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Flea Control Tips – Preventing Flea Infestation

Posted Jan 11 2011 11:57am

Fleas also known as cat fleas are tiny, irritating parasites that not only feed off your pet’s blood, but your own blood as well. It is possible to find that fleas have laid their eggs almost anywhere and everywhere they please inside or outside, for instant, in your carpets, furniture and bedding as well as your front and back yards. Therefore, it is likely that an infestation of fleas and their eggs is very high. To determine if your animal has fleas, you should look for the tell tale signs of fleas on your dog, for instance the excrement of fleas are dark, specks of curly dots which are also called flea dirt.

This flea dirt or excrement are black specks, which are the remains of digested blood that has a reddish brown appearance when wet, and are best found while having your pet lay on a white sheet or cloth while you brush through its coat. On dogs that have a darker coat you will need a magnifying glass to search for flea eggs, as they will give the appearance of dandruff within your pet’s coat.

Dangers of Fleas

Not only are fleas terribly annoying to your pet and yourself, they are also a health risk, and can cause an allergic reaction in both animals and humans. Some allergic reactions to fleas may be a large sore that started out as a small irritating fleabite, but then the area becomes painfully infected, which do not easily or quickly healed as well on both animals and their humans. Fleas can also cause an allergic reaction, which leads to skin irritation, skin inflammation as well as causing the loss of hair, which is called FAD or flea allergy dermatitis. Fleas are also infamous for their ability to transmit tapeworms, which cause much distress by cramping and gas. In some cases, due to severe blood loss your dog may experience anemia. This may be the case if your dog is young or incapacitated this can be deadly.

Preventing Flea Infestation

It is possible to exterminate fleas inside a vacuum cleaner bag, by putting flea powder in your vacuum cleaner. However, the use of a monthly topical is inexpensive as well as an easy approach in protecting you home against fleas. Frontline Plus and Bio Spot are two topical brands that are highly recommended as well as available in fighting fleas. Since fleas are not able to jump more than one foot at a time, you may want to consider raising their spot or their doghouse to an elevated position, to help in discouraging fleas into their personal area. Keep in mind that one of the best rivals for fleas is water; therefore you should wash all the areas as is possible where a dog may roam such as your backyard. In addition, you should see to it that there is a little as possible contact with areas that are grassy or wooded; this will minimize the probability of a flea infestation. While you should take care to keep all areas, trimmed and clear of brush and bramble, such as you garden, yard or kennel.

It is essential to include a flea comb in you pet’s home grooming kit. A flea comb should be used often when grooming your animal. A flea comb has fine, soft bristles that will catch fleas. You should begin combing for fleas around your pet’s head and hindquarters, since this is an area where fleas and their flea dirt can commonly be found. When a flea is trapped, it should immediately be immersed in soapy water. Moreover, since fleas are able to thrive and survive best in warm conditions it is best to employ the use of flea control products year round. However, you should also keep in mind that during their chrysalis or egg stage, colder climates can increase the lifespan of a flea, which is composed of egg, larva, pupa and adult, by causing the pupa stage to become dormant, laying in wait for a warmer period to hatch out.

Treatment

The first step to having a parasite free pet is to give it a flea bath. Although, since most flea products are too harsh for puppies you should be extremely careful to consult your veterinarian and follow all instructions on a flea products label if your puppy has fleas. A flea bath can also give relieve from itching and irritation, however you should not stop at shampooing your pet as a flea bath does not really protect the animal after having a flea bath.

Although, it is not recommended by most veterinarians, one alternative for keeping fleas away for some time after the treatment is to use a flea dip. However with the use of flea dip also comes the possibility of the dog licking, swallowing or eating the fleas after treatment of a flea dip, since a flea dip remains on the animals coat a good long while. Alternatively, you may choose the option of a flea collar. You should keep in mind that flea collars only work in killing fleas around the face and neck of the dog, and not its whole body. Moreover, some dogs have shown signs of being allergic to flea collars by developing a rash when wearing a flea collar. You should also consider that since they hang loose from your dog’s collar that flea medallions can possibly contaminate the dog’s drinking water, and thereby make it ill.

Luckily, there are a good many choices of flea powders and sprays that you can use for your home and your dog. Although you should take care to read the complete instructions for any type of flea treatment, before you use it to know which is which. Remember that a flea treatment for your home is too strong to use on your pet and products that are made to put on your pet are not as strong as those you use on inanimate objects. Also, keep in mind that it is toxic to your pet to use two or three different flea control products in your home and on your dog at the same time; you do not want to make your dog sick from chemical poisoning.

It is essential that your home be treated as well as your pet when there is an overabundance of fleas. Fenoxycarb and Methoprene are two active ingredients included in flea sprays that are safe and efficient in battling fleas. As they have the ability to stop the growth of flea eggs into adult fleas. Since flea sprays are so very strong, it is highly recommended that your animals should be outside while the house is being treated, and a good idea that you use a protective mask for clean breathing yourself while doing the spraying of your home. Thankfully, some products are designed with the purpose of exterminating adult fleas, such as an IGR or an Insect Growth Regulators, as they are able to kill flea larvae and eggs. However, before applying such flea control products, you should always vacuum your furniture and carpet to rouse flea larvae and eggs from their cocoons.

These flea control products are recommended by veterinarians: Advantage – Imidacloprid, Archer or Nylor – Pyriproxyfen as well as Frontline Top Spot – Fipronil, Proban – Cythioate, Pro-Spot – Fenthion and Program – Lufenuron.

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