HOW TO MAKE FLEAS GO AWAY THIS DECEMBER
Make no mistake about it, fleas are present not just during the summer; they are present the whole year-round. They mostly hide indoors, hiding in the furs of our pets while feeding on their blood.
One obvious sign that you have flea problems in your house is seeing your pet has itching and scratching harder than usual. Of course, you would not want such fate to befall him just as you would not allow anything to happen to a family member.
No matter if it is December, fleas do not really choose the date of their attack. Summer is usually the time we get to worry about fleas, but they can also be a nuisance during the winter months.
The best thing we can all do for our family and pets is to make our environment free from fleas. It is important to note that fleas attack humans as well, making your kids vulnerable to itchiness, infection, and worse, diseases! In this article, we will show you how to get rid of fleas yourself. After all, a flea-free home is a happy home.
To be more effective in getting rid of fleas on dogs, let us first take a closer look at what they are.
Description of fleas
There are around 2,500 identified species of fleas. They are tiny insects that have reddish-brown bodies and grow about 0.12 inch to ⅙ inch long. They are parasitic, feeding on the blood of warm-blooded animals and humans, which is called hematophagy. They are flightless but have strong legs that make them excellent jumpers. Adult fleas eat a lot, as they can consume as much as 15 times their own body weight. Their bodies are flattened sideways, with long claws on all of their six legs. Since they prefer hairy hosts, this body shape enables them to easily move through their hosts’ feathers or fur. While other insects have compound eyes, like flies and cockroaches, fleas have simple eyespots with one biconvex lens. There are even some fleas do not have eyes at all.
Fleas are equipped with strong legs that are adapted for jumping. They can jump up to 6 inches vertically, so they can easily latch on to a host who happens to pass them by. Their mouthparts are designed for sucking blood.
Fleas go through different stages all through their lives: the egg stage, larva, pupa, and finally the adult stage. After the eggs hatch, they become larvae. They are tiny and look like worms. This stage lasts for 5 days. It then gets into a cocoon. It stays there until they sense a host, after which they emerge as adult fleas. An adult female can lay as much as 40 eggs a day and would only take two days to hatch.
A female flea, once it had its first blood meal, can lay eggs after 1 to 2 days of that meal. Then the cycle would start all over again.
Fleas also feed on human blood
Fleas prefer feeding on dogs and cats, but when they are not around, they would happily settle for humans. Fleas have high body temperature, so they cannot really thrive on humans. They would not be able to breed on humans too, but they can with dogs, cats, or hamsters.
Fleas as vectors
Fleas are also known to spread various diseases, some of them being deadly and need immediate medical attention. The bubonic plague, for one, eradicated more than half of Europe’s population during the Middle Ages. Though this disease is still present p until now, it is quite easy to cure as long as it is given immediate medical attention.
Some other diseases that fleas are known to transmit include Rickettsial diseases, bartonellosis, murine typhus, tularemia, and tungiasis.
Signs of fleas
Fleas are very tiny insects, and some people who do not see very well or do not have very clear eyesight will have a difficult time spotting them. Still, there are signs to help us know if fleas are around. You may check your dog’s fur for the presence of flea droppings. Their feces look like brown specks of dirt. To pick them off, get a paper towel and remove them. If after a few minutes these specks spread out like bloodstains, then your dog has fleas.
An increased scratching and licking by your dog is another warning sign. Look for fleas on your dog’s belly, armpits, ears, inner thighs, and tail.
Fleas can also be found in areas where your dog frequents. Look for them on the carpets, bedding, couch, and other areas. They could be all over the house, so be wary.
How to manage fleas
Fleas affect both pets and humans, so it is best that we get rid of them at once. Before looking for a professional pest exterminator, try these DIY.
Check out these tips on how to get rid of fleas.
- If you are just starting to have a flea infestation, you can use rosemary for flea control. This can be in powder or oil form. Seep rosemary in hot water and apply on your pet’s fur. Do not use on cats.
- Use food-grade diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is made of fossilized remains of diatoms. It is like little shards of broken glass. When insects crawl on it, it inflicts little cuts on their bodies, causing them to bleed and die eventually. Diatomaceous earth works as long as it is kept dry. If it gets wet, apply some more. Re-apply once a week for a month. You may purchase this from a local gardening store near you.
- Table salt is an effective killer of fleas. Salt dehydrates fleas, thus killing them eventually. Sprinkle table salt around the house. Leave for a few hours, then vacuum the areas where you sprinkled the salt. Seal and throw away the vacuum’s bag properly.
- You can also use boric acid. Like table salt, it dehydrates fleas and dries them out, killing them eventually. Sprinkle boric acid on areas where you think there are fleas. To make sprinkling easier for you, use a shaker. Do not forget to label it as “Boric Acid” so as not to confuse it with other ingredients in the kitchen.
- A vacuum cleaner is an effective tool in getting rid of fleas. Vacuum areas that your pet frequents, like the carpet, couch, and bedding, among others. Set the vacuum to its highest setting. After you are done, seal the vacuum’s bag and dispose of it properly.
- Lemons can help keep the fleas away. Boil some lemons and let it seep overnight to allow oil and juices to mix with the water. Put inside a spray bottle and spray over furniture, bedding, carpet, and directly on your pet’s coat.
- Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray this on your pet’s coat for protection. Apple cider vinegar repels fleas.
- Use a flea comb. It is simple, yet effective. Get a bowl and fill it with soap and water. This will be for dipping the comb after running it through your pet’s fur. This will drown the fleas.
- Now, let us focus on your pets. Wash your pet starting from the head, down to the tail. Wash your pet’s eye cavity, armpits, rectum, and neck. Fleas hate getting wet. Lather up your pet for at least 15 minutes to make sure you get all the fleas. Get a flea shampoo containing rosemary, citrus oil, or eucalyptus. It is advisable to consult with your vet first before using any kind of shampoo.
- Wash all of your bedding in hot water. Include that of your dog’s. Dry it at the highest heat setting. However, if there is a severe infestation, throw away the bedding.
- In your yard, mow your lawn regularly. Put the contents in a bag and dispose of properly.
It could be quite an enormous task to get rid of fleas. Not only should we focus on our pets, but on the entire house as well as in your yard too.
If you are a bit overwhelmed, then do not worry. You can easily call the best pest control professionals in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Go-Forth Pest Control is the leading pest control exterminating company in North and South Carolina, with 60 years of excellent experience exterminating pests like fleas, mosquitoes, roaches, mice, rats, weevils, silverfish, flies, poisonous spiders, and bed bugs.
We have a team of highly trained and friendly professionals, using only the latest and most advanced equipment in the business. We employ only family-friendly and pet-friendly methods so you can be sure that you and your family will be safe with Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 60 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.