Dog Fleas

Dog fleas, also known as Ctenocephalides canis, are small wingless parasites which infest dogs but that can actually infest any other of your pets. They settle inside their fur because it has the perfect environment since it is hot and humid. Dog fleas are not the only type of fleas that can attack dogs. You should know that your dogs can also be attacked by cat fleas, but this it is not very common.

Fleas reach their adult stage usually during summers when the hot weather and the moisture helps the eggs to hatch. Infestation can happen even during winters, since the inside of your house is going to be warm despite the outside cold. This means, once you have an infestation, fleas are going to bother your pets for a very long time if you don’t find a way to kill them.

 

dog fleas

Flea bites on dogs

When fleas reach the adult stage they need to find a host to survive. Dog fleas likes to settle inside pet’s fur especially on their back which is the perfect habitat for them. Then, they will bite your dogs and ingest their blood to live and reproduce. Your dogs are not going to like this since the toxins inside fleas’ saliva will cause them a lot of itch. Some dogs can also be allergic to these toxins and the itch in this case can can be very painful. When infested with fleas, your dogs will spend a lot of time scratching even to the point when their skin is going to bleed and they start losing their hair.

How to know if your dog has fleas

Fleas do not have wings but they can make very high and long jumps. This allows them to attack your dog and move from a host to another very easily. To know if your dog has fleas, the first thing to do is to check inside its fur. To spot them it is not too difficult. Dog fleas have a dark red-brown color and usually settle in the back where there are more hair. In most of the cases, it is possible to notice them while they are literally moving around.

If you believe your dog has been infested with fleas but you can’t find them, you can look for their feces. If you find on your dog small black dots inside the fur or on the skin, it is possible you have found some flea feces. To make sure of this, put some of them on a tissue. Since fleas live off your animal’s blood, their feces will have plenty of that. Just pour some drops of water on the tissue and check if a red stain appears. If it does, you are now sure that those are flea feces and your dog has been infested.

How to get rid of dog fleas

Usually, vets suggest the use of flea repellent that you can easily find in pharmacies or in pet shops. There are different types of products which you can choose from:

Spoton – They are sold in individual dose of liquid that have to be applied in between dog’s shoulder blades. Since the product is very toxic for dogs it is very important that they don’t lick it. That is why it is applied in the only area they can not reach with their mouth.

Spray – Flea sprays are used on your dog’s hair. The product is toxic if inhaled so it is recommended to apply it in open areas. It is very important to make sure the dog does not breathe the product or it could get intoxicated.

Shampoo – Among all the products shampoos are the less dangerous but also the less effective. Like all the other flea repellent they contain chemical substances which can kill fleas but they are going to be toxic for your dog.

Collar – It looks like a normal collar, but a flea collar for dogs contains a substance that keep fleas away. The idea behind it would not be too bad if it wasn’t for the fact that it contains chemicals that can harm your dogs and cause it severe itch.

Vets, pharmaceutical companies and commercial will always suggest you to use flea repellent in the case your dog is infested with fleas. What they DO NOT tell you is that these products not only can cause allergies and dermatitis to your dog but they can also be very dangerous. If you read the products information sheet you will find out that all of them contain chemicals that are actually very harmful for your dogs. Also, you can read that it is strongly suggested to manage the products with care since they can harm your health too. So, how can be a product harmful to you and not dangerous for your dogs?

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Flea Infestation

Having a flea infestation is very common if you have a house with a garden or you have pets. Once you have one is going to take a very long time to solve the situation. You should be aware that a flea infestation is not just something very annoying to deal with but it is also something dangerous. Since they are parasites, fleas can transmit diseases and be a risk to your pets’ health and yours.

flea infestation

How to get rid of flea infestation

In the case you have pets, the first thing to do is to remove fleas from them. You are going to be sure your pets have been attacked if they are scratching more than usual. What you should do is to check inside their fur, particularly in the neck and the tail area. To help you, you can use a flea comb, a comb that will allow you to check inside the hair and that will trap fleas at the same time. If you find any, drop them into soapy water to kill them. Remember to treat all the pets. If you only eliminate fleas from one, they can always jump back from another.

To get rid of fleas from your pets, you can also use some flea repellent. You can choose from different options:

  • spray
  • spot-on
  • shampoo
  • collar

All of these products can help you to eliminate fleas from your pets, but there is something you should know about them. Most of them contain toxic chemicals which are going to be very dangerous for your animals. You can just read the information sheet of any of them to know that if for example the product is either licked, inhaled or ingested, it can be very harmful. This is why I suggest you to use a natural flea repellent, which contains ingredients that are completely safe for your animals.

Flea infestation in house

Usually flea infestation happens during summer or when the weather is hotter. Fleas need humid and hot temperature to hatch their eggs and be able to complete their life cycle. This is why often they decide to settle inside houses where the temperature is going to be perfect even when outside is going to be very cold. If you have a flea infestation in your home it is going to take a lot of time to get rid of them, especially if you have pets and you let them inside. But to get rid of dog fleas or cat fleas is not going to be easy if your house is infested too.

You will find fleas inside your carpets, pillowcases, bed sheets or in any dark and dusty area of your house. This means that to get rid of them you will have to clean your house from top to bottom. Vacuum everywhere, especially behind and underneath furniture. Wash all the things that are washable like mattress cover or blankets.

