Fleas affect people, dogs and their environments every summer when that frustrating infestation always seems to emerge.
These parasites are dark in color and lack wings, however they are able to jump great distances in comparison to their body. They feed off blood with a specially adapted mouth which allows them to break their host’s skin to feed.
Here’s a fun flea fact – in regards to body and jumping ratio, fleas are second only to the frog hopper for the distance they can jump!
You will find that pressure does not usually kill a flea – it is difficult to squash a flea without it sliding out and escaping being squashed. Flea’s have an exoskeleton which is designed to avoid elimination through squashing. Consequently they are easily able to maneuver themselves into small spaces because of their flatter bodies and smooth exoskeleton.
If you prefer to pick up individual fleas and dispose of them you can use softened bees wax or sticky tape to collect the fleas prior to drowning them. There are much easier, less time consuming methods, however to get rid of fleas.
These parasites can be not only annoying but debilitating to some dogs – we hope that you can find a remedy which suits you here.
One of the most common side effects of fleas is scratching. When the fleas bite the dog’s skin it causes a skin irritation and the dogs will scratch at it to relive the discomfort. Excessive scratching can result in raw skin leaving the dog open to secondary bacterial skin infections developing.
Not only do fleas cause skin irritations, occasionally dogs can also be allergic to flea bites. When a dog is allergic to fleas, you may see hair loss, open wounds and very red skin. When an allergy is present, it becomes important to remove the flea infestation as quickly as possible. When dogs are suffering a flea allergy, the fleas seem resistant to regular topical treatments and for relief it may be necessary to consult with your vet regarding an internal flea treatment.
These parasitic insects can be evident in puppies from birth depending if the mother or their immediate environment is infested.
When fleas are evident, you almost always also see flea dirt. This is a combination of dried blood and dirt found on the dog. The presence of flea dirt is a sure sign of flea infestation. As soon as flea dirt on the dog’s skin is noticed, the dog owner should start with the plan to eradicate these external parasites. Flea dirt can be removed with a mild cleanser used on the dog and its living environment. You may find that an oatmeal based cleanser works best if your dog is suffering from a particularly bad flea dirt.
Scratching is one obvious side effect of fleas, however dogs with an infestation can also suffer skin inflammation and hair loss. Not many dog owners are aware of the fact that a severe flea infestation can also result in anemia and in very severe cases the blood loss can result in the death of the dog.
Removing the fleas from the dog’s body and its environment will help to wipe out the flea infestation. Fleas only attach to your dog while they feed, they are usually found living in dirt or dark moist areas. They can live in dirt around the dog’s environment and lay dormant for up to six months.
The first step to reducing your dog’s fleas is to bath your pet in a quality flea shampoo. If you are still concerned you can use a fine tooth comb and remove additional fleas which may not have drowned. A flea shampoo kills adult fleas – maintain regular flea baths to help keep the flea infestation at bay. Eggs and larvae would not have been killed by the flea wash – only adults.
In your plan to eradicate the fleas you must also focus on the dog’s living environment. Vacuuming the house thoroughly will assist you to remove fleas and their eggs – however you should be sure to discard the bag or at least its contents straight away. If you are still concerned, place a strip of a flea collar into the vacuum bag. Vacuuming will generally not be sufficient to remove all the fleas. Chemical sprays and insecticides are usually needed to ‘bomb’ a room and eradicate the remaining larvae and eggs.
You should also consider the outside environment. Spray the yard with chemicals formulated to kill fleas. If you are seeking to make your home flea free there are a variety of anti-flea chemicals available. However, dog owners are cautioned against over usage of these chemicals as the pet can get sick if exposed to these chemicals repeatedly.
Use hot soapy water and more flea shampoo to wash the dog’s toys, crate and bedding to be sure to get rid of the dogs fleas. If you would like to ensure that your dog remains flea free after you have eliminated the infestation a monthly flea prevention dosage is readily available.
Many people are turning to natural remedies to eliminate dogs fleas. Toxins used to treat fleas are becoming stronger – simply because the flea’s resistance is improving. There is a growing concern over how far should we go in the war with these pests.
In a normal pet household you may see one animal suffer more seriously than another. The condition of your dog’s skin can impact on the level of flea infestation the dag will have. Healthy skin is more difficult for fleas to penetrate, a dog which has an open wound or skin irritation is more likely to attract fleas simply because the fleas are attracted to the blood and broken skin – meaning less work for the fleas to extract their meal. Improving the quality of a dogs diet and improving their skin can in turn help to reduce their flea infestations.A fish oil capsule per day in a medium sized dog can greatly assist a dog to improve their skin condition.
After washing your dog with a natural flea shampoo you may find that a final rinse in a lemon water will assist in keeping the fleas at bay. Fleas dislike citrus and the juice of a lemon in the rinsing water can be a natural deterrent. Fleas find the odor of citrus unappealing and this can assist to repel the fleas from residing on your dog.
Adding crushed garlic cloves to your dog’s meal can also act as a deterrent to fleas – the smell goes through to their skin and the smell is repellant to fleas. A zinc supplement can also assist your dog to maintain healthy skin and lessen the impact of dogs fleas.
Fleas are a part of owning a pet – seldom will you be able to eradicate them completely. Natural remedies do take longer to take full effect, but they have their place in helping to treat your dog and the flea infestation which seems to emerge every summer.
Source by Tanya U. Ananin