Fleas: The definitive guide and how to eliminate them
In the world of insects there are lots of species, but there is one in particular that, despite its small size, is capable of affecting not only our pets, but also ourselves. Surely you know what we are talking about, and yes, it is about the tiny and annoying fleas, a real plague that can cause us a big headache if we do not pay enough attention and treat the problem before it gets worse.
Here we will tell you everything you need to know about these unpleasant bugs, and we will even leave you some tips and tricks to end them once and for all.
What are fleas?
Fleas are tiny insects of dark color, without wings and with great agility, which feed on the blood of their guests through a tube-shaped mouth, specially designed for it. Since their size is between 1.5 and 3.3 mm long, these bichillos are a bit difficult to see, mainly because they are quite fast and because they tend to jump from one side to another, making it difficult to detect them.
These little monsters often live hidden in the hair of pets and between carpets, tapestries and other objects inside the home, prepared to feed on our dogs or cats, and even ourselves.
Why do fleas appear?
Fleas are like little vampires that need the blood of some unfortunate host to feed and survive, so, usually, their appearance is caused by the presence of an animal that receives no special treatment and periodically against these bugs.
Also, flea infestations can occur when being in a place full of them, as they can sneak into our clothes and luggage, traveling with us back home.
Some of the ideal places for the development and reproduction of these unpleasant animals are carpets, quilted sofas and upholstery, as well as the hair of our pets. They adapt especially in environments with warm temperatures and high humidity, so that the stables and enclosed spaces are a perfect target for their appearance, especially because these insects also feed on the remains of desquamation of other living beings, and this is usually the case. most bites or bites of these pests occur.
The main signal that indicates the presence of fleas are the bites suffered by pets and people, where some of them are more vulnerable than others.
Types or species of fleas
There are many species of these animals, but the most common and problematic in the United States are the following:
It is a small insect that affects not only cats, but also foxes, rabbits, horses, dogs and even man. Although we can think that it is more frequent to find it in cats, this is the species that abounds most in dogs, and can produce some diseases such as those caused by the bacterium Bartonella and the intestinal worm Dipylidium caninum.
This type of flea is very similar to the flea of the cat and is usually more often in dogs, but can also attack cats and even people. This species is capable of transmitting the so-called dog tapeworm or Dipylidium caninum, which can also affect humans.
It is a species of flea that lives in the nests of birds during the winter and, with the arrival of spring, begin to jump from one side to another in search of a bird to feed. As a result, these bugs can appear in homes or can also be purchased when working in gardens near infested nests. They multiply rapidly in the poultry houses and, fortunately, they only remain in the houses for a short time and reproduce only in the nests of the birds.
Despite the name that has been given, this species is often observed more frequently in cattle and dogs, but can also affect other animals such as pigs and rats. In ancient times, this type of flea used to live on men of all social classes, due to hygiene conditions. However, at present, their probability of proliferation in homes is really minimal, since nowadays houses are much cleaner and without so much humidity, which prevents the larvae from surviving.
Flea bites or stings
As we have said, fleas need to feed on the blood of a host in order to survive, and this is done by leaving a kind of bite on the skin of the victim.
The bites of this animal usually cause allergic dermatitis, especially in the belly, rump and inner side of the thighs of animals that have been bitten, and the most common symptoms are the reddening of the skin, scratching irritations and formation of pustules.
As consequences of a flea bite we have:
- Allergic reactions.
- Redness of the area.
- Crusted lesions
- Seborrheic variations.
- Hair fall of the animal.
- Damage from the itching and licking of the pet in the affected area.
Regarding the treatment against fleas, it requires great dedication and is not always successful, so the problem can not be eradicated altogether. Thus, in the case of hypersensitive patients to allergens present in the saliva of these bugs, it is extremely important to include in the treatment a prophylaxis against reinfestation by fleas.
Are fleas dangerous?
Despite how tiny they are, fleas can be very dangerous if they bite your host, as they can cause irritation, intense itching and more delicate diseases in animals and very sensitive people.
The massive attack of these bugs on young or small animals can cause anemia due to the large amount of blood that these animals extract from their prey, in addition to transmitting different endoparasites that can seriously affect their health.
Do fleas transmit diseases?
