September 5, 2016
Signs That Show You May Have a Flea Infestation
Fleas have become a cause for concern in many homes today especially households that have pets. They are tiny insects that feed on both pets and humans. Spotting a flea infestation can be simple, but eradicating the insects can prove difficult. This article addresses ways to identify and eradicate fleas from your home.
Fleas are 2.5 mm in length and have flat bodies without wings. They have six legs that allows them to jump great distances. Siting fleas on your pet’s fur doesn't reveal the real extent of the infestation. Larvae, eggs, and pupae can also thrive in your home as they are difficult to see.
If your pet scratches excessively, try to check his or her fur. Animals that infested usually have reddened skin and can lose hair (the head and neck of cats and the hind quarters of dogs are the commonly targeted areas).
Are Dog Fleas and Cat Fleas the Same?
Cat fleas are different from dog fleas. Despite the fact that both fleas are different, cat fleas can infect dogs and other animals as well as homeowners.
Symptoms of Flea Infestation
Some signs of flea infestation include red skin, excessive itching, and secondary infections. In severe cases, the animal might develop flea allergy dermatitis. A vet can help pet owners decide which flea remedies is ideal for their pet.
What to Do After Spotting an Infestation
Treat your Pet
Once the enemy has being spotted, it is time to take action. You can start by giving your pet a thorough bath in soapy water. This is because fleas of all stages can easily drown in soapy water.
Optionally, you can mix white vinegar with soapy water. This will kill of the population as fleas can’t survive the smell of vinegar (which will make them abandon the host). You can also bathe your pet with any soap that has lemon as fleas cannot survive the smell of citrus.
After bathing your pet, groom his or her fur with a flea comb (as this helps to trap any fleas left). Make sure you flea comb outdoors so as to prevent either the insects and/or their eggs from infesting your property.
Never use dog flea treatments on cats, because some dog products contain permethrin which can cause seizures or even death in cats.
Although fleas are known to feed off animals, they also feed from people too. They live on any host that is warm-blooded (which means animals and humans). If you feel some bites, itching or you spot tiny insects with long legs on your skin, clothes, and hair know that you have a flea problem.
So to protect yourself and/or any of your family members who may be showing signs of a flea issue, check your body or clothing from time to time for the presence of fleas. Make sure you bathe regularly and always wear clean clothes to be on the safe side. Apply citrus or any other essential oil on your feet and legs to stop the fleas from biting.
Do not be negligent when it comes to flea extermination. Besides apart from being a nuisance to your pets and you, fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). They can also carry and spread serious diseases like tapeworm, and typhus cat scratch fever.
Treat your Home
Studies have indicated that the majority of flea eggs laid on pets fall from it, and lodge themselves in crevices, furnishings, and carpets. And if the situation isn't treated properly, it can result in a fresh infestation. Typically, these eggs hatch to larvae stage within 1 to 2 weeks. Then the larvae will enter pupae stage after a few weeks and then spin a cocoon around themselves. The cocoon is waterproof and is meant to protect the insects from insecticides.
Note that fleas can remain in pupae stage for months or even a year before they develop into the adult form. That is why it is very important to take the measures below if you want to remove them (fleas) completely:
Machine-wash all bedding materials (including the bedding for your pet) as well as rugs and all any other fabrics with hot soapy water. This significantly reduces the number of eggs and/or larvae on these items thereby cutting down your chances of an infestation.
Once these items are clean, store or keep them wrapped in clean bags until after twelve hours (when you have treated your pet and killed off the infestation in your house) so as to prevent fleas from crawling back into them.
After spotting fleas at home vacuum all your furnishing, upholstery, carpets, smooth floors, and rugs. Vacuuming these areas or items in your property will not only suck fleas, larvae pupae, and eggs up, it will also make the insects hatch from their cocoons thereby allowing you to kill more insects.
Upon detecting an infestation, clean your yard or house thoroughly. Treat your pet with only products recommended by a veterinarian. Treat yourself with only products recommended by medical experts. Make sure the linens and bed for you and your pet are washed and always clean.
Always consult with a pest control expert if you require the safest and most permanent solutions for your property when it comes to flea extermination options.
Alliance Pest Services has all your pest control flea solutions for your home and yard.