When pet owners are asked what they fear most about the summertime, the subject that usually turns up most is fleas!
Fleas on dogs and cats! These little dark brown pests choose temperature levels of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85 percent– so for some areas of the country they are more than simply a “summer” issue.
Dogs and cats frequently get plagued with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this bug enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (Fleas do not have wings, so they can not fly!) The flea’s bite can cause craving the host however for a delicate or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and leads to hair-loss, swelling and secondary skin infections. Some animals, hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea!
The flea details presented here will focus on how to treat fleas on dogs and how to prevent fleas in the first place, which, let’s face it, is just as important to the animal as it is to the family pet’s caretakers! If your dog or cat is having problems with ticks, another comparable parasite, have a look at our post on how to safely eliminate ticks from your pets.
How do you know if fleas are triggering all that itching– officially referred to as pruritus? Typically, unlike the burrowing, tiny Demodex or Scabies Mites, fleas can be seen scooting along the surface area of the skin. Dark copper colored and about the size of the head of a pin, fleas do not like light so trying to find them within furry areas and on the animal’s belly and inner thighs will supply your best chances of identifying them.
Look for “flea dirt”, too. “Flea dirt” appears like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is made up of absorbed blood, choose some off the animal and place on a damp paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks expanded like a little blood stain, it’s certainly flea dirt and your animal has fleas!
Fleas Treatment: What to Do if You Spot Fleas on Your Dog
If you’ve found that your dog or cat has fleas, there are a few things you can do to provide your pet with immediate relief.
Chemical Flea Removal Options
Unfortunately, fleas are annoying and persistent, so there is no immediate way to eliminate fleas from your dog or cat. However, pills and other spot-on chemical treatments have actually shown to be a few of the fastest ways to rid your family pet of fleas. Capstar is one option to get rid of fleas from dogs and cats. It’s a tablet that when taken orally, starts to work within 30-minutes and eliminates 90% of all fleas within four hours. Spot-on flea treatments have the tendency to take a few days to work, and some only target flea eggs while other target adults, so it’s crucial to purchase the right one.
Non-chemical Flea Removal Options
If you ‘d prefer to go the more natural route, there are a number of flea elimination shampoos for dogs and cats on the marketplace that are rather efficient. You’ll need to consider whether or not your pet can stand being soaking damp and lathered up for 10 minutes though, since that’s how long the shampoo takes to sink in. Following a nice warm bath, you’ll have killed the fleas and will be able to use a flea comb to eliminate the fleas from your dog– do not fret, they’re dead. Find out more for natural home remedies for fleas on dogs.
Understanding the Flea Life Cycle
In order to comprehend how and why treatment options work, we need to first comprehend the flea’s life process given that the numerous modern treatment and avoidance products deal with different parts of this life cycle. There are several stages to its life cycle: egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa or cocoon, and grownup. The length of time it takes to complete this cycle varies relying on the ecological conditions such as temperature level, humidity, and the schedule of a nourishing host.
The flea’s host is a warm-blooded animal such as a dog or cat (and even humans!) However, the numerous flea stages are quite resistant to freezing temperature levels. The adult female flea normally lives for numerous weeks on the pet. During this time duration she will draw the animal’s blood 2 to 3 times and lay twenty to thirty eggs every day. She might lay numerous hundred eggs over her life span. These eggs fall off of the animal into the yard, bedding, carpet, and any place else the animal hangs out.
These eggs then proceed to develop where they have landed. Considering that they have to do with 1/12 the size of the adult, they can even establish in small cracks in the floor and between crevices in carpeting. The egg then hatches into larvae. These small worm-like larvae live amongst the carpet fibers, in cracks of the floor, and outside in the environment. They eat raw material, skin scales, and even the blood-rich adult flea feces.
