Flea Pest Control
What you need to know about flea control
Fleas are pests, in every sense of the word. Once they have made themselves at home, they can be very difficult to eliminate. These tiny parasites feast on blood and, contrary to what some people believe, they will bite humans. Usually the problem starts with a family pet. When a pet is infested, so is their environment. This means their entire living space, inside and out, should be treated as well.
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Flea Control in the Home
In order to eradicate fleas from the entire home, persistence and thoroughness are needed. A good carpet cleaning along with sprays and flea bombs will often do the trick. Flea bombs are available in pet stores, and they usually work, but may need to be done two or three times. In addition, a flea spray might be used for those cracks and crevices that the bomb might not reach. The home should be vacuumed frequently, paying attention to hiding places like under couches, coffee tables, beds, etc. All this will need to be done while also treating the family pet.
Dog Flea Control
Strangely, the type of flea that gives dogs the most trouble is Ctenocephalides felis -- the cat flea. It not only nibbles on your dog's skin, but could have a more severe effect known as FAD, or flea-allergy dermatitis. This can lead to hair loss and bacterial infection, so you'll want to do everything you can to get rid of every last flea as soon as possible. You'll need to tailor your attack to cover the inside and outside of your home, so be prepared to spray the entire yard with an outdoor flea control product that will take care of adult fleas, immature fleas and the larvae.
Many of the less expensive treatments for dog flea control don't work all that well. Some very effective medications, such as K9 Advantix, are available from veterinarians. These are pretty expensive but well worth the money, as they are great for both flea and tick control, working to kill eggs and larvae as well as adult fleas and ticks. The pet will need to be treated consistently for at least three months to be completely eliminated.
Natural Flea Control
Many are concerned about the use of chemicals when attempting to control fleas. Fortunately, there are many natural flea control products on the market. However, let the buyer beware: just because the label says "natural" doesn't mean it's chemical-free. Labels should be read carefully before purchasing anything. Some pet owners have had good results with essential oils, such as pennyroyal, citronella and cedar. These are worth a try, but are never to be used on cats. The natural food store is a good source for these products. Products containing diatomaceous earth work well, and are safe and effective for both indoor and outdoor use.
Whether you're using natural or chemical flea control products, getting rid of fleas isn't easy. To completely eliminate fleas from the home, it will be necessary to treat the whole living space at the same time. Even when this is done, it may take months for the fleas to completely disappear.
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