Getting Rid of Fleas

Getting Rid of Fleas (Condensed Version)

 

Taking care of a flea infestation can be a real hassle. You first need to clean everything that the infested animal has come into contact with. You must make sure that all of the bedding and cloth furniture have been cleaned and combed through thoroughly. Hot soap and water can kill the fleas, larvae, and eggs. You must be careful not to spill or drop the eggs when you are cleaning them up. If they are dropped and not found then you might have a whole other infestation on your hands. Usually, when you find an egg you will also find some blood defecation that the adult left behind to help feed the egg. Some have said that it often looks something like flakes of salt and pepper.

If you have an outdoor pet, you must make sure that you have completely soaked the places he lays in soapy water. This will help to kill all of the fleas or eggs that may be still alive. There are also many different types of flea repellent that you can get for your pet. You would need to take the medicine and put it all over their fur to fully clean them of fleas.

Here is everything you need to know about fleas:

Flea Control for your Dogs

Fleas are a very common problem in dogs, especially during the spring and summer months. In addition to being an annoyance, flea bites can cause a condition known as “flea allergy dermatitis “, in which the saliva from the flea acts as an allergen and causes severe dermatitis, requiring medical therapy. Fleas also act as vectors (carriers) of tapeworms, an intestinal parasite. Flea control is best achieved by having a thorough understanding of the life cycle and formulating a plan to disrupt it.

Flea life cycle The flea life cycle is made up of – the egg, larvae, pupa, and adult stages. The first 3 stages represent 95% of the flea’s life. These 3 stages take place primarily in your house and yard. The adult flea represents only 5% of the lifespan. However, that 5% is spent entirely on the dog. Adult fleas bite your dog and receive a blood meal. The female fleas lay eggs (up to 60 eggs daily). The eggs fall off the dog into the environment and hatch over the next 2-12 days. The hatchlings (larvae) molt during the next 10-21 days, to form a cocoon or pupa. The cocoon stage may last more than one year but is usually complete within 16-21 days. The young adult flea that emerges from the cocoon then jumps on the dog where it can live until 3-4 months. When a female flea receives a blood meal and lays eggs the life cycle is complete. One female flea can lay several hundred to several thousands of eggs in her lifetime!

Flea control Flea control has never been easier and more convenient than it is today. As always, prevention of a flea problem is preferable to treatment of an existing flea infestation. Keeping the flea life cycle in mind, flea control must be aimed at two areas: the environment and the dog.

The environment Since 95% of each flea’s lifespan is spent off the dog, environmental control is very important. The best method to ensure a flea free environment is to spray all the nooks and crannies in and around your house, with flea controlling sprays. There are also many house cleaning agents available, which can be also effectively used. It is essential to spray/clean all those areas first where your dog spends the most time in. This activity should be performed once a month year-round or at least starting several weeks before spring and continuing until winter.

The Dog As with environmental control, flea prevention on the dog is much easier and safer than ever before. Flea sprays, powders, dips, and shampoos are the standard for prevention. Flea sprays/powders can be directly sprayed on the dog’s coat either on a weekly/monthly basis or in case of infestation. It is preferable to always use a flea controlling shampoo to bathe your dog with. In tropical climates, especially like in India, using such a shampoo is an absolute must. Dips are to be used only in cases of flea infestation and that too with a lot of care. Keep these points in mind when treating for fleas: For every adult flea you see, there are at least 50 other fleas in various stages (eggs, larvae, pupa) that you don’t see. Although fleas prefer dogs, they will bite humans. Many dogs are allergic to the flea’s saliva that is injected into the skin when a bite occurs. Many fleas carry tapeworms, which are ingested when your dog grooms himself or herself. Fleas can live on your dog year-round, even if your dog is outdoors during the winter. One female flea can produce up to 60 eggs per day and can live 3-4 months. That’s over 7000 offspring. A severe flea infestation can be life-threatening in puppies. The most effective treatment for fleas is early prevention.

 

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