Do not Flea with Fleas.
by Barbara Lietke on 10/20/2017Category: Pest Control,
While you are outdoors enjoying the warm weather with your furry friend this season, chances are, fleas are enjoying your pet. Fleas are tiny insects that live in yards and on animals that take blood meals from hosts. While incredibly small, they possess 6 long powerful legs enabling them to jump up to 6 feet from the ground and onto your pet. While fleas prefer our furry friends, they will also bite humans when a home becomes infested.
Some common signs of a flea infestation include an itchy, scratching pet. If you notice your animal scratching more than usual check them for the presence of fleas. Fleas typically prefer the hindquarters and rear of dogs and around the neck on cats. Another sign is finding flea feces- small reddish black particles in the fur that resemble specks of dirt.
Why worry about fleas?
Fleas can pose a serious problem for your pet's health.
Not only can fleas make your pet miserable, but depending on his age and overall physical condition, fleas can pose a serious threat to his health.
- Fleas can cause severe discomfort for pets, including scratching, chewing, biting and restlessness.
- Fleas are the source of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), the most common veterinary dermatological condition.
- Severe flea infestations can cause anemia, especially in young or smaller pets or in debilitated adult pets.
- Ingested fleas also can transmit tapeworm infection to pets.
Fleas also raise human public health concerns.
Your pet isn't the only household resident that can suffer from flea bites. Flea infestations in homes and areas around a home often result in humans being bitten by newly-emerging fleas. You, too, are at risk for health issues, some of which can be serious:
- Allergic reaction: Usually in the form of small, raised lesions, called papules, which can be red to purple in color. Severity will vary, depending on the severity of the allergy to the flea bite.
- Tapeworm: Tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) is generally spread through infected fleas found on both cats and dogs. Ingestion of infected fleas by children can result in tapeworm infection.
- Typhus: A group of infectious diseases usually resulting in a sustained high fever (typhus fever), headache, delirium and sometimes red rashes. Two kinds are most commonly contracted from flea bites:
- Flea Typhus. A type of typhus caused by Rickettsia felis, a bacteria first identified in cat fleas.
- Murine typhus. Another bacterial form of typhus transmitted most commonly by rodent fleas but also by fleas found on pets.
- Adult fleas (the biting stage seen by pet owners) spend most of their time on the animal, not in the carpet. This is why treatment of the pet in conjunction with the pet's environment is an essential step in ridding a home of fleas.
- Adult fleas lay all of their eggs (up to 50 per day) on the pet. However, the eggs soon fall off the animal into carpeting, beneath the cushions of furniture, and wherever else the pet rests, sleeps or spends most of its time. This is where homeowners should focus control measures.
- After hatching, flea eggs develop into tiny, worm-like larvae. Larvae remain hidden deep in carpet fibers, beneath furniture cushions and in other protected areas. The larvae feed mainly on adult flea feces (dried blood), which accumulates, along with the eggs, in pet resting and activity areas.
- Before becoming adult fleas, the larvae transform into pupae within a silk-like cocoon. Pupae remain inside the cocoon for 2 to 4 weeks, sometimes longer. The cocoon is resistant to insecticides and this is why some adult fleas are seen for an extended period, even after the home and pet are treated.
Because fleas are so resilient and their life cycle is so long, treating an infestation can be difficult and costly and requires a three-pronged approach.
- Contact a pest-control professional- Which types of treatments used for the home and yard will vary based on what types of animals you have. Some chemicals used in the home of a dog owner cannot be used where cats are present and vice versa. Puppies and kittens also require different treatment. Determining a safe and effective treatment plan is best left to a professional to ensure the safety of not only the animals in the house but the people as well.
- Treat your animals-It is important that your pets be treated in conjunction with the premises, preferably on the same day. Untreated pets will continue to be bothered by fleas and will bring fleas back in the house from the outdoors, eventually overcoming the chemicals used to treat the home and leading to re-infestation. In addition to applying veterinarian supplied flea and tick preventatives, all bedding and other materials your pet regularly sleeps on should be washed and dried on hot or thrown away.
- Treatment of Yard- If your pet spends a significant amount of time outside in the yard or in a kennel, those areas should be treated as well. A pest-control professional can help you determine which areas need to be treated.
To start enjoying summer with your pets again, call the professionals at Midwest Exterminating today. Midwest Exterminating is one of the leading pest control and management companies in Chicago and Suburbs of Illinois. We are a family-owned and operated company servicing residential and commercial properties in the Naperville and Westmont areas including Cook, Dupage, McHenry, Will and Lake Counties in Northern Illinois.
We are committed to providing innovative solutions and convenient services to make your properties pest-free. We use methods that are environment and family friendly. This commitment helped us build a strong reputation in this line of business. Drawing from our more than 45 years in the business, we are also proud to say that our team has set the standard in the local pest control industry.
We are open 24 hours a day. Call us at 630-968-0200 for a free estimate or to schedule a pest inspection.
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