Showing posts with label Fleas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fleas. Show all posts

Friday, August 18, 2017

Understanding DOG FLEAS: How Fleas Breed & Affect Your Dog's Health

Fleas belong to the insect order Siphonaptera. They are common pests and may attack many mammals, including man. They can be a year round problem because they infest not only pets but also the home of the owner. Because of this, treatment of the pet alone may only temporarily solve a flea infestation.

Scratching
Scratching - Photo  by    ☺ Lee J Haywood   (cc)
Although many species of fleas feed primarily on one type of animal, the common cat, and dog flea will readily take blood from a variety of animals, including man. Flea infestations of pets and their homes will most likely involve the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis and occasionally the dog flea, C. canis.

Fleas are small (2 to 4 mm in length), brownish to black insects which are characteristically flattened from side to side. Adults are wingless and capable of jumping relatively long distances. Adults feed exclusively on blood with their piercing-sucking mouthparts. When not actively feeding, adult fleas often hide in locations frequented by the host animal such as your dog bedding, sofas, or carpeted areas.

The common cat and dog fleas breed throughout the year. After feeding and mating, the female deposits her eggs, usually on the host. Several eggs are laid daily and up to several hundred over a lifetime. Eggs normally fall off the host into bedding material or similar areas and hatch within two weeks.

Flea eggs accumulate in areas where the host spends most of its time. In addition, adult fleas defecate small pellets of digested blood which also drop off into the environment. A flea comb will often gather this fecal matter at the base of the tines providing a good sign of flea infestation. The combination of white flea eggs and black dried blood specks may appear as a sprinkling of salt and pepper were an infested animal has slept.

Fleas undergo complete metamorphosis, that is, they pass through four developmental stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Immature fleas do not resemble adults at all.

Flea larvae are tiny, light colored, and, worm-like, without legs. They feed primarily on various debris and organic material including the droppings of the adults which contains digested blood. Flea larvae occur indoors and outdoors, wherever the eggs have fallen off the host. In houses, flea larvae live in carpeting, furniture, animal bedding and other protected areas with high humidity. Flea larvae also live outdoors in areas where animals spend time such as under porches in and around dog houses, etc.

Because flea larvae depend on the adult’s fecal pellets of dried blood as a food source, they cannot live in lawns or other outdoor areas unless the pet visits those areas enough to provide this food.

Depending on the species of flea and environmental conditions the larvae will pupate in one week to several months. The pupa is contained within a loose silken cocoon which is often covered by bits of debris. Under average conditions, the life cycle of the flea normally requires between 30 and 75 days but may take much longer. Adult fleas inside the cocoon, called pre-emerged fleas, will stay in that condition for weeks to months if no external cues from a host is available.

However, when disturbed by the presence of a host such as vibrations or carbon dioxide from exhaled breath, the fleas emerge simultaneously and attack the host. This is why it is possible to return to a house or apartment that has been empty for months and find it full of fleas.

When the normal host is available, fleas may feed several times a day but they are capable of surviving extended periods of starvation. In household situations, the normal host is a cat or dog. However, if the normal host is removed, starved fleas will readily seek other sources of blood and more often than not, man is the alternate host. In severe infestations, fleas will attack humans even though the normal host is present.



Certain species of fleas have been known to transmit such diseases as bubonic plague and murine typhus. These have never been a major problem. The major problems with fleas is a nuisance pest of pets. The irritation and itching from flea bites result in scratching and potential secondary infection. Fleas may also transmit the double-pored dog tapeworm to dogs and cats.

Finally, persistent attacks from fleas can cause severe allergic responses in some people and pets. Once sensitized, a single flea bite may produce symptoms including hair loss, usually around the base of the tail, dermatitis, and intense itching. In worse cases, puppies and young kittens can also die from serious fleas infestations.

With proper flea management knowledge, flea problems will not be a big issue and can be a battle and win over easily.



Friday, September 16, 2016

FLEAS - A Common Resident In Every House

They are one of the greatest bloodsucking parasites which can cause lot of damage. These different types of fleas live by sucking blood from mammals and birds. Some of the very common fleas are the cat flea, dog flea, human flea, northern rat flea and oriental rat flea. You may suffer from an allergic reaction and may also get transmitted with severe diseases due to these fleas. Because of the warm, humid and readily available environment in your home, these fleas easily survive without much hindrance.

English: This photo was taken by Andy Brookes ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They procreate in huge numbers which makes them next to - indestructible. Many a times these fleas just become a nuisance other than anything else. Their small fish like structure goes unnoticed which makes it difficult to detect. Presence of pets in your house is another reason for fleas to attack humans. Having a spick and span environment keeps them off from your mattresses. The growth rate is so high that it becomes next to impossible to end the reign of terror. Some of the common affects fleabites have on us is loss of hair, severe allergic reaction - rashes, itchy skin and severe diseases.

Home Remedies for Fleas

Keep your house clean by regular vacuuming as well as cleaning and bathing your pets to avoid any circulation of these parasites.

One of the most natural repellents which we have come across to fight fleas is the eucalyptus leaves. Somehow the smell is a major turn off for them.

