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July 7, 2014
Most of us think of dogs – or maybe cats - when we hear the word “fleas,” and for good reason: these tiny pests like to set up camp on your unwitting four-legged pet, and they are ruthlessly itchy and annoying. But dogs and cats are only the start of the problem, as fleas spread once they enter your house, and they can then wreak havoc on the whole family. In addition to causing irritation to both humans and pets, fleas can transmit diseases such as endemic typhus fever, so keeping them out of your home is of paramount importance. Late summer and early fall are the prime months for flea problems, so now is the perfect time to share some Connor’s flea prevention and treatment tips with you.
Fleas are parasitic insects that feed on blood, so they’re always on the lookout for a warm and juicy host. They also thrive in indoor environments. Dogs and cats are easy targets, so fleas will often hitch a ride on Fido when he’s outside and then make their way into your home. An adult flea can spend its whole life on the host, and this is where it hatches its eggs. Unlike the eggs of other insects, flea eggs are not sticky, so they tend to fall off of your pet and onto carpets, dog beds, and furniture in your home. This is bad news for homeowners, who may soon find themselves with an itchy problem and in need of a comprehensive flea treatment plan.
In order to rid your home of fleas, it’s important to treat your pet and the indoor and outdoor environments in which it lives. An effective flea treatment plan will target all four stages of the flea life cycle – eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults – and will use products that kill the fleas without endangering pets or humans.
When it comes to protecting your pet from fleas, you’ll find a plethora of options on the market: flea powders, flea shampoos, flea collars, flea pills, and regular baths can help keep these pests at bay. Keeping your home and yard clean also helps – trim your shrubs and bushes and vacuum regularly to make your environment inhospitable to fleas.
If your pet is suffering from a flea problem, you should talk to your veterinarian about recommended products and treatment options. There are a number of spot-on treatments that can safely and effectively de-flea your pet. But don’t be surprised if your vet suggests that you call a pest control company to treat your home – this is common practice because vets know that fleas can lie dormant for months if left untreated, and the last thing anyone wants is for your pet (and you) to suffer a relapse!
Fleas are incredible jumpers – they can jump vertically 7-8 inches, which is 150 times their height! It’s like a human being able to jump over a skyscraper.