• Fleas in Home: Tips to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats and Dogs

    14 May 2018
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    illustration of a flea under microscope

    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.

    Cat Flea on white background

    Cat Flea (Photo: Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

    “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.”

    -Control Exterminating

    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– this 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.

    Flea anatomy with its abdomen, thorax, antenna, head, legs, claws, mouth parts and genitalia

    Flea Anatomy

    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.

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    “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.”

    -Control Exterminating

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    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 by up to 90% within a 24 hour period.
    2. Another natural remedy is to set eucalyptus leaves around the exterior of 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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  • Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs

    26 April 2018
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    a dog in the field

    Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs:

    5 Ways to Keep Fleas Off Dogs

    Some of the things that make fleas enemies to many people and pets are their irritating bites and parasitic nature. Here are five simple ways to keep fleas off dogs. 

    There are many great things that people look forward to when the warm weather of Summer approaches. Refreshing outdoor errands and epic swimming and hiking experiences are some of the things that nearly one expects to have. 

    In the midst of all these awesome experiences, there’s something unpleasant that you should brace yourself for – the return of fleas. The flea life cycle is typically 20 weeks at maximum, but during hot summer months, it can be as short as two weeks. In other words, fleas breed faster and become adults more rapidly in the Summer months than any other time of the year.

    None likes to be associated with these creepy and tiny pests but let’s face it; they are about to come, and your dog will possibly be on the receiving end! 

    Some of the things that make fleas enemies to many people and pets are their irritating bites and parasitic nature. Other from that, they play a significant role in the spreading of serious pandemics including bubonic plague, Murine Typhus, and  Tungiasis, among others.

    illustration of a flea

    Flea

    Dogs are some of the primary victims of flea infestations. Fortunately, there are various preventive and treatment options that you can choose to keep your dog safe from these annoying bloodsuckers.

    Tips to Prevent Fleas on Your Dog:

    • #1. Cleanliness

    Maintaining a clean home and the sleeping area of your dog is essential in the fight against flea. By cleaning the places regularly, you will be interrupting the flea life cycle, and this will significantly minimize the population of adult fleas which eventually become a nuisance to your pet. 

    Mainly, steam-cleaning of your carpets and dog’s beddings during the onset of Summer and once per week at a minimum during the hot season will be of great help in avoiding the bugs.

    • #2. Regular vacuuming

    Regular vacuuming of your house and the resting places of your dog in your home is also helpful in keeping your pet safe from fleas. During the exercise, live larvae and pupa fleas are removed from the areas before they start attacking your dog upon reaching maturity. Vacuum your home and dog’s place at least once every week for the safety of the pet.  

    • #3. Regular lawn watering and mowing

    In outdoors, flea larvae cannot withstand warm soil, and that’s why the ones that develop into pupa are mostly found in areas with long grass. To deprive them the privilege to become adult, keep your grass short always. 

    Short grass will allow the penetration of sunlight to the soil. The sunlight makes the soil to eventually killing the present flea larvae. 

    Regular lawn watering also comes in handy in flea control. The overflowing water during the exercise drowns the developing flea larvae, minimizing their rate of becoming adults.  

     

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    “Short grass will allow the penetration of sunlight to the soil. The sunlight makes the soil to eventually killing the present flea larvae.”

    Control Exterminating

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    • #4. Introduce brewer’s yeast and garlic to the diet of your dog

    Research shows that brewer’s yeast and garlic have natural capabilities of repelling fleas. Therefore, you can do your dog a great favor by introducing both to its diet. Alternatively, you can rub them into its skin. If you like, you can rub and also feed them to the pet.

    • #5. Apply spot-on medications

    Spot-on medications are medicines that are applied to a certain spot on your dog’s skin and then spread to its entire body through its oil glands in a process known as translocation. 

    When you apply a drop of a spot-on mediation on your dog, you rest assured that no fleas will dare to come near it since the drug is a flea repellant. 

    This medicine will also kill the fleas on your dog. You’ll have to reapply the medication on the pet at an interval of a few weeks, probably four or five for maximum effectiveness. Make sure that you get the medication that is appropriate for the age and size of your dog.

    If these natural home redies for fleas do not prevent them from annoying your dog, consider trying an exterminator. A professional flea exterminator will know how to get rid of the pests once and for all, ensuring the safety of your pet.***

     

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