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 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 in the same. Use pet medication to ensure that your dog or cat is protected from these annoying pests.