Fleas. They seem to be practically indestructible (just try crushing one between your thumb and forefinger if you don’t believe us).
They can cause annoying bites on humans and pets and, more critically, spread some relatively serious conditions to one’s pets, such as Flea Allergy Dermatitis. If a puppy or kitten is overrun by fleas, the youngster could become very anemic and could possibly die.
Fleas, in other words, can be an extremely annoying pest.
What is a flea?
They are tiny parasites that feed on blood. They’re about the size of an ant, but have large bellies that can fill with blood as they gorge on a host.
You can usually tell if a pet has fleas by scratching. But my cat and dog don’t scratch, so they don’t have fleas, right?
We wish. While scratching is a sign of a pet having fleas, not all pets will scratch when they have fleas. Unless your pet’s skin is particularly sensitive and/or she has an allergy to fleas, he may not choose to scratch. You actually could be infested with fleas and not know it.
So how I can tell if my pet has fleas?
Look for little black spots in his fur (they are smaller than pieces of sand). These are flea eggs. You also may see the fleas walking through your pet’s fur (easier to see on white fur). That will tell you.
I only have a cat in my home and she’s an indoor-only cat. So that’s one less thing I have to worry about, right?
No. Fleas can get into your home from the outdoor via people, too.
How long does it take one flea to become a million fleas?
Just six weeks. A flea can go through its entire lifecycle in three weeks, laying 1,000 eggs during that time. Most of those 1,000 eggs will hatch and then go on to lay their own 1,000 eggs in their lifetime. Voila! You’re home is now a large Flea Metropolis.
One of my children is constantly being bitten by fleas, but another one never seems to get bitten. What gives?
If we had the answer to that, we’d be millionaires. It’s a real mystery as to why some people are “tastier” to a flea than others. However, some experts believe that fleas are more attracted to those of us who give off high levels of carbon dioxide gas. This is because the gas lets a flea know that a potential source of blood is nearby.
My neighbor has pets and fleas. I have pets but no fleas. That’s because I keep my home über-clean, right? Dirty homes are the ones that get fleas, yes?
Fleas don’t care how clean your home is. They, in fact, prefer to stay on your pets, not on you or your furniture. (If you do get fleas on people and furniture, that’s because your house has MILLIONS of them; there’s no more room on your pets!)
What can I do if my house has fleas?
First, talk to your local veterinarian about getting fleas off of your dog or cat. Then, if the fleas have moved from the pets to your home (carpets, furniture, people) it’s time to call in a professional pest control company. A professional such as Nature’s Way Pest Control has strong tools at his disposal, and in our case, our tools also are completely natural and are not harmful to people or pets.