Few pests are more irritating than fleas. Their size, jumpiness, and rapid reproduction make them a nuisance. Pets can pick up fleas from the outdoors, from other animals, or even from humans when they track them in on their shoes or clothes.
You can tell your pet has fleas if itching and scratching excessively. The little acrobats may even be visible. Fleas are typically 2 to 4 millimeters long, making them visible to the naked eye.
Fleas Life Cycle
The life cycle of a fleas begins when the female lays eggs after feeding on blood. The eggs fall on surfaces or carpet where they usually hatch within 1 week into larvae that look like grub worms. What’s even more startling about this is that these larvae infest your carpets and rugs and feed off dead skin cells, flea droppings, and other organic matter.
After a week or two of feeding on such stuff, the larvae spin themselves into tiny cocoons (pupae) in which they change into grown adult fleas. These adults could remain in this stage for about one month when it is time to emerge as new fleas ready to feed on fresh blood; thus starting the life cycle all over again.
Diet of fleas
Fleas suck blood for food, and if not treated can take over your household quickly. The young ones start off as eggs until they finally grow into the six legged crawling pests that we all hate. However before you take any serious action there are several things you need to find out about in order to handle your current situation correctly in the best possible way.
How to find out whether it is fleas or not?
The first thing is finding out whether or not it’s truly fleas in the first place. You can take a sample and place it under a microscope or send it off to the lab for study. However keep in mind that you could end up causing unnecessary damage to your home if your potential ‘pets’ turned out to be something else entirely, such as carpet beetles.
If you do believe they are fleas, you should try and find out how many of them there really are. It’s important to know whether or not you have a major problem on your hands, since the treatment will vary highly depending on this.
How to get rid of fleas in your house?
Throw out all pet bedding that cannot be washed. Now vacuum everywhere including floors, furniture, beds, carpets etc. Then wash or clean any bedding used by pets or humans too. Use a powerful vacuum cleaner on carpets and upholstery which include pet beds/houses/cages/pens (whatever they use). This will suck most of them up like spaghetti through a straw. But don’t assume this is enough; you need to kill them as well.
Use a steam cleaner for carpets and upholstery, including pet beds. Steam cleaners kill fleas very effectively by killing both the adults and their eggs while also helping to keep your carpet/upholstery clean. Vacuuming by itself would not be enough because it only removes adult fleas that have surfaced plus a few of their eggs or larvae – far from a complete job. If you still have some after all this then use chemical treatments which can either be spray on liquids, powders or mats containing insecticide with instructions on how to place them exactly where you want them.
Cats and dogs will often try to remove these if placed wrongly so read the instructions carefully! You may need to repeat this process until most of your pets are free of fleas. It might take several treatments to get rid of them all so be patient. If you have a smaller house, consider using non-chemical methods for getting rid of the fleas. Here are some ideas that work very well:
- Vinegar can kill off adult fleas when they come into contact with it. Simply put some on cotton balls and place them near where your pet sleeps. Change daily or as required. Should solve your problem in no time at all.
- Garlic is another good idea. Naturally occurring Sulphur compound in garlic is lethal to most insects – including mosquitoes, ants etc., but not beneficial insects like bees etc.. Devour lots of it (fresh or powdered) or place garlic oil where your pet can reach it. WARNING: This might have a very strong smell, so beware that it might get into the fur of your pets!
- Peppermint oil works great too. Make sure to use pure peppermint oil, not one of the “tastes” sold in supermarkets which are often watered down and much weaker than the real thing – regardless of claims on their labels. If you find this hard to get hold of locally try online (type “peppermint essential oil”, etc., in your search engine). You can also make an infusion by boiling several handfuls in water for 10 minutes then letting it stand until cool before straining out the leaves and placing where required. can work wonders in ridding a house of fleas – as long as you use a high quality one.
How to prevent reinfestation?
To prevent re-infestation apply one the many commercial treatments available from your pet store or veterinarian. These usually contain the active ingredient “fenuron” which changes the development and reproduction cycle and prevents new adults from emerging (i.e., it sterilizes them) for several months – often up to six. So it’s a good idea to use this even if you can’t get rid of all your pets’ fleas as they will not be able to multiply again until all are gone.
Dog fleas are very real and they feed on the same things you do – your blood. Though, unlike household pets, these pests could bring serious medical problems to you or your family members.
You might think that this is not true because after all the only reason you get bitten by a dog flea is because of your furry friends. Well, that’s not entirely true either because even though they are more likely to scare off when other dogs come around then when humans approach them; people can still get bitten by their own pet too.
Keeping your house clean and sanitized is one of the most common ways to keep out these pesky little fleas and here we will explain how to get rid of dog fleas thus, helping you get back your peace and sanity.