If you are a pet owner, then one thing you have to fight at some point is tapeworms. Tapeworms love our furry friends. But the love isn’t genuine. Once they get into the life of your pet, these worms can turn their lives miserable.
So, you’ve had a tapeworm-infested furry companion. Luckily, a few medications here and there have brought relief to your pet. They are now back healthy. But still, there’s one fear – the fear of reinfestation. Perhaps there are still some tapeworm eggs within your house. How do you get rid of tapeworms once and for all? Well, that’s what we are about to find out.
How To Remove the Source of Tapeworms?
Before we get deeper, let me make something abundantly clear. Treating the infected host isn’t a bad thing. It will give them relief and make them healthy again. However, that won’t last.
If the source of the tapeworms is still there, reinfestation will always happen. You will again offer treatment, which will still work. The worms will again come back. In other words, you will have an infinite cycle of attacks. With time, that can drain your pocket.
With that said, it’s always wise to handle the problem right from the roots. That’s the only surefire way of long-lasting victory. So, what’s the effective way of removing the source(s) of tapeworms? Let’s find out!
1. Fight Fleas
We all know fleas cause an itchy annoyance to our pets. But it goes beyond that. Those tiny parasites can usher in a season of tapeworm infestation in the life of your pet. In fact, they are the likely source of the tapeworms in your furry companions.
You see, before tapeworms can get into your pet’s body, they need an intermediate host. It turns out that fleas are among their favorite. Fleas don’t carry the tapeworms. But they are a host for their eggs.
The moment your pup or feline lick their fur to ease the itch, they end up ingesting the fleas. If the flea was tapeworm-infected, then that’s it. The eggs will then hatch within the pet’s body. The newborn tapeworms will then attach themselves to the host’s intestinal walls. That’s how the pet ends up with a tapeworm infestation.
So yes, even before you deal with the remaining worms, first treat the fleas. That’s one great way to prevent future tapeworm attacks. Fortunately, we have a plethora of flea treatment products.
But again, don’t only concentrate on killing adult fleas alone. Beware also of the eggs. So yes, find a product that will eliminate both. If not, buy one for the adult fleas and another for the eggs.
2. Get Rid of Rats
Fleas aren’t the only source of tapeworms. Rats can also carry these parasites. So yes, as you get rid of the fleas, find a way to keep your home free from rats, mice, and other rodents.
Of course, pets and rats don’t make good friends. I5n fact, they aren’t likely to mix at any point. But it’s still possible for tapeworms to pass from the rodents to the furry friends. You see, both share the same space. That alone is enough to transmit the tapeworms from rats to your pets.
Hence, as you invest in a flea treatment product, also get a reliable rat trap if you have any within your space. Without these rodents and fleas, tapeworm infestation recurring is very unlikely after you handle the attack at hand.
How To Clean Your House After Tapeworms?
Once you’ve cleared the source of the tapeworms, you now need to concentrate on other areas that could still be having some remnants. Here, you need a thorough cleaning of your house. Here’s how to go about it;
1. Clean Up After Your Pet
Pets are the most vulnerable to tapeworms. An infected dog or cat can easily pass the tapeworms along with their fecal matter. As such, if you have a cat, always work on their litter box immediately after a bowel movement. The same applies to dogs. Clean after them as soon as possible once they do their business. That way, you will prevent the tapeworms from spreading.
But again, fecal matter isn’t the only thing that can carry tapeworms. Pet’s claws and between their paws are other likely areas. Create time and clean any surface your pet might have touched- whether you’ve seen them come into contact with the place or not.
2. Clean Your Pet’s Beddings
Pet’s beddings are a likely place for tapeworms after an infestation. Beddings will likely have tapeworm eggs which will hatch with time. To play it safe, clean all the beddings. For this task, we recommend that you use hot water. The high temperature will destroy both the tapeworms and their eggs.
For an even better outcome, consider using bleach. This household cleaning chemical is also an effective way of killing tapeworms. But before you use it, ensure that the beddings are compatible with the chemical.
