BLOG / KEEPING FLEAS OFF YOUR PETS AND OUT OF YOUR HOME
It is every pet owner’s moment of dread - You find your pet constantly scratching itself incessantly. You come to the frustrating realization that it must be fleas, but don’t panic! While fleas are a nuisance, they are definitely treatable and easy to remove from your home.
A pet scratching is usually a sign of fleas, but there are some other signs that indicate flea activity, such as:
If a pet develops hair loss in a specific area (such as by the hips, or tail, where fleas typically reside)
“Flea dirt” or flea feces, which resembles ground pepper in pet’s fur, beds, carpets and other areas where your pet frequents.
In North America, the most prevalent type of flea is the cat flea. Despite the implication of its name, cat fleas attach themselves to any animal and feed off their blood. Fleas do not fly and are wingless, although they are capable of jumping from host to host.
Through the late 1980′s we saw increasingly severe flea problems annually in Ontario.
Fortunately, that trend discontinued in the early 1990′s. Today flea populations have been highly variable from year to year and place to place. It is anticipated that fleas problems will arise again. As with the rise in bedbugs it is believed that fleas will also increase in severity in the upcoming years and be difficult to control. The lack of residual insecticides available and the resistance to common products is most likely the cause.
Flea control can be very frustrating and at times somewhat discouraging. Here are three steps to effective flea management:
Treatment of infested pets
Vacuuming and cleaning infested premises
Flea control help from a pest control company
Since most flea problems originate from an infested cat or dog, elimination of fleas from the pets is the first and most important step. There are a variety of treatment options available (spot treatments, dips, dusts, sprays, shampoos, etc.) to help you with this crucial step in getting rid of fleas. We suggest contacting your vet for treatment options and recommendations. They can help you determine if a visit to their office is needed or if an off-the-shelf product from a pet store will work.
Is it possible to get an infestation without pets? Unfortunately, it is. Mice and rats typically carry fleas. If rodents find a way into your home through cracks or exterior problems, there is the potential for your home to become infested by fleas. To avoid this, it’s important to fix any problems in your exterior structure, such as sealing any gaps or cracks.
Once the pet has been treated, efforts should next focus on the indoor premises. Particular attention should be paid to areas of the home where the pet sleeps or spends the majority of its time. Blankets or rugs that may be used as pet bedding should be discarded or laundered in hot, soapy water. All carpeted areas and upholstered furniture should be thoroughly vacuumed and the sweeper bag contents discarded.
If the flea infestation is light, frequent and thorough vacuuming may eventually eliminate the problem. Moderate to heavy infestations, however, will usually necessitate the application of a residual insecticide to carpets, baseboards, cracks and crevices, and other areas where fleas may be present. Good results have been achieved using products that contain a contact insecticide along with an insect growth regulator.
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