Health Advice


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

As you prepare for influenza season, we want to share important vaccine updates.

2017 – 2018 Recommendation Highlights. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC continue to recommend annual influenza vaccination with an injectable influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women. The recommendation not to use live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) was extended for the 2017 – 2018 season.

Vaccine Supply. Manufacturers have projected they will produce between 151 million and 166 million doses of injectable influenza vaccine for the 2017 – 2018 influ enza season , which should ensure sufficient supply of vaccine.

When to Vaccinate. Optimally, vaccination should occur before onset of influenza activity in the community. We recommend vaccination by the end of October , if possible. To avoid missed opportunities for vaccination, providers should offer vaccination during routine health care visits and hospitalizations when vaccine is available. Vaccination efforts should continue throughout the season because the duration of the influenza season varies and influenza activity might not occur in certain communities until February or March. Vaccine administered in December or later is likely to be beneficial even if given after the influenza season has begun. .

Below are some data that might inform your conversations with patients in the upcoming months:

Influenza vaccine can prevent flu illness and hospitalization. CDC estimates that influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza – associated medical visits, and 71,000 influenza – associated hospitalizations during the 2015 – 20 16 season , with a n overall vaccine effectiveness of 48%.

Influenza vaccination may make illness milder. While some people who get vaccinated may develop influenza , vaccination may make their illness milder. A 2017 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) showed that influenza vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized influenza patients.

For additional info see Who should Get the Flu Vaccine?

New Year Resolutions Seniors Can Make

Here are some realistic ways that seniors can improve their lives and well-being as we enter into the new year. While many of these resolutions are good advice for people of all ages, these resolutions should be fairly easy for seniors to obtain.

  • Exercise Regularly
    This is a popular resolution for people of all ages.  Visit any gym in January and you are likely to see a surge in attendance but come back in February or March and you will see how quickly people abandon this goal. Exercise has countless health benefits especially as we age–increasing cardiovascular health, strengthening bones, improving balance, and managing weight are critical as we age.  Find time and commit to this for the year.  Make small decisions like parking further from the store entrance and other simple tasks that you may not have done. If you’re physically limited, the pool can often be a less strenuous way to find some exercise.
  • Create or review your legal documents such as wills
    The very nature of many legal documents is that you don’t need them until you need them, and this is especially true of wills, advance directives (also called a living will), and power of attorney documents. If you haven’t already created each of these, contact your attorney and set up an appointment to get the ball rolling.  If you already created these documents many years ago, it is a good idea to review them periodically to ensure nothing about your wishes has dramatically changed.
  • Clean out your attic, garage, and/or closets
    Discard old toys, outdated clothes, boxes of old papers.  If you forgot you had it, you probably don’t need it.  This task can sound overwhelming, but invite your children or loved ones to pitch in.  Often times this chore can be a way to reminisce and even turn into a fun trip down memory lane.
  • Eat healthier
    You can increase your odds of living longer and improving your quality of life simply by improving your diet. Lower weight, blood pressure and often time less medications because of better health can really help you as you age.
  • Learn how to use technology
    Staying connected to family has never been easier thanks to the internet and social media. Seniors are one of the fastest growing demographics on Facebook. If you aren’t currently using social media ask a friend or loved one for a lesson and start connecting with friends and family virtually.
  • Begin to explore senior living options and in-home care for the long-term
    If you are approaching retirement age or already there, you probably have already thought about where you would like to live as you grow old. If you are considering a senior living community, there’s no time like the present to start exploring the options. Planning for in-home assistance is also another good idea if you intend on staying put for a while.  having someone that can help with shopping and house cleaning tasks can greatly improve the quality of life for a senior.

Set your goals for 2018. Happy New Year!

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. CDC estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000. During flu season, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population. (“Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.) An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people.

Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.

More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?

CDC recommends use of a flu shot; either an inactivated influenza vaccine or (IIV) or a recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018. Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any allergies to flu vaccine or its components.

When should I get vaccinated?

You should get a flu vaccine now, if you haven’t gotten one already this season. It’s best to get vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.  Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

ACA Dates and deadlines for 2018 Health Insurance

The 2018 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.
Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2018.

If you haven’t applied for insurance on before, here’s what you need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange”).

The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who don’t have health coverage
If you don’t have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.

If you have job-based insurance: You can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you’ll pay full price unless your employer’s insurance doesn’t meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do meet the standards.
If you have Medicare: You can’t switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan, or buy a Marketplace dental plan. Learn about Medicare and the Marketplace.
What you pay for insurance depends on your income – and you’ll probably save
Your savings depend on your expected household income for the year. Over 8 in 10 people who apply are eligible to save, and most can find plans for $50 to $100 per month (after accounting for savings).

