Your vet has probably told you about the importance of protecting your pet against fleas. Do you know of the issues they can cause for humans as well? Without a doubt, these tiny insects are nasty pests for both pets and humans. They are small brown insects that feed on blood and seek shelter on a live host. They prefer to feast and live on pets because of their thick fur. In detail, the thick fur allows them to hide and shelter while they feed on the pet. Fleas will also bite and feed on humans.
They can jump long distances (up to 8 inches high) and transfer hosts easily. Fleas are very small (under an inch in length) but can usually be seen. Flea bites can cause itchiness, hair loss, or dermatitis. It’s common to see a series of flea bites grouped together. Another key point to know is they are dangerous due to their ability to transmit bubonic plague and other diseases as well as cause anemia in pets.
How Do You Know There is a Problem?
It’s important to recognize the signs of your pet having fleas. You may notice pets itching more. Moreover, you might notice black spots, which is waste that fleas leave behind, in their beds or places they typically lie. You may notice your pet’s hair is thinning in places; he may even have bald patches. Rashes may plague your pet’s skin. If you notice these signs from your pet, your vet should be able to confirm whether your pet is dealing with a flea infestation.
One of the worst things about fleas is that they often infest a host and its surrounding environment. In fact, if you have more than one pet, it is highly likely that all pets are infested if one is. Frequently, it is also likely that your home or yard are now the new home of fleas. You’ll want to be sure to treat all possible areas if an infestation occurs.
Avoiding an Infestation
Removing an infestation of fleas can take weeks or even months, depending on the severity. For this reason, it’s best to try to avoid getting an infestation in the first place. With this in mind, here are some tips on avoiding a flea infestation:
- Keep your lawn tidy. Fleas can hide in tall or unkempt vegetation. They can also hide in wood or scrap piles, so keep things picked up.
- Use cedar chips. Cedar is a repellent for fleas and can help keep them away.
- Don’t leave stagnant water out. Fleas are attracted to water and humid conditions. Keep your pet’s water bowl fresh or only inside.
- Vacuum often and wash bedding regularly.
- Use preventative care against fleas for your pets. There are sprays and washes that can help repel fleas. Ask your vet for more information on products that are safest for your pets.
Removing Fleas from Your Pets and Home
Because fleas reproduce quickly at a high volume, as much as 2,000 eggs within their 100-day lifespan. For this reason, it is a good idea to contact a professional to help you. The following can help fight the infestation:
- Treat your pets. Consult your vet for products that are safe but effective. There are topical medications as well oral medications that can kill the parasites that bite your pet.
- Clean all linens and steam clean upholstery.
- Clean your pets’ bedding every couple of days. Use hot water to kill fleas and eggs. Make sure to wash your own bedding regularly as well.
With diligence and professional help, your home and pets will be clear of fleas!
Are you on Facebook? We are, too. Let’s be friends!