Flea infestations may be irritable, but they are treatable if you follow a methodical and consisten approach and treat both your h...
Fleas can become a big problem for residents across the UK, despite their tiny size. This small parasite, found throughout Europe can carry other parasites and disease organisms to human and animal host; making them a threat to pet owners and non-pet owners alike.
Although fleas are wingless and only average in length about 1/12 to 1/6 inch long, they have powerful legs that enable them to jump up to 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally.
Fleas aren't picky; they can easily hop onto the ankle or calves of a human in order to catch a free ride into your home; and possibly a free meal along the way. Bites cause irritation, blood loss and itching, and some species can spread diseases such as bubonic plague, which killed a quarter of the world's population in the 14th century. Other species of fleas can be intermediate carriers of tapeworms to family pets and can infect humans if accidentally ingested.
Of the approximately 2,500 species of fleas that infest birds and mammals throughout the world, people typically encounter only a few species, including the cat flea, dog flea, human flea, poultry sticktight flea and the oriental rat flea.
Eggs will hatch on the ground, in nests, carpet, bedding, upholstery and cracks in the floor, as well as in sand, gravel and dirt. Most hatch within seven to 14 days. This combined with the fact that a female flea can produce up to 800 eggs during her lifespan and you might start to understand the importance of proper maintenance.
Depending on the stage of development, adult fleas can survive or remain in a limbo state if no blood host is available for up to a year.
High infestation may require you to destroy pet bedding, and treatments to your home, pets and garden can become rather expensive. Despite their inherent toughness and durability, there are steps you can take to protect your home and / or your pets from flea infestation.
You should treat your garden, house and pets all within 24 hours of each other and then again within two weeks when the flea eggs are hatching. You should also use some type of preventative measure on your pets such as Advantage or Frontline.
If you are attempting a do-it-yourself flea treatment, then you should adhere to the following steps closely.
You should be out of your house for three or more hours after treatment, leaving plenty of time for pet owners to have their cats or dogs professionally treated for fleas. Upon re-entering your house, you should vacuum again to remove any remaining eggs.
When it comes to the garden; you should treat / spray a 10-feet band around the perimeter of your house. Once again, you'll need to move all furnishings and other items beyond the 10-feet mark before treating the garden and wash all outdoor cushions and pet bedding. You should also be relatively sure that no rain is in the forecast for at least two to three days after treatment to prevent washout.
Of course it is imperative that product labels are strictly followed. If the label states to use half a bottle for best results, please don't use the whole bottle expecting even better or longer-lasting results; overuse of any pesticide may cause serious injury to both humans and pets and may also damage your home and garden.
Experts agree there is hope for keeping a flea-free home this summer if you follow the proper steps, treat your pets, home, and garden at the same time and remember to use a preventative on your pets for maintenance. Preventatives may be found at your local vets.
For information on controlling fleas and other pests, call your local pest control agency or veterinarian.
Article provided by SDA Pest Control