Our furry little friends seem to have one superpower: unlimited fur. They never run out of it. Everywhere they go, there’s always a strand or two left behind.
A simple dust-off by hand won’t do the trick. Once they’ve landed on clothes, pet fur clings onto the natural fibers of most fabrics. It doesn’t matter whether your pet’s fur texture is rough or soft. Rough fur such as that on Siamese cats can have straight ends that easily pierce the fibers. On the other hand, long and soft fur such as that on Persian cats breaks easily, causing a single strand to spread all over.
Sometimes, a true villain comes along: pet fleas. The elusive fur is one thing, but fleas getting all over your clothes is a real infestation. So how do you keep both fur and fleas at bay?
Start from the Top
Air-conditioning units and electric fans spread fur all over the house. Fur can make its way to the high curtains and paintings on the wall. Vacuum daily, and wash curtains at least once every three months.
Then, move on to the furniture. Vacuuming is the key to a clean household full of pets. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to cover every bit of furniture.
Finish cleaning appliances with a microfiber cloth, which has very fine fibers that lock in all types of dirt. You can also use a cleaning cream once in a while.
For upholstered items, you can repeatedly rub a damp cloth onto the fabric so that the small fur strands will accumulate into a moist ball. Do this gently so you won’t damage the furniture.
Vacuum the Floor
Once you’ve made sure to dust off appliances and furniture, collect the fur and fleas that fell on the floor. This time, use a big heavy-duty vacuum cleaner.
Move fast. Otherwise, all your earlier efforts will go to waste. Once you turn on the AC or fan, fur will drift through the entire house like pollen in open grassland.
Among insects, fleas hold a world record when it comes to high jumping. They can reach up to 18 cm vertically and 33 cm horizontally. It is important to vacuum the floor efficiently to keep them contained.
Once a month, you can also sprinkle some salt all over the floor and leave it there for 24 hours before vacuuming everything again. Salt dehydrates adult fleas and paralyzes them for an easy sweep. Do not let your pet walk all over the salt, which can cause urinary tract infections if they lick it off their body.
Don’t Forget the Nooks and Crannies
What’s out of sight isn’t out of mind. Pet dander often gets stuck in the unreachable ducts, along with pollen and other contaminants from the outside. Since it takes months—or even years—for homeowners to remember that these spaces also need to be cleaned, ducts can be a favorite hangout spot for growing baby fleas who don’t want to be disturbed.
Aside from daily vacuuming, it is also important to employ air duct cleaning services to do the hard work for you. With special tools and years of experience, they can efficiently clean these tiny spaces inside out.
Extra Protection Against Fleas
Having pet fleas doesn’t mean you’re a bad pet parent. It is effortless to get fleas, and they are one of the hardest pests to get rid of. The flea life cycle is complex and adaptive, so breaking the cycle can be tricky.
Before becoming an adult, fleas start as eggs, turn into larvae, and then develop into pupae. When you and your pets leave the house for a vacation, they can hold onto the larva or pupa stage for up to two weeks. The visible high jumpers, or the adult fleas, comprise only 5% of the total flea infestation in your house. The remaining percentage is still developing but harder to spot.
Aside from regular vacuuming, installing flea traps all over the house can break the flea life cycle. Create a trap by filling a dish bowl with a water and dishwashing liquid mix and placing a lamp over the bowl. Leave this at night when other lighting sources are turned off.
The warmth of the light attracts the fleas. When they try to jump under it, the viscous dishwashing soap mix traps them until they drown.
Groom Your Pet
Finally, the easiest way to keep fur and fleas at bay is regular brushing. Simply make this your daily bonding time.
Additionally, regular brushing is healthy for your dog or cat. Combing through excess fur can prevent tangled fur and hairball-induced vomiting. All kinds of cute pet combs are available on the market, but you can opt for a flea comb to get cleaner strokes.
After brushing, use a lint roller to collect all the excess hair that got stuck on your clothes.
Happy Pet, Happy Household
Having pets is just like having children. It comes with responsibilities. Keeping your pet’s fur healthy takes patience and care. But once you’ve done the work, it easily translates into a clean and happy household that is livable for pets and humans alike.