After you're done screaming.

Time to bark goodbye to fleas and ticks with Bayer.

The summer months are almost here, which means more time outdoors and therefore, more time smelling like bug spray. While for me, this smell brings me back to my days at summer camp, we all know how annoying those pesky bites can be, and so do your furry friends.

If you didn’t know, we’re in the height of flea and tick season. While fleas and ticks are around all year, they are more active in the warmer months. If you didn’t take preventative measures, it’s probable that your pet may already be scratching to get rid of these pesky visitors. So, because you can’t paint your dogs in clear nail polish, create an “x” in their bite using your nail, or try any of the tricks we’ve all used to stop itching, keep reading for tips to help your pets bark (or meow) goodbye to those pests.

Step 1: Identify the Issue

If your pet is experiencing symptoms of fever, swollen joints, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, vomiting, or red spots on their gums, it’s possible that they have a vampire visitor. Yes, I’m talking about ticks. Check out your pet’s head, neck, ears, and paws as these are likely places for these Draculas to attach.

If your pet has dark or white specs in their fur, are excessively licking or scratching, have pale gums, and/or are lacking energy, they probably have fleas.

Fleas and ticks are a serious matter and not only lead to discomfort with your pet, but can lead to Lyme disease and life threatening illnesses. All of this is gross and scary, I know. But we’re here, we have to deal with it, and it’s time to fight back.

Step 2: Take care of your pet

Getting rid of fleas and ticks isn’t always an easy process. Think about how hard your parents had to work when you had lice, or how hard many New Yorkers have had to work to get rid of bed bugs. These critters are nasty and persistent.

If ticks are present, remove using tweezers right at its head, and pull straight up being careful not to squish it. If fleas are around, use a fine tooth comb to pull out adults and eggs. Kill the pests with rubbing alcohol as flushing it down the toilet before its dead or squashing it may cause more issues.

For both pests, use a flea and tick shampoo, spot-on skin treatments, or oral medication next. Make sure you read the instructions as some products can be dangerous for animals the products were not intended for (cats, kittens, puppies, smaller dogs). It’s also important to use only one flea treatment on your pet at once due to high number of chemicals in these products.

Step 3: Take care of your home and your yard

Need to spring clean, but can’t get yourself to start? Having a dog or cat with fleas can be great motivation. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, so it’s likely that your pet has brought their guests inside and they’ve made themselves at home. Even if you have not seen one yet, take preventative measures and deep clean your home. Wash and vacuum floors, carpets, rugs, blankets, pet bedding, furniture, etc. – everything that your pet may have come into contact with. Consider using a fogger as well to cleanse your atmosphere and get rid of these unwelcome houseguests for once and for all.

Next, go outside and trim your grass, remove foliage and “things” (toys, bikes, furniture, etc), and apply a pest spray to all shady areas, along fence lines and around door frames to get rid of fleas that may be lurking around your home.

Step 4: Be proactive

Now that you’ve gone through this nightmare once, I bet you’re never wanting to go through this again. Check out Bayer on for year round prevention methods, such as medication and collars. Prevention is key to keeping your pet safe, and letting you spring clean on your own terms.

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