How To Deal With A Flea Infestation
Fleas are a nightmare for both pets and their owners. They cause serious irritation, and an infestation is often impossibly difficult to get rid of completely. If you have fleas issue, our pest control services can help can help you. Fleas are considered parasites because they live by feeding off of warm-blooded animals (including, as a last resort, humans). One of the major obstacles to getting rid of a flea infestation is not just killing the fleas themselves but also killing the eggs and larvae that are not necessarily attached to a host. Flea eggs are often laid on their mother’s host, but they quickly fall to the ground, furniture, or just about anywhere else.
Many go straight for what’s called ‘spot-on flea prevention’, but recent studies have shown that this practice is both ineffective and dangerous for pets. The hazardous and sometimes poisonous chemicals involved in a spot-on treatment often do not stay on the surface where the fleas are, for they are absorbed into the skin. Furthermore, spot-on is only effective for the mature fleas that are already on one’s pet. This may seem effective enough in the short term, but it does nothing to solve the real problem. The eggs and larvae that have not yet found their host are unaffected by such an acute treatment. Luckily, there are alternatives.
Perhaps most important is to prevent future infestations, and there are a few simple precautions that can serve this purpose. First, one should vacuum every day. Paying special attention to carpeting which are hotbeds for flea eggs. Diatomaceous Earth is a bug killer that is completely safe for humans and pets alike, which can be sprinkled on the carpet before vacuuming. This can also be applied to hard-to-reach areas, as flea larvae often look for protected and secluded places to hide in the house (such as under in cracks or carpet fibers). Next, wash all pillows, mattresses, removable upholstery, and rugs in hot soapy water to kill any dormant eggs and larvae. Third, coat furniture and upholstery with a flea and tick spray. Finally, to measure progress, one can set a flea trap with nothing more than soapy water and a dish plate. Place the soapy plate under a light and wait. The shining water will attract the fleas, but when they approach the soap will trap them.
Once the home has been made ‘flea-proof’, one can turn their attention to the pet itself. A bath using specific flea targeting shampoo will kill off any fleas attempting to make your pet its host, but the damage may already be done. The irritation caused by reactions to the flea’s bites can last longer than the fleas themselves and will cause your pet some real discomfort. Just waiting it out may seem fine. This is what most people do when they get a mosquito bite, right? However, the pet’s scratching can get the harmful bacteria underneath their nails and into their bloodstreams, which is no good. Thankfully, countermeasures do exist. There are a few different brands of ‘relief sprays’ (often the most highly recommended is DVM’s) to keep the little guy from being uncomfortable and scratching. If it has already been going on for a while or you feel that the damage is particularly severe, adding omega-3 to your pet’s food will help speed up the skin and coat’s healing.
As a final note, keep in mind that mature fleas only comprise 5% of the total population of a flea infestation. The rest is made up of flea eggs and larvae. While making sure your pet is comfortable and safe is of the utmost importance, some indirect measures may have to be undertaken to ensure that the infestation is cut off completely. Pay attention to where your pet spends time and if he or she starts scratching more often than usual. It would be wise to take preventive measures in the house every year before an infestation is even detected. Late spring would be the perfect time to do this, for the heat and humidity of summer are the perfect conditions for incubating flea eggs.
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