If you have pets, they may be bothered by fleas, and the fleas may also bother you.
Flea Bite on Human
Fleas are very small blood-sucking insects that feed on dogs, cats, other available animals. They will even bite humans.
The fleas mostly bother the pets. Pet owners may not be bothered by fleas as long as their pet is always around to be the host for fleas. However if the pet is gone for awhile, then the fleas will look for another place to go, like to a nearby human.
Most pet owners feel sorry for their pets when they see them constantly scratching, as the flea bites itch and cause them to be uncomfortable. It is even worse when the pet owner is bitten by fleas. A flea bite is intensely itchy and secondary infections are common.
It is best to get rid of the fleas, then neither the pet or the pet owner will be bothered.
Comb your pet. Flea combs are very effective tools in the suppression of adult fleas. They allow hair to pass through the tines but not the fleas, removing fleas as well as flea feces and dried blood. When fleas are caught by the comb, deposit them in hot soapy water to kill them.
Vacuuming your home to remove eggs, larvae and adults is the best method for initial control of a flea infestation. It is important to vacuum carpets, cushioned furniture, cracks and crevices on floors and along baseboards.
Pay particular attention to areas where pets sleep. Wash all pet bedding in hot soapy water every two to three weeks. If an infestation is severe, discard old pet bedding and replace it with fresh, clean material.
In some cases it may be necessary to steam clean carpets, as the hot steam and soap can kill fleas in all stages of the life cycle.
Flea collars are available for dogs and cats. These collars are impregnated with an insecticide that is toxic to fleas. These have become less popular in recent years as their effectiveness is inconsistent or poor. They protect the neck area of the pet, but not much more. In addition, children petting the dog or cat can get the insecticide on their hands, which is not a good thing.
Follow this link to see Flea Collars available on Amazon.com.
Topical flea control products contain insecticide ingredients that are applied to your pet and will protect it from fleas for about a month. You apply these ingredients using an applicator tube. Typically you part some hairs, and find some skin, usually on the back between the shoulder blades, then apply the contents of the applicator tube. The active ingredients spread via body oils to hair follicles and then kill the insects. These products contain two ingredients, one kills adult insects , and the other prevents any laid eggs from hatching.
Topical flea control products recommended by veterinarians include:
Frontline Plus, Advantage II and K9 Advanatix II. A summary of these products is shown in the following table.
|Product||Available For||Insects Killed||Active Ingredients|
|K9 Advantix II||Dogs||Fleas||Imidacloprid|
Fibronil, Imidacloprid, and Permethrin are insecticides. S methoprene and Pyriproxyfen are growth regulators.
These products are applied once a month and are water resistant. Some of these products come in different strengths, depending on the weight of your pet.
Typically one would buy a six pack that would cover your pet for 6 months and would cost between $40 and $60.
These flea control products are available at Amazon Flea Control
Credit: Flea photo courtesy of Parasite and Diseases Library, Australia.
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