Anyone who has a family pet of any kind knows how important it is to keep them happy, safe and comfortable. Taking walks, and playing with pets keeps them healthy and happy, proper collars with I.D. tags help keep them safe if they were to get lost, giving them their own space within the home helps them feel comfortable knowing they have a loving secure home. If your pet has fleas they will not be comfortable. Do you know what to if you pet get fleas, do you know what they look like?
Adult fleas are shiny and are a reddish brown to black in color and measure about 2.5 mm long. Adults fleas are parasites as they feed by drawing blood from their host. They are covered in tiny microscopic hairs that help for easy movement through animal fur. Fleas are wingless and can not fly, but they are capable of jumping long distances. Common pets that can get fleas are cats, dogs, rabbits, pet mice and rats. Even if you don’t have any pets its still possible for your house to contract fleas from non domesticated animals such as squirrels, mice and rats that may find their way into your home! As for flea eggs, they make things more difficult. They are tiny and they are often not even attached to your pet, instead they are in carpets, rugs, cracks in the floor, upholstered furniture and possibly bedding that isn’t changed often. Most eggs will hatch in just two days, making if easy for them to quickly spread and take over your home.
So what should you do if you see your pet scratching excessively? First, do a visual check through your pets fur. Have them stand on a small white sheet or pillow case and move the fur around. Be focused, fleas are quick! If you’re not seeing actual fleas watch their skin for bite marks, and “flea dirt” which is flea droppings. The flea droppings look like reddish black pieces of pepper. If you see either of those, you can get over the counter flea treatments or talk with your vet about what will work best for your situation. Next, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your house. Vacuum all carpeted areas, furniture and areas where your pet lays, you should vacuum all areas daily for at lease 1 week to stop they egg cycle. After each vacuum, remove the bag, place it in a plastic bag and seal it tightly, and dispose of it outside. Using a steam cleaner would be a great tool to use if you have access to one or you could rent one. Be sure to wash rugs, and all blankets and bedding, including yours if you allow you pet on your bed.
If you have followed treatment and clean up tips but just can’t seem to get rid of the fleas call a professional pest control company. Most pest control companies have flea treatment services available and will be able to inspect your home to find the infested source.