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The Whippeteer: Whippet Dog News, Issue #68 - Fleas - Knowing About Fleas is the Key to Staying Flea
April 20, 2016
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Fleas - Knowing About Fleas is the Key to Staying Flea Free
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dr._Michael_Fredrick_DVM/121343]Dr. Michael Fredrick DVM
Fleas found on our pets are commonly known as "Ctenocephalides felis ". These parasites eat by sucking blood from a host. Fleas are parasites that are species specific, which means they can only live off a couple species. The host that is most commonly affected by the common dog flea is dogs and cats. Fleas can not live on humans but still will bite and have the potential to spread diseases. They use our pets as hosts for meals but spend most of the time off the pet. An average of only 5% of the flea population is actually on the pet. These equates to 95% of the flea population being found in the environment which includes beds, carpet, clothing and in the outside yard. This means that for every 1 flea noticed on your pet there will be at least 9 fleas in the house or back yard. Since fleas only feed on the host, they must jump off to lay eggs in the environment. A single flea can lay close to 1500 eggs during her lifespan of up to 52 days. Fleas like to lay eggs in dark, damp places where there is little exposure to sunlight. The eggs are actually very resistant to chemical cleaners which makes them difficult to get rid off. This is a very ingenious adaptation allowing them to lay dominant until a host passes them. This guarantees that there is a host to feed off before they hatch since fleas must feed within 6 hours of hatching. The eggs are activated by temperature changes, vibrations and carbon dioxide which is put off by the host. There the eggs can lay dominant for up to several months if there is no activity. For example: if your family leaves on vacation then the adult fleas in the house will die from starvation but the eggs will lay dormant until there is movement causing them to activate. This is why your pet may suddenly acquire fleas when you move into a new home and humans may notice fleas bites. When trying to get rid of fleas it is important to treat the whole picture. The first steps hould be to use instant flea killer such as Capstar to immediately kill every flea on your pet. Also, the treatment must be done for all animals in the same house and any other animals they are in contact with. Since we now know that 95% of fleas are in the house, removing fleas from the environment is as important as keeping our pets flea free.
Here are some tips for keeping your home flea free: 1) Vacuum your house regularly especially in areas where your pets sleep 2) Wash all the bedding and rugs that your pets are in contact with in the house 3) Outside- This is also an important part of your home. Keeping your yard nicely manicured will help control the flea population. Cut all overgrown areas of the yard especially in places were your pets like to nap.
Flea Medications: 1) Place your pets on monthly flea preventative immediately. Certain products such as advantage can be repeated every 3 weeks for resistant heavy flea infestations. 2) A short acting fast kill flea product should be used to get rid of the adult fleas on your pets immediately and can be repeated as needed. 3) A type of flea birth control is suggested for inhibiting the fleas from lying eggs. These medications usually come as oral tablets that can be given monthly.
Only veterinary approved flea products should be used and make sure they say if they should be used for cats or dogs. Some dog flea medications are very toxic to cats and can result in death.
Visit PetVetWisdom.com to find vet recommended Flea Medications [http://www.petvetwisdom.com/Health/pet_parasites/Flea_Medications.html] We have researched and found the lowest online providers for these medications.
Petvetwisdom was created by veterinarians to help our pet owners save money on veterinary care and find information on common diseases. We have veterinarians on staff to answer any pet questions via email for no charge.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Fleas---Knowing-About-Fleas-is-the-Key-to-Staying-Flea-Free&id=1993388] Fleas - Knowing About Fleas is the Key to Staying Flea Free
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