Fleas are common wingless pests found on domestic pets, cats, and dogs, as well as other animals. These insects need to be eradicated from pets as they can spread diseases like plague, and tapeworm to humans. Hence, these are harmful to both animals and humans.
How are fleas spread?
Adult fleas lay eggs on animal fur and these eggs further hatch into larva, which transforms to pupa and eventually turns into adults. The time of their life cycle varies on a number of factors and in cold temperatures, it may take up to a year to grow. The eggs can fall from the infected animal on ground, bedding or carpets - and from these surfaces, another uninfected animal can catch it.
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Signs and symptoms
Flea bites are known to cause itching and irritation of the skin. Some pet owners and their pets suffer from flea bite allergies that cause intense itching, hair loss, redness of the skin and some other infection. Fleas are diagnosed by identifying their eggs and pest presence.
Following are common ways to treat fleas:
1. Once-a-month Topicals: You can treat your pets with once-a-month topical insecticides to kill fleas and ticks. Usually, ingredients like permethrin, fipronil, and pyrethrin are included in the medicament to kill the pests.
2. Sprays: You can use flea control sprays that come in form of aerosols or pump bottles. These sprays need to be used as per the instructions mentioned on the packaging.
3. Dips: Dips are applied to an entire animal in a well-ventilated area, as dips or rinses may contain pyrethrins, permethrins or organophosphates. These products need to be applied as per the instructions are given by your veterinarian's and the manufacturer's directions.
4. Shampoos: Even flea and tick shampoos are available in the market to kill the pests without replying to confusing treatment options. You need to apply shampoo on the entire body of the animals and leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off. These shampoos contain pyrethrins that easily help in eradicating pests from the animal body.
5. Collars: Flea and tick collars are another effective ways to keep these pests at bay. You need to place the collar in a way that you are able to get two fingers between the collar and your pet's neck. Cut off any extra portion of the collar after it has been placed properly, or your pet may try to take it out or chew it. For effective usage, check the package for complete information and its duration of effectiveness. If your dog swims a lot, you need to ensure that the collar doesn’t lose its effectiveness or irritate the dog during swimming.
- Prevention is indeed the best way to manage fleas. You can use effective products for controlling fleas on pets. The products like insecticidal sprays are also sued to control fleas in an effective way.
- Do follow your veterinarian’s advice when selecting the best flea treatment for your pets.
- Clean your entire house using insecticidal products to completely eradicate the pests.
- Vacuum cleaning of floors, furniture, and indoor areas is also a great way to clean up and eradicate pests.
- You need to treat animal bedding by boiling water or use of animal-safe insecticides for washing. Use only animal-friendly products for killing fleas and consult your veterinarian, if you are in doubt.
- Animals with fleas should also be treated for tapeworm. For more information and advice on flea management, you need to consult the environmental health officer at your local council or contact a commercial pest control company.