Fleas are a huge pest with lots of money spent on pest control. Flea bites causing itching, irritation and can also cause secondary diseases like tapeworms, dermatitis and even the plague.
What does a Flea look like?
|Black or brownish-black, about one-twelfth to one-sixteenth inch long; six legs, with many bristles on body and legs; flattened body.
Habits: Found on cats and dogs year-round, but most common during warm and humid weather; readily attack and feed on humans; can jump as much as seven-eighth inch vertically, and 14 to 16 inches horizontally.
What do they like to eat? Blood!
- …carrier of many diseases; adults can live one to two months without feeding.
- …transmitter of diseases such as epidemic typhus and bubonic plague, to name only a few.
- …can carry tapeworms from dogs and rodents and occasionally transmit them to humans.
- …generally less than three-sixteenth of an inch long.
- …alive for more than 100 days, in which time a pair of fleas and their descendants can produce millions of offspring.
- …consumers 15 times its body weight in blood daily. Females only!
- …attracted to animals by body heat, movement, and the carbon dioxide they exhale.
- … fast and can accelerate the equivalent of 50 times faster than a space shuttle does after liftoff.
- …jumpers and can jump up to 150 times the length of their bodies – sideways or up – equivalent to a person jumping nearly a thousand feet.
How to get rid of fleas:
Because of their overwhelming capacity to reproduce, fleas can become nagging nuisances for homeowners. However, there are several precautionary steps which can help control these critters.
1. In areas with a high concentration of fleas, keep a bowl of soapy water below a table lamp. The fleas will leap towards the light at night, jump into the water and drown.
2. Vacuum clean carpets, bedding and other areas where the fleas are likely to lay eggs. After cleaning seal the residue in a plastic bag and dispose of it away from the house. If the bag is not sealed properly, the fleas will crawl back.
3. Wash pet bedding and other furnishings once a week in hot soapy water to kill eggs and larvae. Try to reduce the contact between your pets and wild animals which may carry fleas. Flea dips and flea sprays like Frontline, Revolution and Advantage can eliminate fleas but may have side effects.
4. You can give your cat or dog a bath with Dawn dish washing liquid.
Flea Questions and Answers:
Q: Can People Get Fleas?
A: Yes, Humans can get flea bites. Fleas will live in human hair, but you’ll also find their bites on your body.
Here are a couple solutions you can use for at-home treatment of Human Fleas. Be sure to do follow-up treatment to kill any newly hatched Fleas or Flea eggs.
Diluted Tea Tree Oil or Rubbing Alcohol can be used as hair wash. Rinse your hair with warm water to remove residue. Repeat this wash three to four times, and you’ll be Flea free.
Q: How to Find Fleas on animals?
A: If your animal has been scratching a lot and you suspect they have Fleas, go ahead and give them a bath. Watch for Fleas heading toward the head or crawling up your arm. The Fleas will try and escape the water.
If you see any Fleas, pick them off and immediately put them into a bowl of water to which you’ve added ammonia or rubbing alcohol.
Flea waste is digested blood. If you find any little brown spots in your pet’s hair or on their skin – place the brown spots on a wet paper towel. If the brown spots turn a pinkish-red – this is Flea waste and your animal needs a Flea bath.
Q: Can Fleas Kill Dogs or Cats?
A: A severe or prolonged Flea infestation can kill a pet. A multitude of Fleas have the potential to cause anemia so severe an animal will die.
Fleas feed on blood. Your pet is a blood bank for the Flea. Fleas also carry diseases such as tapeworm and heartworm, both of which can be fatal to a dog.
Q: How to Kill Fleas on animals?
A: Use Dawn dish soap and bathe your animal. You must Flea-treat your entire house and yard to keep Fleas away, or your animal will continue to get Fleas. If you aren’t going to treat your yard – the best Flea prevention is a monthly topical Flea treatment
Q: How to Kill Fleas in the yard?
A: Spray with Dursban, Diazinon or Malathion Insecticide. They are the nuclear weapons in the Battle of the Fleas. However, it is widely recognized that they leave their deadly trace behind. So it is advisable to not allow your animals back into the yard until the spray has dried well.
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