Fleas: Your Pets Worst Nightmare

Some pests have certain seasons where you will see a rise in them, and then off they go until next year. Fleas can survive in multiple environments/temperatures and therefore can be a threat the whole year long. They can wreak havoc on your pet, and as the infestation starts growing, they can even start biting you. In this blog, I will talk all about fleas, the signs, the prevention, and what to do if you have them.

Do I Have Fleas?

You can find fleas on pets throughout the year, but numbers tend to increase dramatically during spring and early summer when conditions favor larval development. If you notice your pet scratching or biting their skin, this is a good indication you may have them. This happens because when the flea bites your pet it can cause sharp pain when they bite, their salivary glands give off a substance that’s irritating to many dogs and cats. You can also be on the lookout for “flea dirt”. It looks a little bit like pepper, and your pet can leave it behind on their bedding, carpet, or anywhere they like to lay. When you wipe it up with a wet paper towel it will go from black to brown to red. This is because these specks are actually bits of dried blood.

How Do I Prevent Fleas?

Your pet is very susceptible to fleas, but there are ways fleas can be avoided. Limit the amount of time your animal spends outside. Limit contact with wild and stray animals. Make sure you’re bathing and brushing your pet frequently. Talk to your vet about getting them on medication year-round, to always make sure it kills the adult fleas and prevents new ones from hatching. To prevent fleas in your yard, make sure you are mowing frequently, and not overwatering your yard. Lastly, to prevent fleas in your home, make sure you are vacuuming well and often. Vacuum carpets, rugs, and cushions on chairs and sofas. Also when emptying your vacuum bag, make sure to do it outside the home. Cleaning your pet’s bedding will also help to prevent them in your home.

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How do I get rid of them?

Getting rid of fleas is a difficult process due to the long lifecycle of a flea. Moderate to severe infestations will take months to control and require a four-step process for complete elimination:

  1. Cleaning/Sanitation: Thoroughly clean all the surfaces your pet frequents and may lay on. This includes your bedding, their bedding, rugs, and edges of the walls. Sweep and vacuum all the floors, and make sure to empty the vacuum bag outside.
  2. Treat Your Pet: Every pet in the home must be treated, regardless of if you think they have fleas or not. Bathe all the pets, and then comb them with a flea comb to remove any fleas. Pay careful attention to their face, neck, and in front of their tail. Then talk to your vet about getting them an oral flea medication, or a liquid that applies to their coat. This will help kill any remaining fleas and make sure no more can hatch.
  3. Treat Your Home: Begin home treatment at the same time as pet treatment. This keeps all treatments on the same timeline and helps disrupt the flea life cycle. A licensed commercial pest control applicator can help you determine which products are best for inside your home and in the yard. In your yard, focus outdoor treatment on shady areas and places where pets spend the most amount of time.
  4. Follow-Up: Fleas have a complex life cycle. At some stages of their life cycle they are resistant to insecticides and other flea control products. In order to get rid of fleas in all stages of the life cycle, two or more follow-up treatments within 5-10 days after the first application are needed. Additionally, vacuuming and sanitation practices should be ongoing throughout this period to pick up all remaining eggs and juvenile fleas.

Let Us Treat Your Home

All of us at RH Miller Pest Services take pride in making sure that you and your pet can have peace of mind. Servicing cities like Longwood, in Central Florida for over 29 years, we have the expertise to get the results you desire! Fleas, Bugs, Wildlife, or Lawn; we do it all. Find out why we have a 5 STAR rating on Google today! Give us a call at 407-339-7119.

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