How to Get Rid of Fleas
How to Get Rid of Fleas
In order to understand how to get rid of fleas, it is important from the start to recognize some basic facts about them, so that we are better able to get rid of them. Here is some initial data to bear in mind:
1. Fleas are insects about 2-3 mms long. They are armor-plated, have no wings and can leap huge distances compared to their size.
2. It is not true that Fleas only live in dirty surroundings. Central heating, mattresses, pillows and carpets provide the ideal warm environment in which they thrive.
3. It is not well known that the most common flea infesting dogs is in fact the Cat Flea.
4. Research has shown that dogs can develop tapeworms by swallowing fleas.
5. During their life cycle, adult female fleas may give birth to as many as 400-500 eggs. These will typically go through a larvae – pupae develpment cycle, lasting up to about 4/6 weeks in a warm environment, after which they remain dormant for about 12 months before hatching into mature, fully grown adult fleas.
6. Adult fleas thereafter spend almost their entire life living on their host.
How to get rid of Fleas
Now that we know a little bit about them, how do we discover if our dog does have fleas at all? After all, fleas may not be the only reason that dogs scratch themselves. The trick is to look closely around the neck and tail of the dog, searching for small, brown, elongated insects, or for black flea dirt about the size of a grain of sand. Fleas typically run over the dog’s skin through the hair and jump around when they are off the animal. They may be hard to spot, especially if your dog is well groomed. Comb the dog with a fine comb onto damp paper so they are easier to recognize. You may also discover a rash on the abdomen, and in severe cases, the skin on the dog’s back may become thickened, creased and dark colored.
It is important that your animal does not become infested with fleas, and this is particularly true of puppies which can become sensitive to flea bites and may develop a skin condition which can be costly and very difficult to cure permanently. It may even become necessary to provide regular medication throughout the life of the dog. Dermatitis caused by fleas is one of the most common skin complains in dogs.
How to get rid of fleas
Nowadays there are many very effective products available from pet shops and pharmacists these days which will do the trick. They will provide information and advice, but if in doubt talk to a veterinarian. Modern Insecticidal Products, Sprays, Tablets, Powders and Collars are ideal but it is wise to find out from the start how frequently they need to be applied in order to kill existing fleas and prevent re-infection. The quick acting insecticide that they contain will kill adult fleas, while a slower acting compound will stop flea eggs from hatching at all. They can also prevent any existing larvae maturing into adulthood.
Finally, when considering which Product is right for your dog, you may wish to take into account how much the Product will cost, how long the treatment will last and what length of protection time you can expect when used as instructed. With this information, you will be in a better position to calculate the most cost effective anti flea campaign. Cost is an increasingly worrying problem in these financially difficult times, but you should not be put off treating your dog because times are hard. There are affordable products which will suit your pocket if you simply take advice and look around.
I hope you now have a better understanding of how to get rid of fleas, so go get ‘em!
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