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What to do when your dog, cat or other pet brings home fleas

In warm weather, fleas like to set up shop in your pet's fur. Dogs and cats can bring them home after romping around outside with infested friends or in areas where squirrels or other wild animals frequent. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams has tips on how to get rid of fleas on your pet and in your home.

Black lab on couch
Keep fleas off your pet and out of your home in warm weather
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ROCHESTER — When you see Fido or Fluffy scratching away at their fur, your beloved pet may be dealing with fleas. The insects thrive in warm, humid weather and are ready to make a feast out of their host's blood, including yours. Flea bites on people may swell and itch.

How can you get rid of fleas on your pet, in your home and on you? The process can be quite a chore because of the life cycle of fleas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website has helpful information for getting rid of them. If you believe your pet has fleas and has brought them into your home, the CDC recommends:

  • Cleaning: Thoroughly wash areas where fleas breed. Wash pet bedding, people bedding and rugs. Vacuum floors and carpets and wash the edge of walls.
  • Treat your pet: Treat all pets in your home. Give them a bath with soap and water. Then use a flea comb. Fleas like your pet's face, neck and area above the tail. Consult your veterinarian about flea control products.
  • Home treatment: Treat your home when you treat your pet, as it will help disrupt the flea life cycle. Vacuum and clean often, including furniture upholstery. The CDC suggests consulting a licensed pets control applicator.
  • Follow-up: A flea's life cycle includes the egg, larval, pupa and adult phases. You need two or more follow-up treatments in order to get rid of them. Regular cleaning and vacuuming during this time works best.
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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
Your body adjusts to hot weather slowly. So when heat waves hit, you need to know how to hydrate and stay cool to avoid heat-related illness. This is especially true for babies and older adults. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams gets tips from an emergency medicine doctor about how to stay healthy in extreme heat.

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