The larvae grow, molt twice and after that form a cocoon and pupate, awaiting the right time to hatch into an adult. These pupae are really resistant and are safeguarded by their cocoon. They can make it through rather a very long time, waiting till ecological conditions and host accessibility are ideal. Then they emerge from their cocoons when they discover heat, vibrations and breathed out carbon dioxide, all which suggest that a host neighbors. The recently emerged adult flea can leap onto a nearby host right away.
Under ideal conditions, the flea can complete its whole life process in simply fourteen days. Just consider the tens of thousands of the little rascals that could result when conditions are optimal!
Understanding this life process allows us to understand why it has constantly been necessary to treat both the host animal and the indoor and outdoor environment in order to totally control flea numbers. Simply sprinkling some flea powder on your pet will not work; simply vacuuming the home vigorously will not work, merely placing a flea collar or utilizing a flea topical on your family pet will not work.
Prescription Flea Medications
There are a wide variety of flea items on the market today, but the newer prescription products are lastly taking the aggravation from flea control with popular and highly reliable brands. In many cases it is even possible to get control by treating only the pet, making prescription treatments one of the best methods to eliminate fleas fast. Some of these flea items do not hurt the adult flea however instead avoids her eggs from hatching, therefore breaking the life cycle of the flea; with no reproduction the flea population eventually dissipates as long as the family pet isn’t can be found in contact with new fleas constantly.
In warm environments, prescription flea treatment for dogs is normally a year round undertaking, however in other environments treatment need to begin in early spring before the flea season begins. In addition, these kind of products are not an excellent choice for animals that dislike flea saliva (have flea bite hypersensitivity) since the adult fleas are not killed and are still able to bite the animal.
Non-prescription Medication to Treat Fleas on Dogs
There are also lots of other items which will eliminate fleas on the pet and for which no prescription is required. The drawback, however, is that some of these products might be less reliable than the prescription products, however numerous really do help control flea populations. These non-prescription flea products consist of flea hair shampoos, flea powders, flea sprays, flea collars and spot-on products. There are even natural flea control products readily available, too!
How to Treat Fleas in the Environment
With any flea treatment it is necessary to treat all the animals in the home in order to accomplish complete success. In addition, you will likely need to treat the indoor and outdoor environment. When treating the indoor environment it is necessary to wash all bed linen in soapy, hot water specifically if the family pets spend time on your bed. All of the carpeting ought to be vacuumed thoroughly and the vacuum bag gotten rid of. Steam cleaning the carpet can kill a few of the larvae too. Keep in mind, though, that vacuuming and shampooing a carpet will still leave a good percentage of live fleas so some sort of chemical treatment might be needed.
The whole house is now all set to treat for fleas. Numerous options are offered consisting of extremely efficient foggers. The most reliable items are those which include both a component to kill adult fleas and a component to kill the other life cycle stages. The latter is called an insect development regulator.
Methoprene is one such development regulator. Aerosol foggers may not permeate well enough, sometimes, to kill all the hiding fleas and larvae. Another choice for indoor control is a salt borate product that is used to carpeting. You should consider calling a regional exterminating company for an estimate and an assurance that their procedure will rid your facilities of fleas.
Flea obliteration won’t be low-cost, either, however what price will you put on living devoid of flea invasions?
As for outdoor control, sprays and pelleted insecticides are usually used after dog houses and kennels are cleaned up thoroughly. An insect development regulator is a great option here as well. Pyriproxifen, is more steady in sunshine and lasts longer outdoors than Methoprene.
It is very important to understand that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has actually banned the insecticide Chlorpyrifos (Dursban). Production ceased in December of 2000.
Particular non-toxic nematodes (tiny worms) can likewise be spread in areas of the lawn which are warm and moist and which animals and fleas frequent. The nematodes feed upon the flea larvae. And once there is a cover of snow on the ground, much of the significant source of fleas is removed.
Make certain to consult your veterinarian relating to which approaches and products will be best for you and your pets. Your vet will be your best source for existing flea info. It’s a battle, so … best of luck and delighted flea control!