If you want to check for sure your pets have fleas, use a white sock. Put the sock on your hand and run it over their coat, their bed or even a patch of carpet they often lay on. If you find little black specks, you have most likely found the evidence of fleas; flea droppings.
Once you get a few fleas in one area they quickly spread too, so it pays to get right onto the problem quickly.
There are remedies available from your veterinarian which work wonders, but can be expensive.
Here are a few other ways to get rid of them or keep them away:
Vacuuming is a great way to get rid of fleas. Vacuum everywhere; the carpets, curtains, beds, under furniture and in cracks and crevices. Now you need to make sure you get them safely out of the vacuum cleaner. It is best to discard the cleaner bag sealed in another bag in an outside bin, to prevent re-infestation.
Try a saltwater bath. Fill the sink or tub with water and pour in a generous amount of salt. Stir it in and bathe your pet after the salt has dissolved. The salt will kill both the fleas and their eggs.
Wash your pets bedding in hot soapy water. When you have put the bedding back sprinkle a bit of baking soda, yeast or salt, or add a few drops of essential oils or lemon.
Fleas love warmth and heat, so why not attract them to a warm spot with soapy water. Place a shallow bowl of soapy water under a lamp (remove the lampshade if possible, for best results to attract the fleas). The idea is the fleas will jump towards the warmth and hopefully land in the soapy water.
To get rid of fleas throughout the home, vacuum well and then spray with an essential oils mix. In a spray bottle put a few drops of lavender, cedarwood or eucalyptus oil with a cup of water. Spray your pets bedding lightly and any areas around the home that fleas tend to hide. Don’t spray it on your pets though. Be careful of essential oils around your pets as they can be toxic to them.
Test out a dehumidifier. Reducing the humidity with help kill off fleas and also prevent eggs from hatching.
Mow the lawn regularly and remove any dark, moist spots in your garden. Putting more sunlight into your garden will reduce a fleas breeding ground. Try using cedar wood chips or Eucalyptus leaves in the garden too, as fleas hate these.
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.