Here Are the Basics About Fleas and Your Dog
Have you noticed your dog scratching more than usual? Are you worried they have fleas? This is a common concern for pet owners all over the Fairview Heights, IL area. However, this doesn’t always mean that your pet has fleas. In fact, there are a number of reasons that your pet could be scratching. Although, it’s important not to rule anything out until you’ve checked your pets for fleas, thoroughly. Below, we’ll talk about identifying fleas, their life cycle, and treatments for your pet and your home. Don’t forget to enlist the help of a local pest control professional if you get in over your head!
Fleas are tiny – like, really tiny – which means you may find it difficult to identify this problem when it starts. However, there are certain things you can look for to keep an eye out for these insects. First, a flea will be attracted to a host. While they do feed on humans, they only reproduce on animals such as dogs and cats. If you notice your pet scratching in an unusual fashion, it may be due to fleas.
Once you suspect fleas, you’ll want to check any animals in the house. With a fine-tooth comb (literally), go through your pet’s fur, you should see tiny black specks spring out of their animal’s fur or get caught in the teeth of the comb. If you can’t find them, the scratching issue may be due to something else like a skin rash. You’ll also want to check any areas that are frequented by your pets such as their bedding, your bed, carpeting, rugs, etc.
Outdoors, fleas concentrate in shaded areas and it’s easy for any number of nearby woodland creatures to bring them onto your property. If your animal has fleas, you should treat the inside and outside of the home.
The Flea Life Cycle
It’s important to understand the lifecycle of the flea to ensure you’re providing the proper treatment for your pet and your home. Read more below.
- Egg – A female flea will lay hundreds of eggs in your home over its lifespan. (20 – 30 per day)
- Larvae –The eggs then hatch into tiny, worm-like larvae that live in your carpet fibers, between the cracks in your floor, and just about anywhere. They feed on organic matter such as dead skin cells, hair, etc.
- Pupa – While in the larval stage, they’ll mold twice due to growth and finally form a protective cocoon where they’ll grow into an adult flea.
- Adult – In the pupa stage, they lie in waiting to hatch and feed on a host. They can survive for a long time, sensing the perfect time to hatch based on CO2 levels, heat, and vibrations – these factors tell them when a host is nearby.
Treating Fleas on Pets
When treating your pet for fleas, there are a few options. Oral flea medication has proven effective at preventing and ridding animals of fleas. However, you made the need to obtain a prescription for this medication. There are also topical flea medications such as medicated shampoos and powders. Above all, when treating your pet for fleas, make sure you buy the right product as some will target fleas in the adult stage and some target them in other stages. You may even have to use multiple products to get rid of them completely.
Treating Fleas in Your Home
For your home, flea treatment is a consuming process that involves thoroughly washing and disinfecting anywhere there may be adult fleas or flea larvae. Then, you’ll still have to utilize a chemical treatment to ensure all live fleas are killed. Foggers are a popular product and they can be bought over the counter. Whatever products you’re using, make sure you use one that targets adult fleas and one that targets larval fleas. Once again, this could be two different products.
It’s not just about treating the inside of your home – you’ll have to treat the outside of your home, too. Utilize outdoor flea treatments and spray any areas that your dog frequents or may have picked up fleas including by the tree line, in the dog house, and more.
Professional Flea Treatment
One of the best ways to treat fleas is to call a professional pest control company that will do it for you. They’ll evaluate your problem and use the right products to eradicate fleas fast and keep them from coming back!