can lie dormant for up to 9 months. This means if you move into a house that had a flea infestation, it likely still has flea larvae waiting to hatch. The larvae are stimulated to mature into adult fleas by vibrations and warmth.
Vacuuming your house at least once a week will help remove flea eggs and larvae. Make sure to vacuum soft furnishings and carpets. It’s also a good idea to empty the bag or canister straight into the trash outside.
Put your cat’s bedding through a hot wash, and tumble dry at least once a month. If you’re currently battling a flea infestation, increase the frequency of washing. The heat from the wash and tumble dry will kill any fleas, flea eggs, and larvae on the bedding. Check the manufacturer’s instructions first, as some cat beds, including self-heating beds, can’t be washed on a hot cycle.
3 – Yard Flea Treatment
Enjoy a bug-free yard with proven-to-work yard flea spray that’s safe around kids, pets, bees, and butterflies. Cedar oil, the main ingredient in this product, is an essential oil that kills and repels fleas. It suffocates bugs, repels them, and eliminates their eggs and larvae. Formulated with the highest-quality oils, the plant-based spray is proven to kill, repel, and prevent 98-100% of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
The Ready-to-Use Outdoor Spray is quick and easy. It attaches directly to a garden hose and is automatically diluted as the water comes out. The Outdoor Pest Control Concentrate for Yard + Garden is more cost-effective and is perfect for those who like to get more hands-on with tasks. It must be properly diluted and requires a separate applicator.
4 – Indoor Cat
Most of the fleas that your cat picks up will come from outdoors. One of the most effective ways of keeping your cat flea free is to keep your cat indoors. While indoor cats can still get fleas from visitors, they’re at a much lower risk than cats allowed to roam outside freely.
A cat who spends all of their time inside can still enjoy many of the benefits of the outdoors by having access to a sunny windowsill. Put a cat tree in front of your cat’s favorite window or hang a hammock bed so that they have an extra cozy place to sit and watch the birds and squirrels. And when the weather allows (and if you have a screen in place), open the window so they can take in the breeze as well.
5 – The Stuff That Can’t be Washed
Steam-cleaning is a great way of killing fleas, eggs, and larvae on the soft furnishings and carpets around your house that can’t be laundered. Vacuum afterwards to remove any dead fleas, eggs, and larvae that were killed by the heat of the steam.
Natural Flea Infestation Prevention
Spring and Summer are the most challenging seasons for fleas (unless you live in a year round temperate weather state, such as Florida, when it is a all season concern). The natural approach to preventing a flea infestation is highly recommended for cat households. Using one, all or a combination of the 5 methods, you will be able to keep fleas out of your home and off of your cat!
Goodness for Pets is an all-natural pet supply store and boutique catering to animals and those who love them. Since 2004, we have been providing unparalleled service to our community in Naples, FL. Our goal is to be a valuable and dependable resource for our customers, offering products and services that are distinguished by quality, safety, excellence, and creativity. We specialize in holistic solutions with an emphasis on nutrition while acknowledging that each pet and pet owner has unique needs and requirements.