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Control Fleas on Your Pet, in Your House, and in Your Yard

Publication Number: P2597
Updated: February 22, 2016
View as PDF: P2597.pdf

If you own a dog or cat, you will have to control fleas. Even light flea infestations are annoying to pets, and some dogs and cats develop skin problems because they are allergic to flea bites. Heavy flea infestations can cause pets to be unthrifty and cause anemia in puppies and kittens. Fleas may also host tapeworms, and pets become infected when they ingest infected fleas while grooming. Fleas also bite people, and heavy infestations in the home or yard can make life miserable for pet owners and their family and friends. Although there are many different species of fleas in the world, the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is the species that most commonly occurs on dogs and cats in the United States.

To control fleas successfully, you need to control them in all areas where they occur: on the pet, in the house, and in the yard. Not allowing pets inside the house is the surest way to avoid having fleas inside the house, but not all pet owners favor this method. Whether or not pets are allowed inside, the first step in flea control is to treat the pet(s) with an effective and appropriate on-pet treatment.

Fortunately, there are several highly effective treatments that can be applied to pets for preventive flea control. Good, on-pet flea preventive, combined with frequent cleaning of pet bedding areas, can keep fleas from becoming established in the house or yard. But if pets are infested with adult fleas, the house and yard will also be infested with immature fleas, and these areas will need to be treated, too.

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Authors

Extension Professor
Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and

Your Extension Experts

Extension Professor
Extension Professor
Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and

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