Fleas are a common struggle for pet owners across the country. These tiny pests can carry a variety of diseases and they bite indiscriminately. In cases of severe infestation, fleas can lead to anemia. Fleas are most common in the spring and summer months, but they can survive year-round in warmer climates. If your pets have been scratching, here's what you need to know to find out if fleas are the problem and to deal with them, if they're the culprit.
The first thing to do if you suspect a flea infestation is to look at your pet. The easiest place to check is the fur around the edge of the belly, because it's usually thinner and easier to see through. Fleas are a fraction of an inch long, about the size of a pen tip. Their bodies are covered in tough skin, making them hard to injure. Move the fur around and look at your pet's skin, near the base of the hair follicle. If your pet has fleas, you'll see tiny black dots moving around.
You can also give your pet a bath to make fleas easier to see. Sometimes, they'll rinse off in water if you use a quality pet shampoo that disrupts their grasp. And, you will be able to see your pet's skin under the fur easier when the fur is wet.
Notable Infestation Issues
One of the biggest reasons that flea infestations are hard to fight is the fact that females can lay hundreds of eggs in their lifetime. Flea eggs can settle into your carpets, your pet bedding and other soft fabric. The eggs typically hatch within two weeks, and then they grow rapidly.
Fleas are jumpers, which makes them hard to pin down, too. They can jump from surface to surface quickly, making it from the carpet to your pet or from your pet to the couch without being detected. It makes flea elimination a complex task.
Getting Rid of Fleas
Pet shampoos, flea collars and other treatments will help you to keep some infestations at a minimum, but once fleas have settled into your house, even a flea dip isn't going to protect your pet for long. In order to effectively deal with the problem, you need to treat the whole house.
A pest control company can help you tackle flea infestations with a treatment method that tackles them from two angles. First, you'll need to treat the carpets and the rest of your house with bait or gel to eliminate the adult fleas. Then, you'll need to get rid of the flea eggs through a spray or powder treatment.
You can do your part to keep fleas away by vacuuming your house regularly and keeping the air in your house comfortably dry. If you live in a humid climate, consider a dehumidifier.
Fleas are resilient, persistent annoyances that can cause your pet to break out in a rash or struggle with itchy, frustrating bites. Talk to a pest control company (such as Bug Busters) about treating for fleas regularly to protect your whole family.