You think you've beaten them. But they won't go away. You've sprayed. You've medicated. You've vacuumed. But they just keep coming back. Just what are these nasty critters and how do you finally squash their stronghold on your home? |
Unfortunately, this scenario is all-too common. You spend your time dutifully keeping up with the responsibility of Spot's flea prevention only to find that those pesky little critters have snuck in through the back door. Though it is best to take preventative measures to keep them out in the first place, once they are in you must take action. And once they've begun breeding in the deep dark recesses of your home, you're in for a real battle.
This will be no easy battle. Fleas are capable of jumping from 14 to 16 inches and will bite humans as well as your pet. Females can begin to lay eggs after just 48 hours of their first blood meal. The most common in this vast array of minuscule nuisances are the cat flea and the dog flea.
The most common parasite on your dog will actually be a CAT flea. Dog fleas are commonly found in Europe, while cat fleas are very common to the U.S. Cat fleas are not picky about whom they feed on. Cat fleas can, in rare cases, carry disease. Also, if ingested they can cause tapeworm. The cat flea has been found to carry the plague and murine typhus to humans. They can be brought into your home almost undetected to the untrained eye. They can attach to your clothing or to your pet. They are found in yards, kennels, forests, parks, or any other areas common to warm blooded animals. Why? Because this is where they can find the hosts needed for reproduction. Did you know the female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day? That means in approximately nine months a female can create up to a trillion descendants! And due to their four-stage lifecycle they are extremely impervious to extermination tactics. So what can you do? How do you stop them?
Getting Rid of Fleas
Several methods are available. Let's start with Spot...
1. Flea Collars: The old stand-by method. Available almost everywhere. Moderately effective at keeping fleas off your pet and providing an unhealthy, un-welcoming environment in your pet's fur. Be careful, as many have harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals, and their placement around the neck can lead to a serious compromise of the nervous system if improperly used or mixed with other toxic agents. Read package instructions for size and weight of your dog.
2. Topical Treatments: My personal favorite. Available from your veterinarian or at your local pet store. A few carefully placed drops between the shoulder blades (to keep your pet from ingesting it) will protect Spot for quite a while. Carefully read package instructions for your dog's size and weight. Check package ingredients for effective chemicals listed below.
3. Oral medications: Available through your veterinarian's office. This product is noted for causing the larvae to become unable to reproduce, thus rendering an end to the lifecycle.
For more control ideas, check out the links below:
flea control northshore
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