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:
- All animals in the household are dosed with a flea treatment.
- All bedding occupied by the flea-infested dog is treated with bug spray and washed.
- All areas of the house are vacuumed.
- 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?
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