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The True Facts About Fleas
As a pet owner, you likely always have fleas in the back of your mind. Especially if your pet is allowed to roam free or housed in the backyard. Whatever the situation, you are likely just sitting around waiting for the next infestation. If this is the case, you are miles above some because there are a lot of pet owners that just consider them a nuisance. Indeed, they are a nuisance, but they pose a much bigger threat than that. Not only to your pets but to you and your family’s health as well. Fleas have been reported to carry and transmit diseases like typhus and plague.
What Fleas Will You Find In Cincinnati?
When most people think of fleas, they just think of fleas. They think of them in a traditional sense. Well, fleas just like other insects are made up of a variety of species. The most common that you’ll encounter in Cincinnati is the Cat Flea or Ctenocephalides Felis. The adults of this species can grow to 1/8 inch long and be shaped with a flat body that appears extremely slim when viewed from overhead. It is their unique size that gives them the natural ability to effortlessly slide between the hairs on your pets. This unique feature also affords them the ability to quickly elude capture by slipping through your fingers.
When most people see the name Cat Flea, they assume that this is a species of flea that only affects cats. This is not entirely the case at all. The Cat Flea can be found on anything from a dog to a skunk, opossum, raccoon, fox, deer, and just about any other mammal. Although it is highly unlikely, these pests will sometimes invade the home when there are no peps present.
Understanding The Flea Bite
Flea bites can be extremely troubling and this is because they not only lead to constant irritation and scratching, but they can lead to hair loss. All of these things are the result of dermatitis. This is an allergic reaction that oftentimes occurs when infected with the flea’s saliva. It is said that it is the proteins in the saliva that cause this type of reaction. There have even been some reported cases when flea bits like this led to extreme blood loss and anemia. Fleas can also lead to tapeworms.
Preventing Flea Infestations
As with most insects, flea prevention is the course. This is because prevention is not only cheaper, but it’s easier. It’s easier to try to prevent them from invading a structure than removing them once they have moved in and set up shop. Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate your threat of flea infestations, but there are things you can do to mitigate your risks. Make yourself a less likely candidate for infestation. You can do that by:
- Always thinking twice about getting a pet, especially if you aren’t going to start flea prevention as soon as you bring the pet home
- Keep your pets on regular doses of flea prevention medications
- Maintain a manicured lawn at a height of 3 inches or lower
- Don’t feed wildlife near the home
- Install heavy gauge wiring or barricade material around your decks to prevent wildlife habitation
- Be diligent about inspecting your pet and their sleep area for fleas
- Wash pet bedding at least once a week
- Vacuum carpets and furniture that pets frequent
While you cannot fully eliminate your risks of fleas, you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to mitigate the risks. It always pays to be mindful of wildlife and your pets, but you’ll want to pay extreme attention during the summer months because this is when fleas will be the most active. And, just remember, if you are in Cincinnati, you always have the option of reaching out to one of our pest management specialists.
Whether you have questions, concerns, or want to set up an appointment for a visit, we have someone standing by ready to assist at the drop of a hat. However, there is only so much we can do from behind our desks so we need to get out to the property as soon as possible.