You can use borax, which works great against the fleas. Spread it across your house; let it sit for some days and later vacuum your house to remove those fleas.

Spreading cedar chips along your fence line or in your room can keep the fleas at bay. You can also have a tansy plant outside your dogs' pen to keep the fleas away.

Make garlic an important part of pets’ food. Mix it, crush it, mince it, powder it and use it in any form to keep the pest away from the pets.

Adding yeast pills in your dog's diet also gets rid of the fleas. These yeast pills can be easily found in any of the medical stores.

Try diatomaceous earth, is one of the most natural ways to get rid of fleas. It can used be in your house, around the house and on your dog.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

FLEA CONTROL: The In's and Out's of Getting Rid of those Pesky Critters

Bleh – fleas! ‘Tis the season – are you prepared? It’s not just at home where you need to be ready either. Different geographical areas have different climate conditions so the flea season varies depending on where you are – keep that in mind whether you are at home or traveling. Something else to be aware of is that fleas, in various stages of their disgusting lives, can survive indoors even during the cold weather. Following are some helpful facts about fleas and information on how you can prevent them from infesting your pets and your home.

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Photo  by Christina Welsh (Rin) 
Even though there are more than 2,000 known species and subspecies of fleas, only one class of flea called the ‘cat flea’ is to blame for almost all the fleas found on cats and dogs in the United States. What is really daunting is that there is evidence of fleas dating all the way back to the dinosaur era which means they obviously aren’t going away by themselves – all the more reason to do something to protect your pets and family.

Most fleas can survive for an average of two to three months without ‘food’ which is actually the blood they suck from their ‘hosts’.  A female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily! You should also know that while adult fleas suck blood from a cat, dog or other mammal, their larvae live and feed on organic debris in the host animal's environment – that’s your home! Be aware that some fleas can jump 150 times their own length – that compares to a human jumping 1,000 feet. So if you happen to see one flea, there may be more than 100 offspring or adults looming nearby in furniture, carpeting or on your pet.

Now let’s talk about how to prevent these gross little parasites from getting into your life and how to get rid of them if they do. As a pet owner, one of your main responsibilities is to keep your pet healthy. Taking them to the vet for their annual check ups is very important. While you’re there, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about a flea prevention method for your furry friends such as Advantage, Advantix or Frontline. Certain products can also help to prevent ticks in addition to fleas.

If you see fleas on your pets or in your home, take action immediately. Not only are fleas a huge annoyance, but they can also transmit diseases and tapeworm. If your home becomes infested, you will probably need to purchase flea bombs – make sure read and adhere to the directions carefully and contact your vet to get further advice and relief for your pet and family.



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yikes I Saw A Flea On My DOG

Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. See be...
Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At some stage of your pet's lifespan every pet owner will have to deal with the problem of fleas, ticks and mites. If left untreated they can take over your pet's skin and coat so it is really important to keep it under control. It's best to stop the problem before it gets out of control. Rather treat your pet for a few fleas than treat the whole house for an infestation! 

There are some misconceptions about fleas. It is not something that only happens to dirty animals! In fact it is probably more common in clean animals because fleas prefer a clean coat. Coming into contact with other animals also causes exposure to the problem and can start a flea problem in your home.

Fleas, mites and ticks are parasites with a short lifespan so they reproduce quickly. Female fleas can lay up to 25 eggs a day. So you can see just how quickly the problem can get out of hand! They tend to prefer warm conditions so summer and spring are the most troublesome times for pets and owners. 

The main thing is that you want to catch the problem early! This means brushing your dog often and inspecting their coat. Fleas, ticks and mites are tiny black, brown crawling creatures that can even look like dirt. It may help for you to examine the fur under their ears and arms/legs. Fleas like warm places. You can also sea flea egg sacks and flea droppings in their fur if you look closely. If you still cannot see the fleas try combing your dog on a bright surface, something like a piece of paper should work well. 

This is a problem that needs to be treated right away. Instead of heading for the pet store to buy expensive over-the-counter treatments, sprays or dips you should rather seek professional help right away. It will save you time. Your vet should have some pamphlets or handouts about flea control. Some vets even prescribe oral treatments if the problem is out severe. 

If you choose to shop for the products yourself you will need to read the labels carefully to check that you are not inadvertently poisoning your pet! Never allow your pet to ingest any of the products you use; they are highly poisonous. It's also important to protect their eyes from these harsh chemicals. There is a lot of disagreement about whether or not flea collars work. They tend to kill fleas in a localized area around the collar. 

It is important to treat your home for fleas as well. Fleas can survive in almost anything in your home-furniture, rugs and bedding. Any flea treatments will be pointless if the flea's eggs or fleas themselves remain in your living space. 

To clean your home properly you will need to sanitize and clean the areas where the pet sleeps. Depending on the severity of the problem you may need to throw away blankets that have become infested with eggs. Often - just washing the affected bedding in hot water and some flea shampoo should do the trick. Rather safe than sorry though - if in doubt toss the bedding. Having to have your home fumigated will cost a lot more! 

Fleas can become a nightmare for any pet owner. Rather stop the problem early - check your pet everyday for fleas and regularly use a preventative product approved by your vet.