We have been watching a 14 week old puppy for two weeks. In the first couple days, I saw a flea or two on him. The situation with the puppy's owners is very complex - spouse A is in rehab and spouse B is leaving spouse A, so I didn't want to bug them about a couple of fleas. I wasn't even that worried about it because it wasn't like there was an overnight infestation in my house. Then, two nights ago, I found a flea on my 2yo Rhodesian Ridgeback. The puppy is going home today. I have never had to deal with fleas before - do I need to treat my dog and my house? Or is one flea not anything to get concerned about? My dog has super short hair and I haven't noticed any additional fleas. I do plan on mentioning the issue to the puppy's owners so they can deal with it on their end.
One flea is very much something to get worried about. Treat your dog (& any other critters in the house) pronto. Vacuum like you have never vacuumed before. Putting borax on the carpets/upholstery for several hours (24 is ideal, but often a PITA as you don't want animals walking on it) before vacuuming is a BIG help- it will dry out & kill all life stages. Wash any blankets & bedding in a super hot cycle. You can make a little trap to lay down a night to catch adults you've missed with the rest of the assault- fill a shallow dish (think margarine tub lid, etc) with soapy soapy water, place a light close to the surface of the dish, kill all other lights & leave over night. Fleas (and other bugs) are drawn to the light & warmth and drown in the water. You can snag a LOT of adults with this and it costs nothing.
I know it all sounds like a major PITA, but an over zealous, multi-faceted onslaught is the most effective method of preventing the little buggers from getting a serious foothold, and you DON'T want that. Once they really establish themselves, they can be nigh impossible to get rid of. Think scorched earth tactics. Take no prisoners.
Fleas are like lice... we JUST got done battling an infestation because the Orange B*ast*rd cat has been bringing in mice and birds.
This is what I did.... All the animals got bathed in Dawn. Suds them up and let it sit for 5 minutes, do a final rinse with apple cider vinegar.
Put baking soda mixed with Purification essential oils on every surface of the house, including ours/DDs mattress' and pillows. Let it sit overnight and then sucked it all up in the morning (expect the mattress, I did that before we went to bed). Washed the sheets.
The animals get sprayed with this essential oils mixture every morning at breakfast, before anybody goes outside (the Orange b*ast*rd cat will jump through the 2nd story window screen, and has been know to climb the siding to get outside, so we stopped fighting it)
Haven't seen any sense, and I liked that it was all natural, since DD rolls around on the floors/loves to chew on the animals.
Flea treatment from vet for your dog. Capstar will get the adults, and prevention such as revolution (or whatever the brand is your clinic uses) will help prevent any future run-ins with fleas and most treat intestinal worms/heartworm too.