Pets and Fleas: What You Need to Know

If you’re a pet owner, you probably dread even the thought of fleas. Known as a summer month problem in most of the country due to their love for balmy temperatures and high humidity, fleas remain a chronic problem year-long in many southern states.

dog with fleas

How Does a Dog or Cat Become Infested with Fleas?

Dogs and cats can easily become infested with fleas through contact with other animals or environments with an existing flea population. Since fleas have such strong back legs, they can hop from host to host without any trouble. This is why its important that you ensure your home is free from fleas and other creepy crawlies. We have quarterly pest control technicians in Tampa come to our house to spray and keep the bugs out year round.

What are the Signs of Flea Infestation?

Itching, itching, and more itching. You’ll notice if your dog or cat is scratching more than normal, and though itching can certainly be a sign of other problems, it’s also a common indicator if fleas.

Fleas can actually be seen scurrying along the surface of the skin. They hide from light, so try to check your pet’s belly and inner thighs for any signs of fleas. You might also be able to find “flea dirt” on your dog or cat with light fur. Flea dirt basically looks like scattered pepper, but it’s actually flea feces composed of digested blood. If you can find it, place flea dirt on a wet paper towel. If the specks spread out like small blood stains, your pet definitely has fleas.

The Life Cycle of a Flea

life cycle of fleaModern flea treatments should be chosen based on the part of the flea’s life cycle you are trying to attack. An adult female flea lives for several weeks on a pet, during which time she sucks lays 20-30 eggs per day. Unfortunately, these eggs fall off your pet and spread around your home. Before long, fleas have infested not only your dog or cat, but your carpet, bedding, and furniture as well. Fleas are resistant to just about all environmental factors and are very determined to find a host.

How Can Fleas Be Eliminated?

Prescription medications have become popular and effective to prevent female fleas from laying eggs that can hatch, thus breaking the life cycle and leaving your pet and home flea-free. Treatment should continue year-round in places with warm weather and high humidity.

Many non-prescription products also exist to target fleas like shampoos, powders, and flea collars. Wash your bedding with soapy hot water, vacuum thoroughly, and steam clean the carpets. If things become really bad, you may even need to fog your home to kill all of the fleas permanently. If it comes to that point, call in a professional to help you handle the situation! For more information visit website.