Fleas are tiny insects visible with the naked eye. Nevertheless, they often stay a long time unnoticed as they are well hidden in the animal fur.
Often one recognises the flea infestation at first only with typical symptoms, such as itching in the infected animals. In addition, often the traces of the blood-suckers are recognisable most clearly as the pesky critters can leave their droppings. In this article we will learn how to get rid of fleas.
Home Remedies To Get Rid of Fleas
Identifying Flea Infestation:
A clear sign of flea infestation are the flea faeces, resembling small black granules. They can be located with a special flea comb. These combs are available at your vet or can be purchased from a pharmacy or in the pet store.
Pull the comb through your dog or cat’s coat. Make sure that the comb is placed directly over the animal’s skin. If you see black crumbs on the teeth, it may be flea dirt.
Damp Paper Towel Test:
If you do not have a comb available, place a white towel on your pet and rub with your hands through the fur. Here the same diagnosis applies. Should black grains trickle down, the animal might have fleas.
Take the crumbs with a damp white paper towel and crush them lightly. If the paper stays black, it is harmless dirt. However, if the paper turns red-brown, your pet most likely has fleas.
Time To Get Rid of Fleas Properly:
If the diagnosis indicates flea infestation, it is time to act quickly and thoroughly. The affected animal should be treated as soon as possible with a spot-on preparation. It is a small vial whose content is applied as a droplet amount directly on the neck of the host animal.
The drug kills almost all fleas within 24 hours after using on a dog or cat. Besides, it is effective up to four weeks usually and every flea jumping and biting even later on the animal, also dies. For dog or cat, the drug agent is not dangerous, however, make sure that the preparation cannot be licked.
So How Bad is The Infestation?
The visible and adult fleas account for only about five percent of the total infestation. The invisible flea breeding area, on the other hand, makes up to 95 percent.
It is located for example in carpets, upholstery and on the slabs of dogs and cats. Therefore, all traffic from the animal rooms and spaces must be cleaned thoroughly.
All textiles with which your pets have come into contact should be washed if possible at least 60 degrees. All non-washable surfaces which provide an excellent breeding ground for the flea larvae and the other environment should be cleaned very conscientiously with the vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner.All non-washable surfaces which provide an excellent breeding ground for the flea larvae and the other environment should be cleaned very conscientiously with the vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner.
Dispose of the bag of your vacuum cleaner immediately after usage to prevent larvae escape. As a precaution, you should also treat all spaces with an ambient spray. Pay particular attention to the careful treatment of sofas, mattresses, bonded carpets and also gaps in the floor.
First Improvement After Four Weeks:
If the pests inhabiting your pet are still not gone after four weeks, you should clarify the following questions:
- Is there a permanent flea source that is not treated, for example, a neighbouring animal in the house or a hedgehog nest in the garden?
- Is the administered drug agent not high enough dose for your cat or your dog?
At this point, it is best to seek advice from your veterinarian.
Fleas in humans:
The big problem at the flea infestation is that the creepy crawlies never actually show up individually. A dog or cat serves the fleas merely as a food source. Very easily they make it at your home and reside anywhere in crevices and niches where they lay their eggs.
It is a serious issue since although most fleas rather survive on animal blood; some people are susceptible to flea bites. Also, the little bloodsuckers can transmit tapeworms, and that can be dangerous to pets and humans. Flea bites can transfer parasites too. Fleas can jump onto humans and bite, causing itching and allergies.A serious health hazard was caused by fleas in Central Europe. In the 14th century, 25 million people were killed by bacteria transmitted by rat fleas. Improved hygiene standards have however eliminated the risk of such a plague to practically impossible nowadays.
Nevertheless, caution is still necessary today. Allergies can still be triggered by cats and dogs, for example . The more dangerous is the Dipylidium Caninum, for which the cat flea is an intermediate host. These tapeworms can also colonise humans if accidentally swallowed. Especially children are at risk when they are playing and cuddling with infected pets.
More recent research suggests that fleas are also responsible for a number of viral diseases in cats as an intermediary parasite or at least accelerate its spread.
What Does The Flea Look like?
The common flea is red-brown, two to three millimetres long, and just visible to the naked eye. Two of its six legs are special jumping legs and ensure that it can hop – in most cases, from animal to animal, particularly at risk are, for example, dogs that play a lot with other conspecifics.
Hedgehog nests in the garden also pose a threat. But even if you are without pets you can catch fleas. For example, working in the garden, the forest walk or visiting animal lovers.
To protect yourself against fleas:
If you keep pets, you should check your pets regularly for unwanted fur residents. The earlier a flea infestation is discovered, the better we can fight against them. Most convenient is a regular prophylactic administration of a spot-on preparation, so you can prevent the infection before it can ever happen. Especially long-haired animals should be regularly groomed by careful combing. Avoid if possible, contact of your cat or your dog with stray and neglected animals.
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Fleas can also penetrate without you having your own pets in your home – for example, as an unwelcome souvenir of livestock farmers or animals that are your guest. Hedgehogs, which nest in your garden, also are popular flea carriers and can get these little beasts transferred to you. Be sure to thoroughly wash hands after gardening.
Regular monitoring of flea infestation and thorough vacuuming and cleaning your living environment are therefore the best precautions to get rid of fleas and also to avoid them in the first place.