What You Need to Know to Manage Dog Fleas
Dealing with dog fleas is one of the most annoying things you can do. If you’ve got dogs, chances are you and your pooches have been bitten by dog fleas. You may have even seen them hopping on your dog or around your house, but perhaps have never gotten a good look at them. Dog fleas are tiny brownish-black insects. They have no wings, but are excellent jumpers, with a hearty appetite for blood. Some dogs react to just one flea bite. If you don’t see the actual flea – you may see “flea dirt” which is the bowel movement of the flea. Flea dirt looks like small; flakes of dirt or pepper.
Dog Fleas are Dangerous Pests
Dog’s fleas are perhaps one of the most common pests, but that doesn’t make them any less bothersome or dangerous. When dog fleas bite they inject a tiny bit of saliva to keep the blood flowing and stop coagulation. Some dogs and even some people are highly allergic to dog flea saliva. Allergic dogs may react severely to a flea infestation, scratching and chewing their skin raw. Exposed skin is then susceptible to secondary infections. Allergies from dog fleas are miserable and can cause health issues.
Treating Dog Flea Infestations
Fortunately, modern science has created many possibilities for dog flea control. You should speak with your veterinarian and find out what he or she suggests for flea control in your area since no one is going to be more familiar with local flea infestations. Then you’ll want to develop a complete dog flea elimination plan.
There are oral and topical drugs on the market now that will kill all the dog fleas on your pooch within a matter of minutes or hours. Revolution, Frontline® and Advantage are topical solutions for killing adult fleas on your pooch. A pre-measured dose of liquid placed on the skin between the shoulder blades quickly and effectively kills dog fleas that are living on your canine friend. Capstar is a safe oral medication with similar results. If you’re currently battling an infestation in your home, you may also want to use insecticidal sprays to kill dog fleas in your carpet and your dog’s bedding.
Preventing Dog Flea Infestations
Once you have your dog flea infestation under control, you’ll want to consider prevention. In order to prevent dog flea problems, it’s important to understand their life cycle. Fleas begin as eggs, hatch into larvae that feed on dried blood and dander, and then become pupae, which hatch into adults. The direct source of dog fleas in your home will not be your dog, but rather the hatching pupae.
You’re first best defense again dog flea re-infestation is careful vacuuming, including corners and crevices. Once in the vacuum cleaner bag and out of your carpet you can sprinkle flea powder or another insecticide in the bag and discard it in the trash outside.
It is also highly recommended that you vacuum and treat all of your upholstery, your bedding and mattresses, your pets bedding, pet carriers, pet crates and window-treatments. Since people can also bring in fleas from the great outdoors, check your clothes: long pants, long skirts, socks, shoes for any sign of fleas. A good idea is to never wear shoes inside your home.
If you have dog flea infestation under control, you’ll still want to keep your pooch on a medication that continues to curb fleas. Program and Sentinel are other drugs that work as insect growth regulators and interrupt the life cycle of the dog flea, stopping them from reproducing. Nylar works in a similar manner and is available in the form of sprays or collars.
Of course, you should always speak to your vet when formulating a plan to win the war of the dog flea. With any medication you’ll also want to read the directions on the packaging and follow them carefully. The more you know about the tools available to end dog flea infestations, the quicker you’ll win the war!
I hope this gives you more information about dealing with dog fleas.