Get a quick idea if you’ll save. Based on your income estimate, we’ll tell you if you qualify for:

A health insurance plan with savings based on your income

You may qualify for a premium tax creditthat lowers your monthly insurance bill, and for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments.
The plans are offered by private insurance companies with a range of prices and features.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost coverage to millions of people and families with limited income, disabilities, and some other situations.

Many states are expanding Medicaid to cover all households below certain incomes. See if your state is expanding and if your income is in range to qualify.  Your children may qualify for CHIP even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid.

You can apply for coverage 4 ways Applying on is easier than ever, and many people can apply, pick a plan, and enroll in a single sitting. You can apply any way that works for you:

After December 15, you can enroll in 2018 health insurance only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Don’t let stress get the best of you

Finding support and identifying coping strategies are essential steps in combating the effects of stress.

Stress gets a bad rap, but anxiety in general doesn’t always have to be negative. In some cases, stress serves as motivation to get things done. It can help us act when were in dangerous situations, as our bodies are wired with a fight-or-flight response that gives us the ability to run faster and think more quickly in the face of an emergency.

Problems can occur when a situation is too stressful or the stress is chronic, wearing us down and bringing on negative effects. Think of cars going over a bridge. Over time, the bridge starts to show some cracks in it. Your body reacts the same way with repeated stress. If you’re tense, you’re more likely to have problems like muscle strains. You’ll also have a lowered immune system and be more susceptible to getting sick.

You might also notice that you’re increasingly irritable and more apt to snap at others. In addition, you may have trouble sleeping, which just results in more stress creating a cyclical pattern in which you’re less adept at dealing with things and increasingly unable to get a good nights sleep. Stress can also elevate your blood pressure, which in the long run could put you at greater risk for heart problems.

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to mitigate the effects of stress. The most important step is to find support wherever you can. Maybe its meeting with a regular group of friends twice a month, finding a message board online where you can vent or chatting one-on-one with friends or family on the phone. There’s comfort in knowing other people understand you and your situation.

Don’t overlook something as simple as the laughter of a good friend. It’s quite beneficial.

A number of other techniques are useful to reduce stress. What works best for you depends on your talents and tastes. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep a journal
  • Go for a walk
  • Listen to music
  • Do yoga
  • Practice belly breathing
  • Get a massage
  • Paint
  • Knit
  • Dance
  • Complete a fun home improvement project

Find something that calms you and gets you in the right mindset to face the challenges in your life. It could be something you used to do that brought you joy. Oftentimes the things we drop when we get stressed are the things we need most in order to better take care of ourselves.

If managing your stress seems impossible or you’re feeling really burnt out or depressed, you might consider seeing a professional for more individualized methods of coping with the stress you’re experiencing.

Whatever you do, pay attention to how you’re feeling the goal is to keep stress at minimal levels so that its motivating, not debilitating.

By Dr. Andrea Bonior:  Andrea Bonior, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who serves on the adjunct faculty of Georgetown University and maintains a private practice. Shes the author of the book The Friendship Fix: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Losing, and Keeping Up with Your Friends.

Epilepsy and Seizures in Older Adults

Did you know that seizures are more likely to develop in older adults? Learn to recognize the signs of seizures and how you can help.

Epilepsy is a broad term used for a brain disorder that causes seizures. In the United States, 2.4 million adults aged 18 years or older have active epilepsy.  About 1% of adults 65 years of age and older have active epilepsy, which is about 447,000 people. That’s about the size of Corpus Christi, TX. With the aging of the population, we can expect to see greater numbers of people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy is more likely to develop in older adults rather than younger adults because as people age, the risk of seizures and epilepsy rises.3,4 Some older adults may have lived with epilepsy throughout their lives, but others might develop epilepsy later in life. It isn’t always easy to tell when you, a friend or family member, or someone you care for develops epilepsy later in life.

That’s because seizures are harder to recognize in older adults, and many go unnoticed. For example, memory problems, confusion, falls, dizziness, or sensory changes like numbness are often blamed on “getting older.”3,4 However, these can actually be signs of seizures.

There are many different signs of seizures because there are many types of seizures. When most people think of a seizure, they think of a generalized seizure. In this type of seizure, the person may cry out, fall, shake or jerk, and become unaware of what’s going on around them. However, complex partial seizures are the most common type of seizure, including in older adults. This type of seizure can make a person appear confused or dazed.

It is important to recognize and report these signs and symptoms to a health care provider so they can determine the cause and recommend the right treatment.

