Total Pet Care
You think you have a flea infestation, but you aren’t entirely sure, this page will help you determine if that’s the case or not. First you need to know what you’re dealing with. You will find some pictures of fleas and learn a few facts about fleas on this site that can help you do just that, but in short, fleas are 1/8 inch long and typically dark colored. They don’t have any wings, but instead they use their super strong legs to jump to their target. They can jump almost 10 inches, so they have absolutely no problem getting to you and your pets.
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If you have a flea infestation, it is important to know about the life cycle of the flea, as it makes it easier to eliminate the fleas chance to survive on each of the development stages. You will probably have fleas in all stages if you find adult fleas in your home. That includes eggs, larva, pupas and fully grown adult fleas.
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So how do you resolve a flea infestation problem in your home? You find the fleas and get rid of them. Easy as that, or is it? Finding all the fleas can sometimes be difficult because of their small size and large numbers. The best place to look is your pets. They are the main target for the fleas and the main reason why flea infestations happen. Fleas need blood to live and reproduce, and you need to stop them from getting it.
How to spot a flea infestation
A flea infestation will typically show itself when your dog or cat starts scratching and biting itself. If the problem is ignored, your pet will start getting infections and lose hair in the exposed area. I recommend checking your pet as soon as it starts scratching itself. You can use a flea comb to systematically go through its fur and look for fleas. Pay attention as they move fast and you will have to keep focus, or else you will miss them. Sometimes you won’t find any fleas on the pet, but instead you will find traces of them being there, like flea dirt. Although it looks like dirt, it’s actually flea droppings. You will know for sure if you touch it with a wet tissue and red rings of blood appear on the tissue.
It doesn’t take long for the fleas to spread from your dog or cat to the rest of the house. The eggs don’t stick very well to the pet, so they will usually fall off at its resting place. This is where the flea infestation begins and this is where it should end. It’s a great place to start looking for fleas if your cat or dog is scratching itself all the time. Another way to spot a flea infestation is by wearing long white socks. Fleas are dark, so if they try to jump you, it will be easier to spot them on a white background. After you have determined the flea infestation, it’s time to get rid of the fleas.
Use your knowledge of the flea life cycle to eliminate an infestation. Treat the environment properly by vacuuming regularly for several weeks and thoroughly washing bedding and toys in hot soapy water to remove eggs, larvae, and pupae. Remember to seal and remove vacuum bags after a cleaning session. You can even encourage faster emergence of the remaining pupae with a humidifier and an increase in the home temperature. Once all the hibernating pupae have emerged, you can make sure they are all destroyed. The household can be (cautiously) treated with sprays and foggers.
Treat the adult fleas living on your pet with shampoos, sprays, dips, or spot-on medications. If you have any questions or concerns, especially in regards to your pet’s health or age, your veterinarian can help you make the best decision for treating your pet.
Fleas can be difficult to eliminate, but if you are vigilant and use the correct chemicals in a safe and effective manner, you will be victorious. Just be sure to treat all the areas where your pet spends time, including the car and yard.
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