Adopting a dog is an experience that will undoubtedly enrich your life and make your days much more joyful. Dogs are known to be loyal and intelligent companions. However, dogs are definitely not “low-maintenance” pets. Aside from the regular walks and playtime, you will also have to deal with fleas.
It’s very common for a dog to get infested with fleas so you will have to learn how to deal with this situation. Keep on reading as we’ll discuss how to get rid of your fleas and how to prevent your dog from catching fleas.
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The Life Cycle of Dog Fleas
Due to their quick reproductive rate and life cycle, fleas can effortlessly infest homes and pets. The four phases of the flea life cycle are adult, egg, larva, and pupa.
Adult fleas ingest blood while living on their hosts. They can jump well thanks to their robust legs and flat bodies. After consuming their host’s blood fleas urinate and leave black fragments of digested blood.
They remain with the host until they fall off and remain in the environment. Flea adults have a lifespan of four to six weeks. A day or two after eating, females start to lay eggs, and they can produce 20 to 40 eggs every day.
The host lays eggs, which fall off and land on rugs, furniture, floorboards, etc. They hatch about two days later.
The recently developed eggs release worm-like larvae that eat flea excrement in their environment. Larvae undergo three molts over a period of five to fifteen days before spinning cocoons to reach the pupal stage.
The pupae become fleas while they are still inside the cocoon. A few days later, the adult flea may start to appear. However, while they wait for a host, they can lay dormant for several months. The cocooned flea detects carbon dioxide, heat, and motion and only surfaces when a host is found. This is precisely why flea numbers might suddenly increase after you haven’t seen any for a while.
Most Effective Flea Control Methods
Having a flea infestation in your house can feel daunting. Thankfully, there are methods for eliminating fleas from your house and from your pets. Simply put, it requires some time and work. But it definitely pays off as you will protect your home, your family, and your pets.
The most crucial action is to ensure that all pets in your home are treated with a potent flea medication. You should definitely contact your veterinarian and learn from them what is the best treatment for eliminating fleas for good.
Typically, oral or topical flea treatments are available for pets. You can learn online what are the best flea prevention products available. After that you can discuss what is the best solution with your veterinarian.
Keep in mind that flea baths should not be used as a substitute for effective flea control products because they are just temporary fixes. Even though a flea shampoo will get rid of the fleas on your dog, it won’t stop them from coming back so rapidly. Animals may be harmed by the harsh chemicals used in flea washes.
Use an efficient flea control treatment on your pets for at least three consecutive months to eradicate an infestation. Keep your pets on a flea control product all year long for optimal results.
The next step is to properly clean your home. The flea spends three of its four life phases off of its host. Your carpets, hardwood floors, upholstered furniture, and pet bedding are all home to flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. Treating the environment for fleas is crucial for preventing infestations (and particularly re-infestations). Cleaning is where it all begins.
Vacuum the carpets and floors thoroughly, then quickly empty the trash can or throw the bag outside your house. Utilize attachments to vacuum all the crevices in your house, including those under and around furniture, in floorboards, on upholstery, and in any other challenging-to-reach areas. Try sprinkling boric acid over carpets, furniture, and floors for the best results. Just let it sit for at least an hour before giving it a complete vacuum. Flea eggs, larva, and pupae lack moisture when exposed to boric acid, which enables it to vacuum them up.
Wash as many clothes as you can in a washing machine with hot water and bleach when you can. All bedding and other machine-washable items fall under this category. After treating your pets, try cleaning and washing them again every few days. After you’ve cleaned the house thoroughly, you can start to was every other week
You might try treating your home with a flea-killing solution if you feel you need an extra punch to get rid of the fleas. Make sure the solution is safe for pets.
Although some people like to use them for severe infestations, flea bombs and household sprays are often not necessary. Keep in mind that your pet serves as the fleas’ host, allowing them to complete their life cycle. The most crucial step is giving your pet an excellent flea-prevention treatment.
Some people decide to treat their homes’ and yards’ exteriors for fleas as well. Please keep in mind to use pet-safe products when doing this. Due to the flea life cycle, exterior treatments should be performed monthly for maintenance after four weeks of once-weekly application. Keep in mind that you and your pet could still get a flea now and then.
Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Fleas
Diatoms are used to create the fine powder known as diatomaceous earth. Microscopic silica jagged edges can be seen on diatomaceous earth particles. The exoskeletons of many insects, including fleas, are harmed by these sharp edges.
When using diatomaceous earth in and around your house, be sure it is food-grade. It is advisable to use diatomaceous earth while wearing gloves and a face mask because the microscopic particles might irritate and dry up the mucous membranes and airways. This is safe for people and animals when used in modest doses.
Do not use wet diatomaceous as it’s not effective in humid environments.
Black Pepper Spots on Pets
Have you ever seen tiny, black, pepper-like flecks on the fur of your pet? The primary component of flea dirt, which is the feces of fleas, is dried animal blood. Flea soil will seem reddish-black under close inspection. Try placing the debris on a white paper towel and softly soak it to see whether it truly is flea dirt. You’ll notice that it has a reddish-brown color.
Using a flea comb can get rid of flea filth. To get rid of fleas in your home, however, you must repeatedly remove flea filth.
Why Does My Pet Have Fleas When I Use Flea Control Regularly?
Having your pet treated with an efficient flea control treatment is the most effective way to totally eliminate a flea infestation. However, these measures alone won’t get rid of fleas on your dog. You should also treat your home to reduce flea numbers and avoid serious infestations.
There are several ways to avoid pet fleas, some of which are more effective than others. While some products complement each other well, others contain the same components that can cause negative side effects and shouldn’t be used concurrently. While some are exclusively available with a prescription, others are provided without a prescription.
Flea washes, dips, and sprays were common flea treatments in the past. The most useful products today come in tablet, topical “spot-on,” or collar form. More recent therapy alternatives are more successful than older products. This is due to the fleas’ quick life cycle, which allowed them to gradually build resistance to the less potent treatments.
Listen to your veterinarian, pick a product that has been shown to be helpful rather than counting on extremely cheap alternatives or pointless flea washes. Use it consistently. A flea infestation typically requires at least three months of diligently using an efficient flea management method. Along with this, thoroughly clean and vacuum your home. Treat your house and yard with a safe flea-killing solution.
Every day, examine your dog. Using a flea comb is the most effective method for flea detection. These tiny combs’ closely spaced teeth are made to move through hair and pick up everything on the coat. The lower back area near the tail is a popular “flea-zone,” so be sure to comb all over your pet’s body while paying special attention to this area. If you still notice fleas and flea filth after using pet flea treatment for a week, your flea control is ineffective. Request a different product from your veterinarian.
Itching, Scratching, and Hair Loss
Pets who are allergic to flea bites can experience particularly severe itching from fleas. Pets who claw and bite at itchy skin aggravate it and cause hair loss. It’s possible for pets to get secondary skin infections that need treatment.
Don’t think that your pet’s skin problems are mostly due to fleas. Fleas may aggravate a skin issue that your pet already has. Alternatively, your pet can be flea-free but still have a skin issue unrelated to fleas. If your pet continues to have skin problems, immediately visit your vet.
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