An Everything Guide to Fleas wouldn’t be complete without a discussion about flea home invasions. We’re all caught up on flea-borne illnesses to which cats, dogs, AND humans can succumb, if bitten by a flea. And if we are going to fight the flea, we must understand the flea – something we covered last week in our Guide to Fleas and your Pet – Part 2 (know the enemy). Now let’s talk about fleas in the home.
It’s a sensitive topic. A lot of people don’t like to think about it, much less talk about it. But preventing and treating an infestation, whether in our home or on our pets, is definitely something to understand and actively take steps against.
Determine Whether it’s a Flea Home Invasion
Itching, biting, and scratching among dogs and cats are not always the result of fleas. Our fur-babies can suffer from a variety of maladies that result in itching and scratching. They could have mites, dry skin, allergies, abrasions, contact with a toxic substance (such as a poisonous plant that causes skin irritation), and more! In some rare cases, our pets may not even find flea bites itchy, which means there could be an infestation right under our noses.
Luckily, there are a few tell-tale signs we can look for that will reveal the presence of fleas without fail.
- Use a comb to separate the hair and look for live fleas. Be sure to do this in a well-lit area. Fleas are fast and are experts at hiding. If we separate the hair along the back and rump, we may see them quickly running for cover.
- While we’ve got that comb and our furry friend in a well lit area, look for a black peppery powder-like substance in their fur and along their skin. This is a common byproduct of a flea invasion and is specific to this type of pest.
- Look for flea bites. These bites will often look like tiny, pink or red pimples. If there is a rash, clusters of red spots, or smooth red areas, it could still be fleas that are causing allergic reactions and heavy irritation, but it could also be another cause. Getting a second opinion from a vet can help.
Remember that it’s possible to have a flea home invasion without our pets being the cause. Check for the possibility of other furry critters in the house. Fleas are attracted to all warm-blooded animals, including birds, mice, opossums, raccoons, and squirrels. Checking for living spaces, like crevices, cracks, the attic or basement, may help lead to a discovery of the culprit. Even visiting dogs or playful dogs at the dog park can lead to fleas in our home. We can treat our pets, but if we find another culprit, we should figure out how to address that as well.
Fight Flea Home Invasions
It can happen to anyone. Fleas are talented pests that can hitch a ride on anyone and nearly anything. And because of their lifecycle, they are able to survive many climates. To cap it off, fleas are able to survive for long periods of time without feeding.
Check out these fast facts and stats to get a better idea of exactly how amazing fleas can be, given the right circumstances. It’s important to know that those of us facing a home invasion can go in armed and confident that the flea can indeed, be conquered.
There are two ways to fight a home invasion.
- Get them off our family
- Get them out of the environment.
Getting the fleas off of our family is imperative. And we can’t do a one-time treatment. We need to grow into a preventative, or maintenance routine so they don’t come back. Vets will often recommend dips and baths, chemical drop treatments, and sprays. While the choice is an individual one, at Vet Organics, we use a carefully crafted formula called, EcoBug, that is strong enough to repel the trifecta – fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. But we have engineered our formula to be gentle on cats and canines so they aren’t exposed to toxic chemicals, even at low doses.
Getting fleas out of our environment is the next step. Building these habits will remove them from our environment as well as prevent future infestations.
- Remove critters who may be carrying pests, but are not pets.
- Vacuum often and thoroughly. The flea larvae can live in carpets and people often forget to really get those hard to reach places, like corners, the crack between the carpet and the wall, and under furniture.
- Wash all bedding, including our pet’s bedding. Adult fleas have a fairly short life cycle, but their eggs and larvae can survive for a year until the right conditions present themselves. Getting rid of fleas at all life stages will ensure the invasion really is gone.
- Clean upholstery regularly. Fleas often become adults in the Spring when things warm up. Getting upholstery cleaned in early Spring will help prevent a seasonal infestation.
Prevention of Flea Home Invasions is Key
Remember, prevention of flea home invasions is the best medicine. There are a few ways to help prevent future infestations, but only one repellent that will keep the occasional visiting flea from nesting and becoming a full-blown invasion.
- EcoBug is not only safe and effective against an existing threat, it’s gentle enough to be used as a chemical- and toxin-free preventative measure. Just one simple and easy spritz – our family and our homes will be free from fleas and the danger of flea-borne illnesses.
- Creating an environment that isn’t inviting for fleas, such as weekly and seasonal cleaning will prevent a few stray eggs from turning into a populations.
- Recommending EcoBug to friends, family, neighbors, and peers at the dog park can also be a preventative measure. Remember, fleas can hitch a ride on clothing and fabrics just as easily as our cats and canines.
EcoBug is not only safe and effective against an existing threat, it’s gentle enough to be used as a chemical- and toxin-free preventative measure.
The flea is a pest just like any other and while they are hardy, they can’t withstand these best practices. If you have a friend or neighbor that could benefit from this guide, or if you live in an area that is prone to flea home invasions, share this article with your network. Then, sign up for our newsletter, which is always packed with fun, fascinating, helpful facts for all fur-families.