Home Featured articles Protecting Your Pet and Rugs from Flea Infestation

Protecting Your Pet and Rugs from Flea Infestation

Aug 3rd, 2013 By

Have you lately spotted your pet rigorously scratching itself? Even worse, have you been experiencing occasional bites and skin irritation? If yes, your house is under attack with flea infestation. Though, it is impossible to be completely free of them. Total control is possible against these insects.

Every home having pets, at some point of time will suffer from flea invasion. This does not mean that your pets are to be blamed for this assault. These parasites are a bigger nuisance to them than you could imagine. Repeated treatment of your pet is neither helpful nor a complete solution to get rid of fleas. If left unchecked, they can be a real nuisance to humans as well, causing several health risks. One needs to get to the root of the problem so to eradicate and control their spread within the house and, especially on your favorite rugs. Find out practical ways to get rid of fleas from your home.


Understanding the Enemy

Flea 1   Blood sucking parasites 2

Fleas are tiny wingless parasites that thrive in moist places. Any place with a humidity of above 50 per cent is deemed suitable for them to inhabit. They live on pets, especially cats and dogs and occasionally on humans too. Fleas feed on food scraps, skin flakes, feces, and other organic products. However, adult fleas take residence on a mammal for the sole purpose of feeding on the host’s blood that acts as a source of nutrition for them. A female flea must consume blood in order to lay eggs, which otherwise she can do without for about 100 days. It takes between two weeks (under ideal conditions) to about two years in case of scarcity of food for a flea to complete its life cycle. This explains to the reappearance of flea infestations with the absence of a host in between.


Locating their Hideout

Flea on pets 3    Flea on carpets 4

The required conditions to live and the food to survive on are easily available in surroundings as well as our own homes. In fact, infestations are more prone in warmer climates. Fleas usually come in contact with pets from the outdoor environment or other animals, and end up indoors. Surprising as it may sound, only a mere 5 per cent of adult fleas spend their time on a host. The remaining 95 per cent consisting of eggs, larvae and cocoon take residence on floors-carpets, rugs, and even upholsteries. Here is where the invasion begins for carpets and rugs possess fur like features-fibers. As a fact, a single female flea can lay up to 50 eggs every day. Therefore, furnishings such as rugs when left unattended and unclean over a period time become perfect breeding grounds for these critters. Go offensive, uncover their hideout and reclaim your lost ground.


Extracting Fleas from Pets

Regular hygiene 5   Frequent Combing 6

To begin a successful counter attack, first you need to treat the pets in your house for they are often the carriers of these pests. They are several effective ways of keeping your pet flea-less. Nevertheless, remember, hygiene is your best weapon. Regularly bathe your pet using flea soap or shampoo; this will help kill all the fleas living on it. You may also use natural oils, such as eucalyptus or tree oil, which they hate. However, each time before you get your dog or cat wet, apply the skin products to all the vulnerable areas on your pet. For example, ears, nose, mouth, tummy and butt are some of the crucial spots where eggs, larvae and fleas live. Thereafter, lather the body completely for a while, using soap in between. After drying, comb out all the dead fleas. Pets sensitive to skin products can make do with frequent combing using a flea comb, although it is recommended to use it outdoors.


Extracting Fleas from Rugs

Vacuuming 7    Steam Cleaning 8
On the way to damage control, the second step is to decontaminate indoor and outdoor surroundings. Disinfect all possible elements, the foremost being rugs, there is where your dog or cat spends most of its time indoors-a potential nesting site. The first step to eliminate these parasites is to vacuum, vacuum frequently and thoroughly over-across and underneath the rugs with a quality vacuum cleaner. Make sure to dispose the vacuum bag in trash after each use. Fleas are known for their athletic feats; they often jump on to nearby furniture and re-infest rugs. Vacuum all furniture and upholstery items regularly. If it is a case of severe infestation, opt for steam cleaning by renting one. This process ensures even the nastiest of larvae and fleas are killed, which over time may have embedded deep into the rug’s fibers. Using a mixture of detergent and disinfectant wash all your fabrics and dry them completely, leaving no room for moisture.


Preventive Measures for a Flea-Free Home

spot treatment9    Moisture control 10
The above two steps aid to get rid of these blood-sucking critters. Yet, their possible return cannot be dismissed. Preventive measures are your best means to avoid another wave of invasion. For pets, carry out a monthly spot treatment that involves the use of borate mixtures, which require to be applied on your pet’s skin. Oral medication is another effective form; different tablets right from preventing eggs from hatching to killing all fleas that feed on your pet are available. Note-before you implement any of the above procedures, consult a vet.

For rugs, cleanliness is your key. A strict cleaning regime is very important to keep these pests at bay. Regular vacuuming helps; see to it that your surroundings, floors and rugs are dry, lacking moisture, especially high traffic areas. Warm, moist places tend to attract fleas. An occasional sprinkle of salt and borax over your rugs followed by vacuuming after 24 hours will ensure that no larvae or adult fleas dwell on your rugs.

Clean surrounding 11

Being a homeowner, it is your responsibility to protect the health of your pet, family members and your home. This is achievable simply by maintaining hygienic conditions in and around the house. Remember, in the absence of unclean, warm, or moist conditions, fleas cannot breed nor exist. Regular upkeep of your pets and rugs using the stated methods will ensure you live in a healthy flea-free home.

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