Without a doubt, you’ve experienced flea difficulties this winter since your pet was exposed to flea-infested pets when visiting areas where they occur or because they came to visit you. Temperatures should be warm enough for your pets to spend time outside in a month or so. This means they’ll be exposed to fleas left behind by other pets, as well as wild/feral dogs and cats and animals like raccoons and possums.
Fleas in dogs and cats are a widespread concern. After each blood meal, adult female fleas deposit 4-8 eggs. The eggs are placed on and within the hairs of the pet, rather than being adhered or bonded to them. These minuscule eggs drop down the floor, furniture, or other surfaces below when the pet sleeps or moves around, where they develop into larvae.
They gradually mature into adult fleas if high moisture (45-95 percent relative humidity; generally given by the pet), warm temperature, and food (dry fecal blood from adult fleas is necessary, as well as organic detritus) are present. The adult flea attaches itself to the pet and stays there until it dies.
It’s worth noting that cats are excellent groomers, killing and removing up to 50% of the fleas on their bodies. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t nearly as good at grooming.
You typically have three options.
1. Have your pet shampooed with a flea-control product by a veterinarian or grooming service.
2. Purchase a flea control product for your pet, which you or your veterinarian may apply.
3. In conjunction with one of the first two alternatives outlined above, have your home and yard professionally treated for fleas. This will provide you with the most effective flea control.
Note: The difficulty with the first two alternatives is that many fleas have developed resistance to the insecticides included in these products to varying degrees.
BEFORE FLEA TREATMENT OF YOUR RESIDENCE
To ensure an effective flea treatment, you must first perform the following.
• Remove any things off the floor or carpet, including closet floorings, such as toys, pillows, and magazines.
• Remove any things or articles from beneath the mattresses and other pieces of furniture.
• If the pet is a cat, clean all of the cat’s favorite spots, such as tabletops, refrigerator tops, window sills, and countertops.
• Replace the pet’s bedding with fresh bedding the day before treatment, or wash the bedding in a hot detergent solution and dry it in the dryer.
• Strip and clean the bedding the day before the treatment if the pet sleeps in a bed.
• Vacuum ALL upholstered furniture, carpets, and floors, taking special care to:
• The pet’s resting place at the foot of the furniture. Underneath the furnishings
• Junctions between the floor and the wall, as well as between the floor and the furniture.
• Overstuffed furniture has upholstered folds and tufted regions.
• Basement and/or garage flooring, especially floor-wall and floor-furniture junctions and pet resting spaces, if present and a pet have access.
• Empty or remove the vacuum bag into a plastic garbage bag, seal the top, and place it in an outdoor trash can as soon as possible after vacuuming.
• Before going for the treatment, cover aquariums, and fishbowls and switch off their pumps.
• Prior to treatment, be prepared to evacuate all inhabitants and pets (even birds).
• After treatment, people and dogs must leave the building for at least one hour.
• It is critical that your pets receive expert flea treatment from a veterinarian or grooming establishment.
• It is recommended that you do this while your home is being treated by a professional.
If your pet spends time outside, it’s a good idea to spot treat the places in your yard where they exercise, relax, and/or snooze, as well as the locations where wild animals do the same. Flea larvae can survive and mature into adults in these situations.
Give Official Pest Prevention a call if you need flea treatments for your house or yard, and let us help you make this summer easier on your home and pets.