Fleas Are No Fun For Pets and Humans in an RV
The tiny little bloodsucking, hopping, crawling, annoying insects known as fleas crawl onto our pets in long grass or places with flea infestation. They are annoying pests, but they only spend 1/3 of their bloodsucking little lives on our pets. Indoors, fleas spend 2/3 of their lives breeding in upholstery, pet bedding, or any tiny crack or crevice they can squeeze into. When they aren’t breeding, they feed on our pets or bite any other warm body they can sink their mandibles into. Fleas are perhaps exceedingly awful when they infest RVs because they can quickly get into everything in such a small space. Luckily, there are effective ways to prevent fleas on your pet and in your RV.
How to Tell if Your Pet Has Fleas
You may notice your pet scratches frequently and incessantly if he has fleas. Flea bites are itchy, but their movement around your pet’s skin can cause a lot of irritation. Fleas tend to bite several times in the same area, so you may even see many little raised red spots on your pet. On close examination of the belly, under the rear legs, or at the base of the tail, you may see fleas scurrying around or so-called flea dirt. The best way to examine your dog or cat for fleas is by using a flea comb. Here’s how:
- Start at the base of the tail.
- Comb your pet’s fur with the flea comb, being sure to get all the way to the skin
- Wipe the comb off with a damp paper towel
- If you see a flea or reddish smear where you wiped the comb, your pet needs to be treated for fleas.
How to Treat Your Pet and Your Rv for Fleas
If you discovered fleas on your dog (or cat) in the test above, you must do a few things. Here’s how to get rid of fleas before they drive you and your pet bonkers. Don’t wait until fleas are biting you to treat your RV, or it will be a nightmare.
- Important! Never use flea shampoos, collars, or prevention medication intended for a different species than is on the label. Dog flea products are fatally toxic to cats, and cat flea products are likely not adequate or harmful for a dog.
- Start by washing all the pet bedding in warm water. If your dog sleeps on your bed, wash your bedding in warm water. Then dry everything in the dryer.
- Vacuum the floor and all carpets and upholstery. Be very thorough. Get into all the cracks and crevices and underneath cushions.
- Spray all upholstery, beds, and floors with a flea spray that kills flea eggs, larvae, and adult fleas for six months. Do not spray this on your pet!
- Wash your pet as follows using a flea shampoo:
- Lather around the outside of the base of the ears, around the toes, and around your pet’s rear end to prevent fleas from taking refuge there as you bathe other areas of your pet.
- Bathe the remaining areas of your pet, following the manufacturer’s directions.
- Rinse and dry. Look in the coat as you do to check for any fleas that escape.
If you have a really bad flea infestation in your RV, consult a local pest control company with experience getting rid of fleas in RVs.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure
The best way to deal with fleas is not to have to deal with them at all. Science has come a long way to provide excellent topical and oral flea prevention treatments. Gone are the days of spraying your dog or using a flea dip formula. There are now topical drops and even a pill that prevents fleas and ticks. Here are a few of the best treatments to prevent fleas. Speaking to a veterinarian before starting your pet on any medications, including flea and tick prevention, is important.
1. Bravecto Oral Flea and Tick Preventative
This oral flea preventative comes in delicious chewable tablets for dogs and as a drop formula for cats that are dosed according to the size of your pet. Bravecto oral flea preventative should be given 3-4 times per year, according to your veterinarian’s advice.
2. Revolution Topical Flea and Tick Preventative
Revolution is a topical application for cats that prevent fleas with just a few drops placed at the base of the neck. Given monthly, Revolution works wonders to keep fleas away. Your veterinarian probably sells Revolution.
3. Frontline Topical Flea and Tick Preventative
Here is another topical drop formula that goes on at the base of your pet’s neck. This flea preventative works for up to 1 month. It is available online from Amazon and other retailers.
Fleas can be quite a nuisance, well into the fall, and even winter in some of the warmer southern states. While flea prevention is your first line of defense, quick response and thorough cleaning can stop a flea infestation before it becomes a severe problem.
Lynne Fedorick is a freelance writer with 35 years of RVing experience. She specializes in topics such as fulltime RV life, great destinations for RVers, RV organization, RV News, RV tech, and dog behavior/training.