Fleas! They are just one of the pests we all have to deal with as pet guardians. And they cause more than just a little itching, scratching, and irritation in our cats and canines. They can cause year-round problems, including the risk of flea-borne illnesses to our entire household. Fleas and our pets need our attention.
To fight the flea, we must understand the flea. Here is a quick reference guide to help pet guardians understand their enemy and fight infestations and irritation.
- Fleas have four life stages (i.e., egg, larva, pupa, adult) that can span over a year. That means it’s not just the adult biting fleas we need to be concerned with.
- There are over 2,000 species and subspecies of fleas, most of which can survive in year-round or close to year-round seasonal conditions.
- Even though they are voracious feeders, a flea can go 100 days without a blood meal, making it difficult to use starvation as a infestation-fighting tactics.
- Fleas and our pets are a concern because of the irritation they cause and because of the threat of a household infestation. A single flea can consume 15 times their weight in blood in one day. That’s a lot of biting! And it’s a lot of irritation.
- A flea will bite our precious canine companions or feline friends within five minutes of hitching a ride and can feed for up to three hours!
- Fleas are known for feeding on cats and dogs, but they actually feed on most wild and domestic mammals, reptiles, birds, and humans.
- Fleas can’t fly, but they can jump eight inches high or 13 inches across a room, which makes it easy for them to nab a host or jump from yards and pets to humans and even to neighboring pets.
- One flea species, the cat flea, is primarily responsible for infestations on dogs and cats, including the diseases to which we are all exposed.
- To get more details on fleas and our pets, how they survive, and how we can fight them, read our Everything Guide to Fleas – Part Two (Know the Enemy)
More than Skin Deep
- An infestation can grow out of control quickly because they can lay so many eggs. One flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her short 50-day lifetime.
- Flea larvae burrow into fabrics, carpet, bedding, and upholstery. Only regular vacuuming and washing all fabrics, including our pet’s bedding, will flush them out.
- Fleas can stay dormant for weeks and even months, emerging when conditions are right to feed on people and pets. This is why they can often survive winters and vacant rental properties.
- It’s common for pups and cats to develop allergies to flea saliva that will significantly magnify the irritation and itchiness they already cause.
- Both humans and our pets can suffer from infection of flea-borne illnesses from bites: Bartonella, bubonic plague, and typhus are just a few examples of diseases both humans and pets can get from fleas. For more about this, read our Everything Guide to Fleas – Flea-Borne Illnesses.
- It’s rare for a flea to jump away from a blood source to another blood source. Meaning, jumping dog to dog isn’t common. Most pets get fleas from their environment where eggs are laid.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
- Infestations are tough to fight but thorough cleanings, vacuuming often, and washing fabrics with hot water are a great start.
- Grooming our pets often can help us watch and monitor the infestation so we can make the best choice on how to manage them. Use a comb to carefully look through the hair.
- Fleas are difficult to kill, so when we catch one, the best way to kill it is to drown it, rather than trying to squish it.
- Fleas in the pre-adult stages live off of organic material, including house plants. Leave diatomaceous earth on house plants and across the top soil. It’s harmless to pets and people, but deadly to insects.
- There are many topic products out there such as, dips, baths, and drips. But there are powerful, yet gentle formulas that act as a year-round solution. EcoBug fights fleas on our pets while also acting as a preventative once an infestation is cleared.
- Keeping our pets in good overall health is one of the best ways to avoid common problems that can develop from flea bites. Regular grooming, a good diet, and a clean environment are all important to prevent infestations and complications.
Fleas and our pets are are a very real concern no matter where we live. They cause diseases, bacterial infections, allergies, itchiness and irritation, and other problems. We can prevent and protect our fur-babies and our households with natural formulas that are powerful aids against fleas and other pests, while being gentle on our pets health. EcoBug is a perfect example of a solution that fights the trifecta – ticks, fleas, and mosquitos, while also protecting our pet’s health with a formula that’s free-from toxic chemicals. Give it a try!