Flea Prevention in a Foster Home

Anyone who has had fleas in their house before knows what a nightmare it is – for the humans and the dogs. The clean up following a flea infestation is very painful as well.

In coordinating a dog rescue for about seven years, I have got flea control down to an art. Here are my suggestions on ensuring that foster homes stay free of fleas.

When a dog enters care and has evidence of fleas (e.g. flea dirt around their groin), or for any dog that has come from a pound environment, flea treatment and prevent starts on pick up.

  • As I put the dog in the car, I treat with a spot-on flea treatment for dogs (like Frontline).
  • In the case of multi-dog transport, then all dogs in the car are treated with a spot-on treatment.

Once the dog has vacated my car, I then have to make my car flea-free. I use bug spray on pretty much everything. This includes bug-spraying:

  • Each side of the bedding the dog had in the crate.
  • The internal surfaces of the crate.
  • On all surfaces in the car, including in particular fabric surfaces.

Any bedding the dog used then goes either straight into the wash, or, if soiled, into a secured bag and into the bin.

Any other pets in the new foster household should be treated with a spot-on as well.

Following these steps should help flea infestations taking hold in a foster home. If, however, a dog ‘sneaks’ fleas into the house, then you will need to take remedial action. My process is:

  1. All animals in the household are dosed with a flea treatment.
  2. All bedding occupied by the flea-infested dog is treated with bug spray and washed.
  3. All areas of the house are vacuumed.
  4. All surrounding areas the dog came into contact with (like carpets, couches, etc) are doused in bug spray. I particularly concentrate the bug spray in nooks (e.g. under and behind furniture) and on the thresholds of rooms (e.g. in doorways).

It took me quite a few years to work out the exact method for getting a handle on flea infestations. I have learnt that prevention is easier (and cheaper!) than cure. Despite having some close encounters (such as foster dogs sneaking in their flea-visitors), I have never had a major problem in recent years. I put it down to these techniques.

Do you have any additional ideas on controlling fleas in a foster home?


Other posts of interest:

5 Ways to Keep Fleas Out of the House

Parasite Treatment Comparisons

Oral Flea Treatment Most Effective in Dogs