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4 Steps To Win the War Against Fleas

by: Joseph Wharton

Step One: Know your enemy

Fleas are the most common external parasite found on dogs and cats. A single flea can bite your pet over 400 times a day, leading to itching and painful scratching, which can in turn lead to reddening, irritated skin and hair loss in the area, or cause more serious (and costly) skin conditions like dermatitis (rashes or tiny crusts) caused by an allergic reaction to the flea´s saliva.

They can also transmit the serious tapeworm parasite if your pet swallows an infested flea while self-grooming. In a single day, a flea can consume more than it´s body weight worth of blood, which can provoke serious anemia to your dog or cat. In some cases such as extreme infestations or in the case of young, ill or old pets, this can lead to death.

Step Two: Find the Flea

It is important to detect the presence of fleas on your pet before they can reach the harmful levels described above, where your pets suffering becomes evident. When the fleas first make their appearance on your pet, you might be deceived into thinking that their scratching, nibbling or licking their hair coat and skin is part of their normal grooming routine.

Therefore you must check your pet periodically, especially during warm seasons or indoor conditions (heater or fireplace in use inside the house). Carefully look for fleas around the head, neck and ears of your pet, and inspect the armpits and legpits. You might see small dark fleas moving around, but don´t be misled if you don´t see them as they are very good at hiding between skin folds and fur.

The best way to determine the flea´s presence in your pet is to search their coat for flea feces. To do this, rub or comb (you can use a special flea comb) your pet´s coat and dump the collected hair or litter into a damp white paper towel.

If your pet has fleas, black flecks will fall onto the paper and turn red or rust color when wet. The reddish color comes from the blood sucked by the flea and transferred to the feces. If the black flecks don’t become red then it´s just regular dirt. You can also test your pets resting place with this method.

Remember that the feces are food for the larvae, so it keeps the flea´s life cycle rolling on. (Nasty! I guess we all do it in a sense, but fleas literally grow/come from their parents crap! Remember to repeat this procedure periodically, especially if your pet has been enjoying the sunny outdoors.

If you do find fleas, you must act fast against them, as they can rapidly invade your home. Fortunately, fleas are getting easier to control as there is a wide range of safe and effective products available in the market to fight them.

Step Three: Attack and Destroy the Flea

Most flea problems can be eliminated by treating the fleas directly on your pet. You can take your pet to a vet so he can determine if a prescription medication is necessary, or you can use over the counter products, such as flea collars, sprays, shampoo, liquid, topical products and powders that can be applied directly on your pet´s body. Some products kill only adult fleas, while others prevent the eggs from developing. Deciding which method is best for your case may require consultation with a veterinarian.

If your pet is seriously infested, you will need to treat their resting spot and possibly your home. Frequent vacuuming of the areas your pet frequents will usually get rid of fleas at their different life stages (eggs, larvae, or adult fleas). Authorized pest control services may also treat your pet´s outdoor environment in severe cases where this is required. It is also very important that you treat any other pets in your home, as fleas can jump from one to another.

Step Four: Prevention

(This should be step one, but if you are reading this it’s probably because you already have fleas!)

Due to the flea´s rapid expansion rate, they can be hard to eliminate completely, therefore prevention is essential. So whether you find fleas on your pet or not, many veterinarians recommend treating pets monthly as part of their health care routine.

It is especially recommended to treat your pet at the beginning of the warm seasons, as fleas thrive in warm environments. Vacuuming your pet´s favorite spots frequently will also prevent the fleas from reproducing and invading your house. Taking these simple steps, you and your pet can enjoy a flea free environment year round.

About The Author Joseph Wharton is a long time pet owner and enthusiast. He enjoys writing and sharing helpful tips with other pet lovers.

Article Source:
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/pets_and_animals/article_2089.shtml

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Pet Champion Cat Flea Comb
Mfc: Pet Champion
Price: $2.72
Store:  WalMart
The Pet Champion Flea Comb For Cats is used for a quick and easy way to remove fleas and flea eggs from your cat's coat. Product FeaturesTwo-sided for large & small areasPacking - RecyclableThis packa

Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Flea & Tick Dog Collar
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $8.49
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Protecting your pet from pests has never been easier thanks to the long-lasting, natural power of this essential oil infused collar.

