Fleas are usually small, dark in color, wingless and have a hard shell. Their primary job is piercing the skin and sucking the blood out of its victim.
This type of insect could survive from six to twelve months and within this period, they are able to produce unimaginative millions of offspring.
Fleas have been in existence for as long as we can remember and this is because they are extremely adaptable to the environment. They do not have wings but these insects are good at jumping.
They can jump vertically as high as 15 to 36 inches high. You might think that it is quite impressive for such a small insect.
Impressive as they may seem but when they invade your pet, it isn’t impressive anymore. Fleas can even infect your household. The reactions that your pet can have will vary. Pets that are infected with fleas can have mild skin irritation. Other pets meanwhile can have some form of severe allergic reaction.
The way these fleas survive is through sucking blood from its victim. In effect, severe infestation from fleas can cause anemia. To some animals, this is the reason for their deaths.
Your pet dog or cat can be infected from fleas with the exception of those animals thriving in elevated areas or in very dry environments. Fleas are normally not susceptible to animals in these places.
Sometimes, it is quite hard to determine if a flea is present in your pet or not. Just by looking at your pet will not tell you if they are free from these parasites. Some signs that you can see in your pet are scratching behavior, physical manifestations of scabs or flea dirt on the skin of the animal.
Having these signs do not mean that there is only one flea present. There could be hundreds or thousands of them living on the skin of your pets.
Aside from sucking blood as their mode of survival, fleas are also carriers of tapeworms. Try observing the feces of your pet. If you see white, rice-like objects in your pet’s feces, this means your pet has acquired tapeworm infection as well.
These tapeworms can also be seen around the pet’s anus. In rare cases, pets could show signs of weakness, inability to move and the lips and gums could be pale as well.
There are several ways and means on how you can defeat flea infestation. Having the knowledge on how you can eliminate fleas will help you let your pet survive from the wrath. Eradicating your pet from fleas will also take the equivalent lifespan of these insects.
The flea control products that are out in the market work differently from each other. The effectiveness of these products also varies and depends on up to what stage these fleas can be removed. Depending on the severity of the situation, there might be a need to combine these products in order for them to work effectively.
Using different items such as powders, shampoos, dips, and sprays will help kill the fleas that infected your pet. You can also try using a flea comb regularly. It is important to take note that the eggs or larvae of these insects could have been breeding in your backyard or in your home as well.
You can remove them by using a vacuum or washing the bedding of your pet once a week. You can also use a disinfectant on surfaces that are washable and insecticides on areas with cracks. Do these procedures every two to four weeks.
Take extra caution when you use chemical products on your pets. You could be giving too many chemicals, which can be very toxic already. For instance, a fogger and a flea dip if used together can be lethal. To ensure that you do not put your pet at risk, consult with your veterinarian before utilizing these chemicals.
Some of us might be thinking that over the counter chemical products do not need a consultation with a veterinarian but this is untrue. Despite these chemicals being sold on shelves, it is still important to check with the veterinarian on how you should properly utilize them so you can start eradicating these fleas.
As for exterminating these fleas at home, it is also advisable to hire an exterminator just to make sure that what you will be doing will not harm any of your pets or even your companions at home.
Some pets do not stay inside the house and are left outside. In this case, there will be a need to clean your yard as well. Natural sunlight can kill fleas. Your area of concentration should be in those places that are shaded. Spray some insecticide in dark areas of your yard.
Another way on how you can defeat these fleas is through Nematodes. Nematodes or roundworms control lawn parasites like beetles and fleas. These nematodes have the ability to kill the larvae and cocoons of fleas.
Apply these nematodes once a month until you have removed the unwanted fleas in your yard. Your garden store or your pet supply can provide you some information on this.
Chemicals that control fleas have continuously been evolving over these years. Insect growth regulators or IGRs such as Lufenuron are safe to use since they behave like flea hormones, which can interrupt the flea’s life cycle thus preventing them from moving into the next stage as an adult flea. It prevents egg production though it does not kill the adult fleas. Bites from adult fleas can still occur because of this.
Imidacloprid and fipronil are its partner chemicals. These can kill adult fleas and fipronil works well with ticks too. There are also flea control chemicals that need only a once a month treatment.
Different chemicals mean different methods of application too. It can be in the form of a pill, others come in spray to spread it on the affected area while some are presented as liquids in which you will apply on the affected skin of your pet. These types of treatment are available only through the veterinarian and should only be given once a month.
When using these chemicals, take extra caution and make sure that you read the label. Some of these solutions are applicable to dogs but may be contraindicated to cats. As a general precaution, consult your veterinarian before you start the war against fleas.
Fleas on cats are probably one of the most prevalent problems for cat owners who have to deal with flea infestation in their homes as well as making sure that the cat himself has the help it needs to get rid of fleas that leave dirt on the cat.
Fleas on cats can easily be identified by frequently checking if your cat has dirt on his skin. The flea dirt on cats you see is actually dried blood that the fleas pass on as their byproduct from the blood they feed on their host. If you notice flea dirt on your cat, make sure to test it by combing the cat with a cat flea comb and you will notice the red color on the wet flea cat dirt if it is dampened.
Use a cat flea comb with a bowl of clean water mixed with home cleaning detergent which has been known to kill fleas instantly when you deep the comb.
If you are using a vacuum cleaner with a vacuum bag, make sure that you replace that bag immediately after use.
Cat Flea bombs are an effective way to fogg the fleas and make sure that your home is free from fleas infestation.
With over 2000 types of flea species, you would wonder if any dog has a chance to survive the spread of fleas. Luckily, with just a few preventative measures, you can now keep your dog free from flea bites. And it’s all thanks to over the counter flea treatments and home remedies for getting rid of fleas.