Keep Fleas From Overtaking Your Home

BY | September 18 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

Fleas really are pests. There are thousands of varieties of these small parasitic insects that can invade your home, annoy your pets, and cause serious health concerns like dermatitis and tapeworms as well as general discomfort. Of the thousands of types, cat fleas are the most common for both dogs and cats. According to the University of California Davis' Integrated Pest Management Program, cat fleas can even pass diseases on to humans, such as cat flea rickettsiosis, which leads to headaches, fever, vomiting, and a rash. Whether you want to keep your house flea-free for your dog's sake, your cat's well-being, or your own health, here are a few tips for preventing and spotting fleas in your home.

Keep a clean house 

One of the best ways to prevent a flea infestation is to nip the problem in the bud. Homeowners should thoroughly clean their house at the first sign of fleas, but this problem can be addressed before you notice issues, too. Keeping a clean home and eliminating areas where fleas can thrive goes a long way toward eliminating the threat. Start by vacuuming the floors, floorboards, and any areas where your pets frequent, including beds and bedrooms. Homeowners should vacuum cars and wash toys as well. Vacuum bags should be thrown away or canisters thoroughly washed the following cleaning. Even if you still have a few fleas, going through your home and cleaning will eliminate many of the eggs and larvae that contribute to larger infestations. Some people use flea sprays, foggers, or traps to further protect their homes from this threat.

Look for the warning signs 

Prevent your home from being overrun with fleas by keeping a watchful eye on your pets to notice fleas when they first arrive. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals outlined some of the most common warning signs that your pet may have fleas. These include hair loss, more biting or scratching than normal, skin irritation, tapeworms, scabs, or pale gums. Another warning sign is flea feces, euphemistically referred to as flea dirt. You can check for flea dirt by shaking your dog or cat's coat or fur while he or she stands over a piece of white paper. If black specks start to fall, your pet might have a flea problem.

Take care of the yard

A flea problem doesn't start in your home - it comes from outside, often tracked in unknowingly by your beloved pet. One way to reduce the likelihood of a flea infestation is to make your yard less attractive to these pests, therefore limiting the likelihood your dog or cat will come into contact with fleas. Dogster recommended pet parents take time to remove underbrush, rake leaves, and clear clutter around the yard that can harbor fleas. Also, you may want to spray an area of the porch or yard if your pet loves to relax there.

Treat your pets

The best way to stop fleas from getting into your home is to use preventative treatments on your pets. Frontline Plus for Cats and Frontline Plus for Dogs are two of the leading treatments for killing and preventing fleas and other pests on your pet. These medications last for 30 days and are easy and painless to apply to your pets. PetPlus' membership makes getting this once-monthly medication inexpensive and simple so that your pet will never be without protection. Preventing fleas on your pet and fleas in the home are one and the same. Use pet medication to ensure that your dog or cat is protected from these annoying pests.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Tropical Rat Fleas

The tropical rat flea, also known as the oriental rat flea is a flea that primarily feeds on Norway rats. They are the primary carriers of murine typhus and bubonic plague. Tropical rat fleas can also act as tapeworm hosts, and the diseases they carry can be transmitted through their eggs as well.

Identifying the tropical rat flea

Tropical rat fleas don't have genal or pronotal combs โ€“ a comb-like structure that is found below and behind the head respectively. This is the most marked difference between them and other flea species. The rat flea does not infest pets or homes, but they can be brought into the yard by rats, mice, or rabbits. So, if you have mice, rats, or rabbits around you, make sure you keep the environment clean. Tropical rat fleas can grow up to 2.5mm long and their bodies consist of three parts: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Although adult fleas don't have wings, they are made to jump 200 times the length of body length with consummate ease. They can smell carbon dioxide and smell heat at a distance. Once they smell a source, they instantly jump on to them to start feeding. The bite from a tropical rat flea looks like a tiny red dot, which is usually surrounded by a lighter red halo. Although there is no swelling, some pets and people who are allergic get itchy.

How to prevent the tropical rat flea from feeding on your pet?

Pet owners who live in urban areas should try to limit the number of places that rats, mice, and other rodents can hide. Keep your yard, home, and garage free of food trash, and garbage, as well as any other potential food source for rodents. Before you go outdoors, use sprays a flea repellent on your pet. Fleas love to hand around in hiking trails and campsites where they lay in ambush to attack warm-blooded prey. After returning home from the outdoors, brush your pet using a flea comb. If you find any fleas, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Tropical rat fleas are difficult to get rid of once they have taken hold. Excessive scratching, licking, biting and hot spots are some of the most common signs that your pet has a flea infestation. The easiest way to look for fleas on a cat or dog is to gently separate the fur of your dog with a flea comb and see if there are any dark spots on the surface of the skin. If you do, then your pet has a flea problem. Oriental rat fleas are quite dangerous, but if you maintain a clean home and take the necessary precautions when you go out, you will never have to deal with them.

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