Surya Chic CHI-1040 Contemporary Hand Tufted 100% Poly-Acrylic Dark Periwinkle 2' x 3' For Kids Accent Rug
Mfc: Surya
Price: $62.00
Store:  Amazon.com
Here is a composition of rugs that is sure to inspire and motivate today's highly educated and designer savvy youth. Surya's Chic Collection is the embodiment of fresh color, graphic pattern and bold statement. These high quality, hand-tufted pieces [more info..]

Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Flea & Tick Cat Collar
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $8.49
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Protecting your pet from pests has never been easier thanks to the long-lasting, natural power of this essential oil infused collar.

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Small Dogs, 3 Doses
Mfc: Frontline
Price: $39.86
Store:  WalMart
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Small Dogs, 3 Doses Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Small Dogs, 3 Doses: Suitable for dogs up to 22 poundsKills fleas, ticks, chewing lice, flea e

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Medium Dogs, 3 Doses
Mfc: Frontline
Price: $39.86
Store:  WalMart
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for Medium Sized Dogs provides fast, effective and convenient treatment and control of fleas, ticks and chewing lice for dogs weighing between 23 and 44 pounds. Pa

Ark Naturals Flea Flicker Tick Kicker
Mfc: Ark Naturals
Price: $11.89
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Made with geranium extract, this all natural spray is designed to fight fleas, ticks, and other biting insects from latching onto your dog and cat.

Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs
Mfc: Sentry
Price: $12.74
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Kills fleas, ticks and mosquitoes for up to four weeks, yet it's safe to use on your pets and around your family.

Advantage II Flea And Lice Topical Treatment For Dogs Over 55 lbs, 4ct
Mfc: Generic
Brand: Advantage
Price: $38.84
Store:  WalMart
Advantage II Flea And Lice Topical Treatment For Dogs Over 55 lbs, 4ct 4 MONTH Advantage II Flea Control Blue, For Dogs over 55 lbs: For dogs and puppies older than 7 weeks and weighing over 55 lbsKil

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Extra-Large Dogs, 3 Doses
Mfc: Frontline
Price: $39.86
Store:  WalMart
Quickly and effectively protect your family friend from fleas and ticks with Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for Extra Large Dogs. This waterproof, fast-acting treatment will also help control fl

Natural Animal Rechargeable Flea Collars
Mfc: Natural Animal
Price: $7.22
Store:  Only Natural Pet
This pleasant herbal scented collar repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, gnats and biting fleas. Comes with Herbal Shooo recharging solution.

Only Natural Pet EasyDefense All-in-One Flea Remedy - Natural Flea Treatment Control Powder For Dogs, Cats And Effectively Eliminating Fleas Around The Home
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $12.74
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Natural flea powder featuring peppermint & geraniol that safely eliminates fleas from your pets and home. Completely non-toxic and chemical-free.

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Large Dogs, 3 Doses
Mfc: Frontline
Price: $39.86
Store:  WalMart
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control is a safe and effective treatment for dogs between 45 and 88 lbs that helps control exposure to fleas and chewing lice. This product is also specially formulated t

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Topical Treatment For Cats and Kittens, 3 Month Supply
Mfc: Merial
Brand: Frontline
Price: $34.99
Store:  WalMart
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Topical Treatment For Cats and Kittens, 3 Month Supply Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Squeeze-On For Cats & Kittens, 1.5 ml (3 pack)

Only Natural Pet EasyDefense All-in-One Flea Remedy - Natural Flea Treatment Control Powder For Dogs, Cats And Effectively Eliminating Fleas Around The Home 8 o
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $39.99
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Natural flea powder featuring peppermint & geraniol that safely eliminates fleas from your pets and home. Completely non-toxic and chemical-free.

Only Natural Pet Easydefense Flea And Tick Control Collar Tag For Dogs And Cats - Natural Active Ingredients For Prevention, Control & Enhanced Defense
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $50.99
Store:  Only Natural Pet
A safe, chemical-free way to keep harmful pests off of your pet that utilizes your pet's own energy to create a natural barrier to fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Medium Dogs, 3 Month Supply
Mfc: Merial
Brand: Frontline
Price: $35.99
Store:  WalMart
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Medium Dogs, 3 Month Supply Frontline Plus for Dogs - 23-44, 3 month Supply
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