Fleas have been around for a very long time, irritating our pets and invading our homes. They are smart little creatures that can survive just about anywhere. They eat sparingly, move quietly and reproduce aggressively. But there is some good news in all of this. You can put a stop to them invading your home. There are medications available that interrupt the flea life cycle and are safe, effective, and simple to use.
image taken from Flickr
Pet owners should appreciate how easy it is to control fleas now, especially those who remember how difficult the battle against fleas has been. Even though we have good flea control products, we can’t let down our guard. Fleas will always be with us, so here are a few extra tips for winning the flea battle:
1. Become an educated dog owner. Take the time to learn the dirty truth about fleas. Have a read through some more pet flea information.
A) Visible adult fleas represent only 5% of the flea population. The other 95% hide in your home in the form of eggs, maggot like larvae, and pupae.
B) A female flea can lay up to a staggering 50 eggs a day!
C) Larvae are repelled by light and burrow into the cracks and crevasses of your home in flooring and upholstery, where they can remain for months.
2. Learn the bite symptoms. Flea bites have certain distinct characteristics. The bite may immediately cause a dog to feel extremely itchy. Within 30 minutes of a bite, they may develop a red bump. Secondary infections caused by scratching are also common.
3. Treat flea bites. Wash the bites with antiseptic soap, as recommended by your veterinarian, to reduce the risk of infection.
4. Eliminate fleas in all stages. The flea life cycle includes adults, eggs, larvae (maggots), and pupae (the cocoon stage). Typical insecticides do not eliminate the pupae. Use an insect growth regulator to break the flea life cycle.
5. Eradicate stray fleas. If your dog picks up a “traveller” flea while outdoors, use an adulticide medication that kills adult fleas. Talk to your local vet about the best product for your pet.
6. Regularly check your dog for fleas. Don’t wait until you see your dog scratching. Frequent brushing will help spread natural protective oils over your pet’s coat, reduce shedding, and give you an opportunity to look for fleas.
7. Avoid problem areas. Keep your pet away from areas known to have flea problems. Not sure if the local park is safe? Do your homework to ensure the local dog park has a good flea control program.
8. Groom the garden. Don’t just check your dog for fleas – treat his environment as well. Remove underbrush from trees, and rake leaves where fleas and ticks may lurk. When spraying the garden for fleas, concentrate on the areas where your pet spends most of his time. Eggs and larvae will likely be shed in the spots where he lies down.
Follow these simple steps to ensure your home is pest-free. And remember, you can’t be too careful, so keep checking!