If you have pets wash also everything that belongs to them and make sure to clean very careful their space and places where they usually are. Keeping your house clean is going to be the first step. Using then a flea repellent to make sure fleas are going to be completely exterminated and will not come back in the future is going to be the last.

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Flea Repellent

Flea repellent are products that allow to kill fleas. They can help to solve your problem not only if your pets have been attacked but also if fleas have infested your house. It doesn’t matter what is your current problem with fleas, if you have one, soon or later you are going to buy one of these products.

Choosing the right flea repellent can be sometimes complicated. There are many products of different types on the market and most of them are dangerous for your pets, you and the environment you are living in. So, it is important to be very careful when you decide to choose a flea repellent.

flea repellent

Things to do before using a flea repellent

Before using any flea repellent, you should find out if your pets or your home has been infested. Since they are very small, find fleas could be difficult sometimes. In the case, they have attacked your pets, you will have to be very patient and check carefully through their hair.

In the case of fleas on humans, find them it’s much easier. This is because, when fleas bite you, usually on the legs, they leave a very visible mark and you will feel a burning sensation and itch. Immediately after the bite you will also notice that the skin is going to be very red.

In the case you have fleas in house, it is very important that you look for them in carpets, pillowcases, curtains, moquette, couches and beds. Fleas like to hide in dusty areas and generally in dark, hot and humid places.

How to chose a flea repellent

As I mentioned before, flea repellents are not easy products to choose, but they become necessary to keep away fleas from the environment you are living in.

When you buy a flea repellent you need to remember that you are going to use the product on your house, your pets and sometime even on yourself. This means that it is very important to not buy cheap products that can harm you or your animals. When buying products that are going to be in direct contact with you or your animals money is the last thing you should worry about.

What you should look for in a flea repellent is:

  • what is inside the product
  • how toxic it is
  • if it is aggressive
  • how effective it is

Usually, people trust doctors and vets to know which is the best flea repellent they can buy. If you spend some time looking at what is actually inside these products you will know that they are full of chemicals and also quite dangerous. Just reading at the information sheet of any flea repellent, you will notice that they suggest not to get in direct contact with the product and to avoid smelling it. Think about what you have just read. Since these products are toxic and dangerous for you, how can they be good for your pets? Flea repellent can cause allergies, dermatitis and poisoning if ingested or licked. There are products that might be less aggressive, but this does not mean they will be less dangerous.

Types of flea repellents

There are few options of flea repellent you can choose from. Depending on what it is your problem with fleas you may opt for one of these solutions:

Spray – anti-flea sprays are used on the hair of animals. They are toxic if breathed and it is suggested to used them in aired areas.

Spoton – spot on treatments are sold in a single dose solution and have to be applied between the shoulder blades of your pet (so they won’t lick it). It is very important to make sure they do not ingest the product since they are toxic.

Shampoo – it is used as any common shampoo. It is less dangerous than other products but also less effective. Because of this you have to use it many times.

Collar – it looks like a normal collar, but it slowly releases a substance that should keep fleas away. It could be a good option if it wasn’t for the fact that it can cause itch and your pets may not like it.

What I strongly suggest is to use a natural flea repellent. On the market there are many companies that sell repellent without any toxic chemical inside. However, before you get any of them, you should be very careful. It is very common to find misleading products and sometimes even dangerous ones. Not everybody knows that many substances inside flea repellents  are dangerous to your pets and you and they should be completely avoided and in my opinion banned.

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Fleas in House

The day you find out that you have fleas in house, it is going to be the beginning of a nightmare. This is because, fleas can go very easily around your house infesting your pets, you and all the environment. You should know that fleas like to settle inside the house because they prefer dark, hot and humid places where they can hide and reproduce. This is why you will find them in carpets, couches, pillowcases or curtains. Your house is always going to be the perfect habitat for them throughout all the year, since even when outside is going to be very cold they will always find a warm place inside.

fleas in house

How to get rid of fleas in house

Get rid of fleas in your home, could be a difficult task. To make sure they are absolutely gone, most of the times is necessary to call a flea control since general flea repellent such as flea spray for house are not strong enough to kill them. The infestation is even more problematic if you have in your house a garden, plants or pets. In the case you have pets, the possibility they are going to be attacked from dog fleas or cat fleas is very high. Here below you can find my personal advices on how to keep your house free from fleas.

5 Suggestion on how to get rid of fleas in the house

  1. If you have pets, clean all the items that belong to your pets: towels, toys and dresses. Wash everything in a washing machine or with hands. Also, wash blankets and covers of chairs and couches.
  2. A good way to keep your house free from fleas is to have your carpets and moquette clean all the time. To clean your carpets you can use a vacuum cleaner or a vaporiser.
  3. Keep your house ALWAYS clean. Clean behind and underneath all furniture and keep clean all the darkest and most humid places of the house. Fleas are going to hide there.
  4. Remember to throw away the vacuum cleaner bag. Be very careful that the bag does not open when you are throwing it away. Fleas may get out and infest your house again.
  5. Keep always clean where your pets sleep. Clean their baskets and beds regularly, using first the vacuum cleaner and then a disinfectant.

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