Challenges in Older Adults

Older adults with epilepsy may face greater challenges than other age groups. Balancing epilepsy treatment when taking medicines for other health problems can be difficult. Older adults also have a high risk of falls, which can lead to serious injury. Additionally, some epilepsy medicines can cause bone loss which can increase risk of falls and injury.

Epilepsy can limit daily activities such as driving a car. People who do not have control of their seizures are restricted from driving for different time periods, determined by the state you live in. After a lifetime of independence, losing the ability to drive can be especially difficult for older adults.

Most adults with epilepsy have good seizure control with medicines.  Like other age groups, older adults with epilepsy can live a healthy, independent, and active lifestyle. Epilepsy specialists can help older adults to find the right treatment. Learn how to find an epilepsy specialist at the Epilepsy Foundation website.

New Epilepsy and Seizures in Older Adults

About half of older adults who are told they have epilepsy do not know the cause of their condition.

Some Known causes include:

  • Stroke
  • Head injury
  • Neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer’s Disease)
  • Alcoholism and other substance abuse
  • Brain tumor

Prevent Stroke

Stroke is a common cause of new epilepsy in older adults. A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die.

You may lower your chances of stroke by making healthy lifestyle choices such as:

  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Getting enough exercise.
  • Not smoking.
  • Limiting alcohol use.

And controlling medical conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Diabetes.

Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging

As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.

Not doing any physical activity can be bad for you, no matter your age or health condition. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.

If you’re 65 years of age or older, are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions you can follow the guidelines listed below.

For Important Health Benefits

Older adults need at least:

jogging 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and

weight trainingmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).


jogging 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and

weight trainingmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).


walking joggingAn equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and

weight trainingmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Older adults should increase their activity to:

jogging 5 hours (300 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and

weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).


jogging 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) each week of vigrous-intensity aerobic activity and

weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).


walkingAn equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and

weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

More time equals more health benefits

If you go beyond 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity, you’ll gain even more health benefits.

Aerobic activity – what counts?

Aerobic activity or “cardio” gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. From pushing a lawn mower, to taking a dance class, to biking to the store – all types of activities count. As long as you’re doing them at a moderate or vigorous intensity for at least 10 minutes at a time. Even something as simple as walking is a great way to get the aerobic activity you need, as long as it’s at a moderately intense pace.

Intensity is how hard your body is working during aerobic activity.

How do you know if you’re doing moderate or vigorous aerobic activity?
On a 10-point scale, where sitting is 0 and working as hard as you can is 10, moderate-intensity aerobic activity is a 5 or 6. It will make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. You’ll also notice that you’ll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favorite song.

Vigorous-intensity activity is a 7 or 8 on this scale. Your heart rate will increase quite a bit and you’ll be breathing hard enough so that you won’t be able to say more than a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

You can do moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a mix of the two each week. Intensity is how hard your body is working during aerobic activity. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

Everyone’s fitness level is different. This means that walking may feel like a moderately intense activity to you, but for others, it may feel vigorous. It all depends on you – the shape you’re in, what you feel comfortable doing, and your health condition. What’s important is that you do physical activities that are right for you and your abilities.

Muscle-strengthening activities – what counts?

Besides aerobic activity, you need to do things to make your muscles stronger at least 2 days a week. These types of activities will help keep you from losing muscle as you get older.

To gain health benefits, muscle-strengthening activities need to be done to the point where it’s hard for you to do another repetition without help. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like lifting a weight or doing one sit-up. Try to do 8—12 repetitions per activity that count as 1 set. Try to do at least 1 set of muscle-strengthening activities, but to gain even more benefits, do 2 or 3 sets.

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it’s at home or the gym. The activities you choose should work all the major muscle groups of your body (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms). You may want to try:

  • Lifting weights
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Doing exercises that use your body weight for resistance (push ups, sit ups)
  • Heavy gardening (digging, shoveling)
  • Yoga
  • Thai Chi

Flu Season is here, Your Best Shot is the Flu Shot

With fall approaching, it is a sure bet that cold and flu season will soon follow bringing the risk of flu illness. Some people will only be mildly sick or miserable for a few days, but for some, flu can be very serious and may even result in hospitalization or death.  Flu shots are highly recommended for Seniors 65 and older.

Flu viruses infect the nose, throat, and lungs and can cause a wide range of complications. Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from flu. Pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either flu virus infection alone or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria. Other possible serious complications triggered by flu can include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis), and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure). Flu virus infection can trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection. Over the past six flu seasons, the U.S. has experienced several flu seasons with high rates of hospitalization and severe disease.

Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness. People at increased risk of flu complications include older adults, people with chronic medical conditions, and children younger than 6 months old.

CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. While the flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, it is the best tool modern medicine currently has to prevent infection with influenza viruses. CDC estimates that for the 2015-2016 influenza season only about 45% of the population were vaccinated. Still, influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations. CDC experts calculated that a 5 percentage point increase in vaccination rates could have prevented another 500,000 influenza illnesses, 230,000 influenza-associated medical visits, and 6,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations across the entire population.

We have stated above that flu illness can be serious and that flu vaccine can prevent illness. There are other misconceptions that discourage people from getting vaccinated. To clear those up:

  1. A flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. The most common side effects from a flu shot are soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was given, fever, and/or muscle aches. These side effects are NOT flu. If you do experience side effects, they are usually mild and short-lived, especially when compared to symptoms from a bad case of flu.
  2. Flu vaccines are among the safest medical products in use. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years. There has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines. CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitor the safety of vaccines approved for use in the United States.

What vaccine to get this season:

CDC recommends use of injectable influenza vaccines (including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines) during 2017-2018. Similar to last season, the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) is not recommended for the 2017-2018 flu season. Both trivalent (three-component) and quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines will be available. There is no preferential recommendation for any of the licensed and recommended vaccines this season.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against flu. Take your best shot in the fight against flu! Protect yourself and your loved ones, and get a flu shot by the end of October, if possible.

If you have questions, talk to your doctor or other health care professional about the benefits of flu vaccination. Along with CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, and many other professional medical groups recommend an annual influenza vaccine. While there are many people who skip getting a flu vaccine, thinking that they do not work, or that the flu shot will give them the flu, there is a lot of research that disproves these misconceptions.

Source CDC

Five Minutes for Women’s Health

In Five Minutes or Less, You Can

  1. Learn about the number one killer of women.
    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Learn the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke. You can save a life by knowing the signs and symptoms!
  2. Schedule a doctor check-up.
    Regular check-ups are important. Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to discuss what screenings and exams you need and when you need them.
  3. Protect your skin and eyes from the sun.
    Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States. In just minutes you can protect your skin and put on broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days.  Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and cover up with a hat and long sleeves.
  4. Find an HIV, STD, and Hepatitis testing site near you.
    Untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can have long-term consequences for women, such as infertility. Find testing near you to know your status.
  5. Take folic acid before and during pregnancy.
    The B vitamin folic acid can help prevent certain birth defects. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, her baby may be less likely to be born with certain birth defects of the brain or spine. All women who could possibly get pregnant should take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day in a vitamin or in foods that have been enriched with it.
    These tips are just a few of the many things you can do in five minutes or less. Learn more small steps you can take to improve your health.

Source: CDC

Natural ways to get rid of insects in your home

When insects have invaded your home, there are lots of nontoxic ways to get them to leave.  There are a lot of reasons you would want to consider these better natural remedies. There have been several studies which have linked certain types of cancers to pesticides.  Avoid risking your loved ones health and consider some of these less toxic ways to keep the pests out of your home.

Here are some ways to get rid of pests naturally:

  • Ants | Lemon juice. Cinnamon. Peppermint. Sounds like the ingredients for a great recipe, but they’re really some simple remedies to keep ants from invading your home.
  • Houseflies | From flypaper to flytraps, there are simple no-chemical ways to get rid of pesky flies. Maybe a bag of water might even keep them from ever coming into your house!
  • Stink bugs | You know it when you back one of these odiferous insects into a corner. Fortunately, a little dish soap might be a simple solution to get rid of stink bugs.
  • Roaches | Put down that bug spray and find a safer way to control insects that have invaded your home. It can take a while to get rid of these hardy critters, but there are nontoxic methods to keep roaches out of your house. It starts with lots of cleaning, and then sealing up the spots where they get inside.
  • Fruit flies | These annoying tiny pests love your leftover fruits and veggies. If you don’t want to share, try setting a delicious trap for the fruit flies. (It’s also smart, of course, to get rid of the tempting treats that lured them in.) The artificial sweetener in Truvia could also be a safe pesticide, according to a new study. The study was limited to fruit flies, but researchers say erythritol shows promise to wipe out other insects too.
  • Gnats | These irritating bugs go where the moisture is, so get rid of temptations like rotting bananas and soft potatoes. If that doesn’t do it, some solutions for removing gnats naturally include dish soap, vinegar and lots of hand clapping.
  • Fleas | If these bloodsuckers managed to infest your dog or cat and have taken up residence in your carpet and upholstery, don’t grab a flea bomb. First, go get your vacuum cleaner. Then consider boric acid, diatomaceous earth or flea traps to get rid of fleas naturally in your house.