3. Vacuum-Clean The House
After you’ve cleaned tapeworm’s likely areas, work on other areas. In other words, do general cleaning. A vacuum cleaner will come in handy for the job. Ensure that you perform the job perfectly. Concentrate on the sofas, carpets, your bed, and every corner of the house.
And as a general rule of thumb, consider using a disposable bag. You want to get rid of anything the cleaner picks up. And yes, one effective way to do that is to use a bag that you can get rid of or terminate together with whatever it entails.
4. Use a Steamer
The vacuum cleaner will help get rid of tapeworms. But it won’t do everything. There will still be a few eggs and tapeworms lying on the floor. So yes, you still need something else to exterminate that. That’s where steam-cleaning comes in.
Steam-cleaning your house will destroy any of the remaining eggs and adult tapeworms. You see, tapeworms and their eggs are susceptible to high heat. The temperature of 145 degrees will exterminate both in a few minutes.
And much like vacuum-cleaning, steam-clean every area in the house. The carpets, furniture, rugs, drapes, curtains, and any other place where you passed the vacuum cleaner.
5. Make Use of Bleach
The vacuum cleaner and steamer both do a commendable job. Nevertheless, some areas don’t work with either. A case in point is the walls. And yes, that’s where bleach turns helpful.
Using this household chemical is simple – just put it inside a spray bottle and apply it to the walls. But wait, that comes with a caveat – some surfaces can react to bleach. Just be careful. If you aren’t sure whether or not bleach is applicable for your case, you can test it over a small area and watch for any reaction.
How To Keep Yourself Safe From Tapeworms?
One thing about tapeworms is that they can easily pass from your pets (or any other source) to humans. So, even as you clean your house from these parasites, take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.
Below are a few tips on how you can stay away from tapeworms;
1. Take Time To Clean Yourself
As you clean your pet’s beddings and your house in general, you remain at risk of also getting tapeworms. As such, immediately you finish, toss all your clothes in the washing machine. Run the washer at a high-temperature setting to kill any eggs or tapeworms clinging to your clothes.
Also, wash your shoes as well. They may still hold these parasites before they begin to spread. As for the hands, clean them thoroughly. It’s even safer that you take a warm shower. That way, you will ensure that you don’t become the next target for these troublesome beings.
2. Have a Regular Routine For Cleaning Your House
Another way to stay safe from tapeworms is to clean your house regularly. Create time and vacuum your entire space. Once or several times a week should be fine. It may be hard to stick to a regular cleaning routine, but your safety is never cheap.
Vacuuming will suck up any tapeworms before they get their next host. That could be you, your pet, or anyone else within the house. And as usual, after the cleaning, take time and do some self sanitization.
3. Take Your Pet To The Vet
Your safety begins with that of your pet. Your furry friend is the likely place where you could get tapeworms. So yes, always ensure that you monitor them closely for any signs of tapeworm infestation.
Signs that your pet is struggling with tapeworm include;
- Weight loss even with healthy eating
- Scooting on their bottom
- Tapeworm in their stool
When you notice any of these signs, it could be a sign that your pet has a tapeworm infestation. Make sure you visit the soon as soon as possible for diagnosis.
To play it even safe, consider visiting the vet regularly. That will help a great deal pinpoint any instances of an infestation right at the early stages. And as we all know, early treatment will cost less and has a better prognosis.
4. Do Regular Health Check-Ups
After returning from the vet, go for your own check-up. The goal is to keep you and your pet healthy and happy. So yes, also see the doctor to run tests for any tapeworm issues.
A regular check-up will solve tapeworm infestation before it attracts more health issues. It may also reveal any other developing medical conditions. Check-ups are generally essential for your overall well-being.
If you can’t afford to go for those occasional check-ups, there’s still a cheaper alternative way. Take deworming medications regularly. The rule of thumb is that you should deworm at least annually. Children should do it at least biannually. If you’ve had a recent tapeworm infestation, it’s best to make it often.
Getting rid of tapeworm can be easy or an overwhelming task. It all depends on the approach you use. For more effective results, begin by first addressing the route source of the problem. That involves dealing with the fleas and getting rid of any rats and mice within your house. Then, proceed to clean the house and later on yourself.