The fleas of the cat, dog and man are carriers of what is known as Dypilidium or dog tapeworm and can transmit it through their bite. You can tell if a dog has this endoparasite or not by examining their stool and see that they contain proglottids similar to pumpkin seeds.
In case the Dypilidium carrier flea is ingested or bitten, the growth of the parasite can continue in the intestine, becoming an adult and further complicate the situation. For this reason, it is recommended to treat prophylactically all pets that have been detected the presence of these bugs, administering an internal antiparasitic that can eradicate the problem.
On the other hand, fleas can cause skin conditions such as local irritations, allergic dermatitis and other reactions of the organism in response to their bite, so, of course, we face terrible animals that can become more dangerous than that seem.
How to eliminate fleas?
When we see an infestation by fleas, it is necessary to resort to a multifaceted treatment plan, since attacking the problem only on our pet will not be entirely effective to eliminate these unpleasant insects. In view of this, a good anti-flea control must include the use of chemical and natural methods, which must be applied in the pet and in the external and internal areas of the house, although, of course, the first thing to do is to examine the pet daily to detect the presence of these bugs in time, because if they are exterminated in its early stage, it is possible to neutralize its negative effects both in the pet and at home.
Now, it is very important to make sure that it is an infestation by fleas to proceed with the treatment, because these insects are not the only ones that can affect our pet, and may be some other animal. To determine if the problem your pet presents is caused by these tiny bloodsucking guests, it is best to contact a veterinarian, who will tell you what are the best methods to attack the problem and alleviate the discomfort your pet suffers.
See specialists in pest control
In addition to this, you should contact a pest control specialist, who will request a prior visit to assess the situation. You must make sure that the house is completely clean before receiving the specialist, so you should vacuum, sweep and mop every corner, wash the bedding and collect everything that may be on the floor. Once you have done this, the specialist will proceed with the most appropriate treatment to combat flea infestation. It will also tell you what to do to prevent future infestations and what are the most effective products to deal with the problem should it reappear.
Home remedies to eradicate fleas
If you have not been convinced by the idea of resorting to a special treatment with chemical products for pest control, we have brought you some homemade and very practical recipes that can help you and your pet in case of having a flea problem.
The vinegar of apple or vinegar of white wine works like a natural repellent against the fleas, you can apply it on the coat of your pet and the best thing is that it will not leave any stain.
Once you have bathed your pet with your usual shampoo, apply 1 cup of vinegar on wet hair, preventing it from falling on the animal’s eyes and muzzle. Leave on for about 5 minutes and remove with plenty of water. Then, brush your pet with a fine metal comb and dry it as usual.
The citrus aroma of the lemon helps to keep the fleas away from your pet and your house, so, take 1 liter of water and put it in a little dish until it boils. Add a chopped lemon slices and, after a few minutes, remove from heat and let cool overnight. The next day, sprinkle some of the mixture on the hair of your pet, being careful not to apply it on the eyes or on the muzzle (it is not necessary to remove the liquid afterwards).
This same remedy can also be used to clean the areas of your house where the problem is greatest. You only have to pour part of the mixture in a container with spray and spray it for the places that you think are necessary, like the floor, the padded furniture, the carpets and the places where your pet is usually.
Other tricks to kill fleas
If for some reason or other you can not prepare the home remedies that we have given you, then here we leave you two more tricks to kill the fleas in a heartbeat.
This is a very easy to find medicinal plant that works great to ward off pests like fleas. To benefit from its properties, you can plant it in your garden, since its smell will help to repel these annoying insects, or you can also make some bags with cloth and dry wormwood, and place them everywhere inside your home, especially in the most affected areas.
As you know, fleas leave their eggs on the ground, carpets and cracks, where they can not be found and can grow with complete freedom. However, these larvae can only develop in humid environments and this is something that salt can solve.
When we pour some fine salt on our carpets, sofas and on the floor itself, it adheres to the fleas and their eggs, drying them and killing them. Of course, we must let the salt act for at least 8 hours and then vacuum the residues that have remained there. This procedure can be repeated every 2 or 3 weeks, until we make sure that the fleas no longer live in our home.
Well, now that you have learned all about these despicable little animals, we hope you can make them disappear from your life and that of your pet with the help of our simple but effective advice.
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