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How To Get Ride of Fleas?

What are they?

Fleas are small reddish brown, wingless insects approximately 1.5 to 2.5mm long. They are capable of jumping 1 to 2 feet. They are covered with microscopic hair which helps them attach to the pets fur upon contact.

Why do they live on pets?

Fleas drink blood from hosts to survive. On occasions when the pet they previously fed on is no longer around or when the newly hatched fleas cannot find the host in a timely manner. Then fleas focus their feeding activity on people that reside inside the home.

Signs that your pet might have fleas:

1) Itching and Scratching
2) Chewing at the base of the tail
3) Flea Dirt
4) Fleas moving on the pet

Flea dirt
How did we get Fleas into our home?

Fleas often come from the pets. Fleas jump onto pets when in proximity of other pets or infested areas. They attach to the animal, and then infest its fur and eventually end up in the home. For every one flea on the pet, there could be up to 99 fleas in the home, in the form of flea eggs and larvae. It could be very difficult to prevent Fleas from both the home and yard and potentially involves treating the home with high amounts of pesticides. Without a proactive approach, pet owners are vulnerable to an infestation.

How do they infest a home?

Upon drinking blood from the pet, each flea lays 20 to 50 eggs. These eggs drop down into the carpet, furniture or floor crevices where they form the larvae. The Flea larvae form a cocoon around them. Which protects them from pesticides and harsh environments. Whenever there is body heat or vibration near them, these larvae hatch out and jump on the pets to get a blood meal. The cycle repeats many times.

Flea Cocoons are highly resistant to pesticides.


How bad are Fleas?

When they bite pets to get blood, they inject their saliva into the pet. Flea saliva prevents the pet’s blood from clotting. Flea saliva is highly allergenic and causes pets to become itchy and eventually loose hair from scratching. This condition is called “Flea Allergy Dermatitis”. Flea bites leave the host with numerous swollen, itchy marks. Fleas can cause anemia if the infestation is severe. They may cause allergic reactions in people and can transmit diseases from pets to people like tapeworms. Some fleas are implicated in spreading the plague.  One CDC report showed that the number of illnesses caused by flea bites tripled between 2004 and 2016.

How to Get Rid of Fleas?
Pet Flea Prevention is the most important step:

The best way to get rid of Fleas is by constantly protecting the pet with flea preventives. This will usually kill the Fleas before they can lay eggs. Because Flea eggs and larvae can live up to 13 months in some cases we strongly recommend keeping the pet on prevention for 2 years nonstop.

Fleas are becoming resistant to several pet preventives, so over the counter flea medication is highly discouraged. Drug companies are coming with new generation of Flea preventives every few years. The latest generation Flea preventives are highly effective and safe.

There are reports of counterfeit preventives from online pet pharmacies so we highly encourage getting these from your veterinarian.

Best Care Animal Hospital in Matthews price matches any published preventive prices from reputed suppliers.

For the home:

While we strongly discourage use of heavy pesticides inside the home partly because the flea cocoons are resistant to them. And partly because of your health and safety. Sometimes it is inevitable that pesticides may be your best option.

The flea larvae are susceptible to heat, so steam mop and vacuum cleaning are promising. Clothes steamer may be used for furniture. Changing the carpet to hardwood floors may help to some extent.

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Best Care Animal Hospital

Conveniently located in Matthews, North Carolina, we are thrilled to offer a wide range of veterinary services for dogs and cats in the greater Charlotte area. We provide preventative care and a number of other services to keep your pets feeling their best.
Best Care Animal Hospital

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1730 Matthews Township Pkwy
a1, Matthews, NC 28105