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Fleas in Home:
Facts and Prevention Tips to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats and Dogs
Why is it that the mere mention of fleas causes one to scratch at the phantom itches that suddenly consume us? Probably because of their natural being.
No one wants to deal with a flea infestation, but the more you know about them, the better equipped you are on preventing a miniature plague in your home; or how to deal with a flea infestation.
Facts About Fleas
1. The flea has four stages in its life consisting of first the egg, hatching into larvae, blossoming into the adolescence of a pupa, until finally becoming a biting adult.
2. Fleas are like vampires, in that they feed on the blood of their hosts. Not only attaching to themselves on domesticated pets, but they will also fasten themselves onto humans, birds, reptiles and wild animals.
3. In a lifetime, the female flea will lay up to 2,000 eggs.
4. A female flea will also consume at least 15 times her size in blood on a daily basis.
5. A flea can survive without feasting on blood for more than a hundred days.
6. Fleas don’t have wings, but they are outstanding jumpers. Being capable of jumping eight inches high, considering its size, it is jumping 150 times their height. Similar to Superman, it would be the equivalent of a person jumping over a tall building in a single bound!
7. A flea can cause some illnesses in pets such as; anemia, tapeworm, or extreme cycles of intense itching.
8. Some pets can be prone to allergic reactions of flea saliva, which will enhance the irritation and itching symptoms.
9. If you suspect a flea problem, the best way to conduct your search is utilizing a flea comb.
10. There are more than 2,000 known species and subspecies of fleas. However, the Cat Flea is more commonly found on cats and dogs in the United States.
“Fleas don’t have wings, but they are outstanding jumpers. Being capable of jumping eight inches high, considering its size, it is jumping 150 times their height.”
Fleas are parasitic insects which feed on the blood of animals all over the world. While fleas are incredibly common, especially on household pets, the fleas from cats and dogs are often different species and can require different methods of treatment.
Cat Fleas vs. Other Fleas
Cat fleas are usually of the species Ctenocephalides felis and while they are most common on cats, can also infect dogs. The majority of flea infestations in the United States are cat flea infestations–yes, even they are on your dog! Cat fleas infest over fifty different animals, including dogs, raccoons, and even badgers.
While cat fleas are the most common type of fleas, other fleas include the dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis), the human flea, and the rat flea, among many others. Most “dog fleas” found on dogs are cat fleas, but dog fleas are usually not found on cats as they are not adapted to consume feline blood.
Symptoms of an infestation might include excessive scratching or red skin, as well as secondary infections. Cat fleas will bite dogs, but usually, don’t venture onto humans.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
Fleas of varying species are usually indiscernible unless placed under a microscope and examined by a professional. Most fleas are between a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch long and are a reddish brown hue.
They possess three pairs of legs, with one pair that is larger than the other two and adapted to jumping. Fleas do not have wings but instead have a hard, shiny exoskeleton. They also have piercing mouths that can extract blood from their hosts with ease.
What Is the Life Cycle of Fleas?
Fleas go through four different stages in life. You will not find a juvenile flea on a pet–only an adult flea. Fleas of other stages can frequently be found in carpets, bedding, or on the yard.
Eggs are usually laid on animal hosts, but these generally fall within eight or so hours. Flea eggs look a lot like miniature chicken eggs, just half a millimeter in size. A female flea lays up to twenty eggs per day.
Once the eggs hatch, a larval flea emerges. It resembles a spiny earthworm and is only about a quarter of an inch long. This stage of the flea has no legs but a large mouth, feeding on adult feces. It then spins a white cocoon and enters the pupa stage.
Very few fleas are actually adult fleas–these makeup only about five percent of the population. Therefore, it is exponentially important to control flea populations in all stages-not just the adults. Fleas can live for up to one year as long as they have blood to feed on.
What to Do About a Flea Infestation?
If you suspect that you, your home, or your pet has a flea infestation, you must address it immediately. Flea bites are itchy and can make you feel downright uncomfortable, and they can make small animals extremely ill since any blood loss is unhealthy.
Flea bites can also transmit flea tapeworms, a dangerous risk for many humans and pets as they can cause intestinal blockages and vomiting. Other diseases spread by fleas, including cat fleas, include typhus or Bartonella.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats and Dogs
First, prevent your cat or dog from becoming an unknowing bearer of fleas by making sure they are treated each year with an easy-to-use, over-the-counter preventative medication, such as Frontline. Talk to your veterinarian about whether your pet is at risk, and what you can do to prevent infestation.
If an infestation has taken hold, make sure you clean your home thoroughly and treat it with a veterinarian-approved flea removal product. You should wash linens and pet bedding in the hottest setting possible. You may also need to contact a local pest control service to figure out a customized service for your unique condition.
“If you suspect that you, your home, or your pet has a flea infestation, you must address it immediately. Flea bites are itchy and can make you feel downright uncomfortable, and they can make small animals extremely ill since any blood loss is unhealthy.”
How to Prevent Fleas in Your House and Yard
1. A natural way to help prevent an infestation is investing in nematodes. They are microscopic, worm-like organisms that feed on flea larvae. Spray them in moist and shady areas, especially flower or vegetable gardens. By doing so, you can cut down the larvae population up to 90% within a 24 hour period.
2. Another natural remedy is to set eucalyptus leaves around the exterior in your home, and around the interior where you believe fleas might be present. Fleas detest the fragrance and will retreat from the smell.
3. It is best to have a consistent and designated place where your pet sleeps that you clean regularly.
4. Avoid allowing your pet to follow you up to the attic space or in the basement.
5. Vacuum your carpets, furniture, upholstered items and all flooring. Be sure to dispose of the bag, or dump the canister as far from your home as possible.
