We all know that fleas are frustrating pests that can bite us and cause red, itchy welts. But surprisingly few people know how dangerous fleas can really be. Do you know that $2.8 billion is spent on flea-related veterinarian bills every year in the United States? Fleas are not a small problem. They can make your dog or your cat very sick. They can also make you very sick. Some of the many illnesses connected to fleas are Murine typhus, tularemia, tapeworm, tungiasis, flea allergy dermatitis, anemia and plague. Take some time to do a little research on each of these. It is well worth your time to be aware of the symptoms and risks involved with each of these flea-borne illnesses. At Montgomery Exterminating, we don't prefer to focus on the bad. We prefer to focus on the good. Fleas can be prevented, and you can reduce the risk they can present to your pets and everyone living in your home. Here are some insights that can help.
Early Flea Detection
In Tulsa, and pretty much anywhere else in the country, the fleas we deal with most often are cat fleas. Cat fleas don't just bite cats. They readily bite dogs and humans as well. These fleas are between ⅙ and 1/12 of an inch long, are reddish-brown, and hard-skinned. Use the following tips to detect them:
- Your first sign that fleas have invaded is likely to be your cat or dog scratching. Flea bites are irritating.
- Your second sign might be the appearance of a flea in the fur of your pet.
- If you suspect that your pet has fleas, perform an inspection. Part the hair on your pet and look close to the skin. This is where fleas are most likely to be.
- Inspect your pet for red, irritated skin or areas of hair loss. Some dogs and cats are allergic to the saliva of fleas and the result of exposure is irritated skin, rashes, hair loss and frequent scratching. This can lead to open wounds on the skin.
Easy Flea Detection
Once fleas have infested your home, they are anything but subtle. Fleas will bite you and create itchy welts. You're also likely to see them springing up from the floor to get onto your feet, ankles, and lower legs. While fleas can't live on you, they have no trouble biting you to get a blood meal.
Okay. You have fleas. Now What?
When a flea infestation takes root, some pet owners turn to "natural" remedies to solve the problem. While we wholeheartedly believe in using "natural" solutions first, flea infestations are extremely difficult to correct with this type of pest control. Here are a few reasons why:
- There are some things that kill fleas on contact, like vinegar, baking soda, salt, dish soap, lemon juice, and diatomaceous earth. But each of these have drawbacks when used to treat your home or your pet. Vinegar, for example, is completely ineffective at killing fleas once it dries. Diatomaceous earth only kills adult fleas that come in contact with it. It doesn't kill eggs or cocooned fleas, so it gets sucked up by a vacuum long before it eliminates fleas.
- You may read that some products drive fleas away or cause them to jump off your pet, but ask yourself, "Where are those fleas going?" They're not going to hop through some crack in your walls and leave. They're stuck with you, no matter how stinky you, your pets, and your home are.
When natural remedies fail, homeowners often turn to chemical products to solve the problem but these can be just as ineffective. They can be applied to the wrong locations. They may only kill adult fleas and not eggs or cocooned fleas. And they do nothing to address mice or rats that may be bringing fleas into your home.
Fleas in Tulsa
The fleas are still biting in Tulsa. Fleas are a year-round problem. The best way to protect your pets from this problem is to reach out to a trusted pest control provider. Whether you're dealing with an infestation right now or you're hoping to avoid an infestation, we can help. Ask us how. Get in touch with us today. We're standing by to assist you with eliminating all your pest problems.