I was taught many years ago..."for every 1 flea you see on your pet there are 100 more"!!! YUCK!
These little creatures are part of my every day whether I like it or not.....it is unfortunate, but something that we live with, but don't have to.
I educate clients daily on fleas and what they are capable of doing, and trust me, they only do damage, never good. Most people say, "oh Becky, it's cold outside, there aren't fleas anymore"....well, sad to say, that is just not true, this is actually the time of year that we see them the most. Think about it, if there are fleas in our outside environment, i.e., our yard, the park, even the neighbor's yard, these little creatures are going to jump on anything and everything that has a body temperature as soon as it walks by them, and yes, THEY JUMP!!!
I like to refer to these creatures as "Vampires"! Now, you all know what a vampire does, that's right.....THEY DRINK BLOOD!!! This is their sole purpose....feed, breed, lay eggs...rinse and repeat. Oh, and don't forget, cause havoc on you and your pets. Our pets suffer the most, because fleas prefer canine or feline blood as their first choice for a blood meal, and they can cause sickness to both you and your pets alike. If you have enough fleas in your environment, they don't get too picky, they will bite you too.
There are many products on the market that "say" they "rid" your pets of fleas. Please take my advice, the products that are at the local "Big Box Stores" DON'T WORK! Don't waste your money. Also, do your research, there are products at our local pet stores that also have no affect on these creatures, although all of the advertisements we see on television or read in magazines claim they are the best of the best. My recommendation is simply this....if you don't buy flea treatment directly from your veterinarian, or don't have to have someone at the local pet store remove it from a locked cabinet, it just isn't going to work. You will be frustrated, and your pets will still be suffering. My personal favorite treatment for cats is Advantage, it is a topical once every 30 day treatment, and for dogs, I choose Advantix. Both products kill all life stages of the fleas, which is very important. For treatment inside your home, I like a product that is sold through your veterinarian called KnockOut, it like the topical treatments I have mentioned, also kills all life cycles of the flea.
Once you realize you have fleas and are ready to do something about them, which honestly, I'm not sure why you would wait, there are steps that need to be taken to rid them properly.
You will need to treat both the pets and your environment on the same day. Wash all bedding, both yours and your pet's. Remember, where your pets goes is where a flea egg or many eggs could have rolled off only to hatch. If you can get the pets out of the house, that is always best, but if that isn't an option, then be sure to keep the pets safely away from the rooms being currently treated. First, you will need to vacuum like you have never vacuumed before, under couches, chairs, behind the fridge and stove, under beds and dressers, anywhere that this tiny creature could possibly hide. After you have vacuumed the entire house, get the vacuum cleaner bag out of the house, and if a canister model, dump it, and then spray it with what you will be using inside to treat. Everyone has heard of "bombing" the house if you have fleas, let me tell you, if you use a bomb, you will not have good results. A bomb goes straight up into the air, then straight back down. These fleas will run and hide under anything that the bomb mist doesn't settle on. I recommend using a Premise Spray instead. This is an aerosol can that you are 100% in control of. You can spray everywhere and anywhere you would like to spray, i.e. under couches, the fridge, stove, dressers, etc.
This treatment will have to be repeated in 2-3 weeks. Fleas have a 21 day life cycle, therefore every 3 weeks you will have a new batch hatch and emerge into the environment and yes, looking for that blood meal.
This can be all very overwhelming, but if you call your veterinarian, the staff should be able to help you out! And, I'm always here for you if you need any guidance. Good luck and I hope you never have to deal with these little vampires!!!