6. Wash all bedding and fabrics that pets come into contact with.
7. Drown the fleas in soapy water from off your pet by combing your pet with flea combs.
8. Call Control Exterminating who specializes in flea removal.
Control Exterminating has the expertise, superior equipment, and top quality chemicals to make sure your home’s flea infestation is quickly exterminated. Call us today to schedule your appointment in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and other New York City areas!***
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How to Get Rid of These Bloodsucking Pests
A tick is a wingless bloodsucking acarid arachnid that attaches itself to warm-blooded vertebrates for feeding. Ticks feed on the blood of their hosts, including wild and domestic animals as well as human beings.
Ticks in House
If you spotted ticks in your house, it’s time to get educated. Ticks are known to carry and spread various diseases like Lyme disease, tularemia, equine encephalitis, babesiosis and anaplasmosis from one host to another through their bites.
Although ticks are mostly found in areas with tall grass as they wait for a passing host to climb on for feeding, they can also be sighted indoors after falling off from their previous hosts. It’s time to beware of ticks since Spring is tick season in New York.
How Long Can Ticks Survive Indoors?
Once a tick drops off in your home, its survival period ranges from minutes to months. Their life expectancy depends on its age and nutritional reserves, the frequency of the vacuuming or cleaning of its harborage, the availability of its predators as well as the temperature and humidity of its indoor habitat.
For instance, in case of a deer tick, one of the ticks that are most likely to get to your indoor area, it can live for just several hours (like eight) if it is in an indoor area with a relative humidity of less than 90%.
However, even if the relative humidity is more than 90%, the tick is likely to die within 24 hours if it is unfed since it has a small food reserve. On the other hand, a deer tick that’s well fed and is in an indoor place with no predators, such as chickens, cats, and centipedes, is likely to remain alive for up to a month.
Fortunately, even with enough food reserve, predator-free environment, and favorable relative humidity, the tick may not be able to remain alive even for an hour if its surroundings are cleaned regularly or have some pesticide residues that it might come into contact.
“Although ticks are mostly found in areas with tall grass as they wait for a passing host to climb on for feeding, they can also be sighted indoors after falling off from their previous hosts.”
How Do Ticks Get on You?
Although ticks usually live in outdoor areas, they can get inside your home through people or pets, their main hosts. These pests usually climb tall grass in the woods or yards waiting for a passing animal.
When an animal or person brushes against tick-infested grass, some ticks grab onto the host. In the case of a human being, a tick is most likely to attach itself on his or her clothes and then starts making its way toward warm and moist body areas like the armpit and the groin.
In pets, ticks usually penetrate through their fur to get soft body areas to bite. When going back home or other indoor areas, the host (animal or human being) carries along the tick(s).
Depending on the species and the stage of the development as well as the host type, a tick will suck blood from the host for a period ranging from several minutes to days. Then it will detach itself from the host and fall on the ground. That’s when you’ll spot it crawling or hiding somewhere else in your house.
How to Keep Ticks Away
- Check for stray ticks in the house on your pets (mostly dogs) and the clothes of any member of your house, including yourself, whenever they come from areas that are vulnerable to tick infestations. If present, kill the ticks physically or spray the affected pet and clothes with an eco-friendly and appropriate pesticide.
- Repair and fill in all crevices and gaps that ticks may use as hideouts or entryways to your house.
- Regular vacuuming and cleaning of areas susceptible to pest infestations, especially where your dog rests.
- Regular trimming of the grass surrounding your house.
Keeping a tick infestation at your home in check is important. Otherwise, it might turn problematic to wipe out. Be sure to take note of these tips and apply them to get rid of these bugs from your home.
Ticks in Yard and Wooded Areas
Springtime is perfect for visits to the park, hiking a local trail or just going on a pleasant morning stroll. Unfortunately, we are not alone during these fun spring activities. Ticks are out in strong numbers hoping to find a free meal from an animal or human to feast on.
Many people who have no experience in dealing with ticks rarely even think about their existence or that they may be at risk of getting too close to ticks. During this time of year, adult ticks will crawl up vegetation to about waist height and patiently wait for the next warm-blooded person or animal to walk by.
A tick will wait all day if they have to for a hiker or animal to stroll by, giving the tick the perfect opportunity to latch on and begin their journey to their next meal. Once a tick has latched onto your clothing, they will immediately begin searching for a way to get to your skin, sink their jaws into your body and begin sucking out your blood.
The worst action you can take is to ignore the fact that ticks are present in the area. The best defense against ticks in the area is a good offense. Control Exterminating is skilled and experienced in dealing with local ticks. We’ll keep your home safe from ticks the many dangers that they pose.
“During this time of year, adult ticks will crawl up vegetation to about waist height and patiently wait for the next warm-blooded person or animal to walk by.”
Cover Your Body Properly to Prevent Ticks
One of the smartest steps to take when avoiding ticks is to cover your body properly. If you know, you will be in a heavily wooded area, or an area that is known to have ticks nearby, take the time to cover yourself up.
Long sleeve shirts, long pants, pants tucked into socks and hats are all great ways to keep ticks on the outside of your clothing. Light colored clothing is also a smart choice to make; the light colored clothing will make it much easier to spot any ticks that have latched onto your clothes during your outing.
Tick Inspections, Prevention, Control, Management & Removal in Manhattan NYC, New York
After you return from your outing, take the appropriate time needed to inspect your body for ticks thoroughly. Ticks enjoy hiding or burrowing themselves into areas like your underarms, behind your knees, behind your ears, and between your toes.
If you fail to check for ticks properly, you are putting yourself at risk of contracting Lyme disease and other dangerous illnesses. If you notice ticks close to your home, contact Control Exterminating immediately.***