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Last month I shared some of the reasons why flea and tick prevention is important. Now I’d like to touch on something else – why getting rid of fleas is not the easiest thing to do and why it’s important that you do.
If you have pets you know why fleas are so important to prevent and fight. But have you ever wondered why they’re so hard to get rid of? I did, and now I can help shed some light on that question. Folks that don’t have pets, you should stick around as well, because this effects you too!
Pet owners. Your pet can never step a foot outside and they can still get fleas. And by the same token, you don’t have to have pets to get fleas in your house. This is because fleas are hitchhikers. By this I mean that fleas do a lot of their traveling on someone else. Your dog can pick up two fleas outside and unknowingly bring them into the house and it’s all down hill from there. But don’t worry, it’s not just you. Fleas are indiscriminate guests. They don’t care where they are as long as there’s food. It doesn’t matter if they have an invite or not, they’ll show up if they want to by catching a ride in on a neighbor’s pant leg or shoelace. That’s right. Their shoelace. That’s how small fleas are. Once those two tiny fleas are in your house they are not good guests. Fleas are some of the most unwelcome guests you will ever have. Here’s three big reasons why.
Fleas are mean. They bite. I know you know they bite, but did you know that one flea can bite 400 times a day. That’s a rate of 4,000 bites a day if your pet has just 10 fleas! Good grief! That’s got to hurt! No wonder our pets scratch so when they get them! And why are they biting anyway? That’s easy. They’re hungry. The adult flea spends its entire life on an unprotected pet and survives by feeding on the pet’s blood. The female flea consumes an incredible 15 times her own body weight in blood daily! And get this. A pre-emerged flea (not living on a pet) can survive undisturbed and without a blood meal for more than 100 days. If that fact surprises you then you might be really surprised to know that flea fossils date back to the Lower Cretaceous period, which means that fleas have been around for about 100 million years.
Fleas are never alone. The average flea life cycle is about three to four weeks, but in certain conditions can last 180 days (6 months). So you might think that if two fleas get into your house they’ll die in a month. If untreated, that’s probably not the case. Here’s why. One female flea lays 40-50 eggs per day on the host pet, which adds up to about 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. Those eggs fall off all over the place – in places like your carpet, upholstery, bedding, curtains, floor crevices, linens. Then after about two weeks the eggs hatch. Once hatched new adult fleas develop and the cycle starts again. Unless the fleas are totally removed there’s a never ending cycle. Kind of hard to believe that an animal with such a short lifespan can be so dangerous, isn’t it?
Fleas bring gifts. I’m talking about the kind of gifts that you don’t want – illnesses. Flea bites are surely uncomfortable, but the unpleasantry doesn’t stop at the discomfort or pain. Some animals are very allergic to flea bites and get flea allergy dermatitis, which can cause more scratching, hair loss and hot spots. When the animal licks or scratches itself to try and get some relief it will likely ingest some of the fleas, which can transmit internal parasites like tapeworms. The fleas can also transmit disease while feeding. A severe flea infestation can even cause anemia, which can be deadly and heartbreaking.
Flea prevention is much easier now then it was years ago. The Seresto collar provides your dog or cat with flea and tick protection for eight months. No need to apply anything monthly. Consumers participating in the 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards voted Seresto® for dogs the best new flea and tick prevention product on the market.
We put one on Dobby and have been very pleased. Putting it on was easy, actually easier then any other flea collar I’ve ever had to put on die to it’s special design and release mechanism. In the past it’s always taken two of us to put a collar on any of our pets – one to hold the pet and one to put on the collar. I was able to do this alone. There was no funky powder residue or smell when I put it on. Yay! We haven’t seen any fleas or any itching or scratching. The waterproof collar is designed to protect you pet for up to eight months. Not only does the Seresto collar fight and prevent fleas, it also repels and kills ticks, which may also carry organisms that cause Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The Seresto collar is available in three sizes – cat, small dog and large dog. Pet owners that go to the PetParents.com pet community now can get a $20 rebate on Seresto. That’s a nice deal that won’t last forever so hurry on over and take advantage of it. Your wallet and your pet will both appreciate it.