Fleas Are Pesky Little Guys
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Fleas Are Pesky Little Guys

Fleas are those annoying little blood sucking pests that come into your home clinging to that outdoor dog or cat. Their bites can cause itching and red bumps, as well as misery, for both your pet and you. Adult fleas spend all of their time riding on their hosts, which are usually your pets, and don't spend time hanging out in your carpets or other fabric household items. Eggs, too, are found on animals; the adult fleas lay their eggs in the hair but they fall off on the floor most of the time.

Fleas usually live outdoors, in places where there are lots of vegetation, such as bushes and shrubs. They can climb well, so they are able to go up trees and other tall plants. When the dog passes under these plants, the fleas drop onto them and attach themselves onto the dog’s skin or fur. It is also possible for the fleas to jump onto the dogs or cats when they walk or run by, as fleas are able to jump many times their own height. These fleas then bite the dog’s skin and feed on its blood under the cover of your pet’s fur.

The stage at which fleas really spend a lot of time in your carpet is at the larval stage. Here, they feed off of dried blood and other matter left in areas where your pet lays (this material is produced by the adult fleas, and falls off in these areas). That why cleaning is one of the best ways to prevent fleas for over taking your home.

Adult fleas lay approximately 50 eggs per day. While fleas lay their eggs on the family pet, the eggs will eventually fall onto the bedding and areas near the pets bedding including carpet, furniture, and any other areas of the home of which the pet has access too.

Removing fleas from the pets is not a difficult task considering the advent of products which are designed not only to kill fleas, but also to offer protection from further infestations. Flea control products are available many forms as a; once a month topical, dog collars, sprays, dips, powders, shampoos, inject able and oral products. All these products contain insecticides as an active ingredient which kills the fleas when they coming into contact with them. Fleas absorb the insecticide which either paralyzes them or kills them.

A word of caution

Essential oils should never be used to get rid of fleas on cats. Any prolonged or direct contact will make your cat very ill.

Removing fleas in indoor environments mainly consists of removing them mechanically. This can be done by a thorough vacuuming, especially in places where fleas are more likely to be found, such as below drapes, the place where the pet sleeps, and under furniture edges. Vacuuming can remove an estimated 50% of flea eggs. After vacuuming, using a specially designed product that is recommended to kill the remaining fleas and to stop the development of eggs and flea larvae. The products are available on the market, may include carpet powders, sprays or foggers, which contain adult insecticides and insect growth regulators.

Where treatment for fleas is concerned, the old saying, prevention is better than cure most certainly applies. Without doubt, keeping fleas at bay is easier than getting rid of them once they've made themselves at home, and you'll be glad if you've taken steps to preventing them. At the bottom of this article you find a useful that will help you in doing this.

Too effectively get rid of fleas and flea eggs, one should treat not you’re your dogs or cat, but also the household and exterior regions to eliminate eggs from bedding, grass, floor, furniture and other areas. Again the book I mention will give you some ideas that will help you.

Baking soda can be used to kill fleas via dehydration. It is available in large amounts as a food grade material and is safe for family and pets when used inside the home on carpets and floors. A layer can be sprinkled onto a carpet and worked into the fibers down to where the flea larvae and eggs are, and will dehydrate and kill them. The soda can be easily vacuumed up afterwards and also reduces pet odor in your home at the same time and is safe and easy to disposal of. Often, multiple weekly treatments will be required to remove an infestation completely. Table salt can also be used inside the home in the same way as, or in combination with, baking soda as a low cost and safe method of breaking their life cycle. Pulverizing or grinding the salt with a coffee grinder will make it more effective as it will stick to the flea, killing it quicker through dehydration.

Soap can helps to kill off fleas in bathing. The process of removes the natural covering or waxes on the flea's body and it dies from lost for fluids or dehydration.

Most people are familiar with adult fleas, but they may be unfamiliar with the life cycle of a flea. Adult fleas are the fleas that are typically found on cats and dogs. However, only about 10 percent of fleas are found on the family pet. Approximately 90 percent of the developing flea population is located on the pets bedding and areas near the pets bedding including carpet, furniture not on the pets themselves. A number of pesticides include surfactants like soap in their make up to increase effectiveness, but these seem to be an aid in the delivery of the pesticide and are not added because the surfactants have any additional killing power.

Diatomaceous earth is a great home remedy that removes the flea’s waxy coating and dries them out, which kills them. Use with caution: Wear a dust mask to avoid the easily inhaled, finely ground diatomaceous earth used in swimming pool filters; and pennyroyal and tobacco powder in large quantities can be toxic to you and your pets.

When washing pet beddings the longer you keep the bedding in the water, the more fleas die, as a minimum of 20 minutes is required for detergent to reach through the wax coating of the flea to dehydrate and kill the flea. Then dry the bedding in full sunshine or in the hottest setting of your dryer.

The life cycle of a flea

It’s a metamorphosis, having four stages; egg, larval, pupal and adult. Cycle length ranges from several weeks to several months and is largely dependent upon environmental conditions.

Fleas lay between four to eight eggs after a meal, with the highest concentrations of laying occurring within the last few days of the female’s life. The flea eggs are not sticky and usually fall to the ground immediately upon being laid. Flea eggs hatch into flea larvae within one to 12 days.

Flea larvae are about 3 to 5.2 mm long and are semitransparent white in color. Flea larvae have no eyes and no legs. Their body is maggot-like and whitish, but turns progressively darker as the larvae feeds on feces excreted by the adult fleas. The larval stage lasts anywhere from 4 to 18 days, then larvae spin silken cocoons and enters the pupal stage. The pupal stage may be complete within three days, or it can last as long as one year.

Controlling flea larvae usually involves using vacuums regularly to remove the eggs and larvae. Use of insect growth regulators and dust formulations that causes extreme dryness to the larvae. This can be a big help in your battle to remove them.

To find out more on ways of keeping you home free of fleas, download our Free Guide that tells you how to keep your home flea free. .


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