How Do I Get Rid of Fleas in my House… Fast?
Why is My Dog Scratching? – Uh oh!
What Can Lay 50 Eggs Per Day and Jump 2-Feet in the Air?
Tiny, biting, bloodsucking fleas – that’s what.
There are a lot of things that can make your dog or cat itch. We are going to break down what you need to know about fleas in your house and on cats, dogs, and people.
Very often, the first sign of fleas is a cat or dog scratching like crazy. Fleas are one of the most common household parasites found throughout the world and have adapted survival strategies to persist even in the most challenging environments.
Why Do I Have Fleas In My Home?
Fleas are found almost everywhere – inside and outside – they are very common. Humans have been battling fleas since we were cavemen, and it is likely that the fight will continue long into the future.
If you are wondering where fleas hide, check your pets first. Indoors, fleas most often live on dogs and cats. While fleas are visible to the human eye – they are tiny and can be hard to find. Fleas hide in dog and cat fur which can make it even more difficult to see them. They will crawl deep into the fur and bite your pet to feed on their blood.
Using a flea comb, you may find fleas near your dog’s tail, along its back, or on its legs. Also look at the underside of your pet for signs of fleas – they like warm areas where they can hide.
Signs of fleas include pepper-like specks on your pet’s skin, indicating flea feces (poop). You may also see small particles that resemble salt and pepper in the pet’s bedding. Fleas can also be found on couches and other soft furniture where pets may sleep.
If you look carefully, the fleas themselves can also be seen hopping around, on your pet, in pet bedding, or on carpeting in your home. Fleas are black, very small, and can jump very quickly.
Other signs can include sores and scabs, excess scratching or biting, and loss of hair. You may also notice flea bites on your arms and legs.
Are Dog and Cat Fleas the Same?
There are two types of fleas that infest dogs and cats. They are commonly referred to as – you guessed it – Dog Fleas and Cat Fleas.
But, surprisingly, nobody ever told the Dog Fleas that they can only bite dogs and nobody told the Cat Fleas that they have to bite cats. In fact, both types of fleas will feed off both dogs and cats as well as humans and many other animals.
Bottom Line is – When it comes to getting rid of fleas, there is no difference. The treatment options are the same, no matter what type of fleas you have.
How Do Fleas Spread?
Due to the small size of fleas and their ability to hide in an animal’s fur, they are extremely hard to find in low numbers. Each female flea on an infested animal can produce up to 40-50 eggs per day, which can add up to over 1,000 eggs over her lifetime!
Two days after a female flea has a “blood-meal”, she lays the eggs. Flea-eggs fall off of the host animal onto carpet, furniture, animal bedding, your lawn, or other areas frequented by the animal.
These eggs hatch into larvae within a few days and then molt into the ‘pupal’ stage. Fleas can remain in the pupal stage for several months. ‘Pupae’ emerge as hungry adult fleas – this is when they jump onto an animal – where they will mate, feed on blood, and lay egg as the process continues to repeat itself.
This is the point when most pet owners notice fleas on their pets.
The immediate, emotional impulse is to treat your dog or cat to kill the fleas ASAP!
Unfortunately at this point, killing the fleas on the animal will only kill a small percentage of the fleas that are present. A flea-dip alone will not fix the problem.
There can be thousands of fleas in the early life-stages (eggs, larvae, pupae) that are not on the pet. They are spread throughout the areas where the animal has been spending time. It can take weeks, or even months, before all of these developing stages mature into the adult fleas that you can see jumping on your pets.
Any flea extermination plan, must kill fleas in all life stages, and in all locations of the infestation. Otherwise, the problem will keep coming back to bite you – literally!
How do I Get Rid of Fleas on my Dog and Cat?
Flea control requires a 4-step approach:
- Treat your pet that has fleas.
- Treat other dogs and cats – they may have a low-level infestation that is not yet detectable.
- Treat all areas of your home where your pets have been.
- Treat your yard.
Remember – the fleas on your pet are only the tip of the iceberg. Flea treatments that are only applied to your pet, will only provide short-term relief because the majority of fleas are not living on your pet.
Certain products will only work against adult fleas, while others may only control the egg, larvae, or pupae stages. Organic products are also available and can also provide control.
How do I keep fleas away?
Prevention is always the best policy, and preventative flea treatments can be extremely effective at reducing the risk of a flea infestation. Fleas can live outdoors, and exterior treatments are very effective at reducing the risk of a flea infestation inside your home.
What do I do if I have fleas?
Your options are:
- DIY Flea Control – Doing it yourself can work if all four of the steps noted above are followed. Just be sure you are purchasing the right flea control products so all life-stages of fleas are killed.
ALWAYS read and follow the flea control product label instructions completely. If you have any questions, contact your veterinarian before applying any pesticides to or in the vicinity of pets.
NOTE: Some pets can be very sensitive to some products used to control fleas including, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates ,and others. Do not use any pesticides in a room, or nearby locations, where sensitive pets are kept. Contact your veterinarian with any questions regarding sensitive pets.
If your Do-It-Yourself Flea Control does not work, you may need to contact a pest control company with experience in flea control. Very often, customers tell us they have spent more money on DIY attempts that failed, than what we charge to provide a treatment that knocks out the problem very quickly.
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