Natural Flea Control for Pets
Natural Flea Control for Animals
Fleas are small insects which live as external parasites on cats, dogs or even humans. These wingless insects are reddish-brown in colour and sucks on the blood of their host. The body of the flea is flat vertically and is covered with hairs and short spines. The adult insects are only 1/16th of an inch and have long legs which help the insect to jump to long distances. The mouth parts of this insect are adapted for blood sucking. Most of the host animals are allergic to the flea bites and the saliva of the insect causes itching. Let us look at the problems of fleas and natural flea control for pets.
The symptoms of a flea problem is the dog may spin around quickly and bite and whine at the time of the flea bite. Where the fleas have been biting your pet, there maybe signs of hair loss or small red dots even inflamed red skin where the dog or cat has been continually scratching or biting. Irritation of their skin is usually on the top backend of the body near the tail or around the neck and ears. To see fleas on an animal, it is best if you part the hair in these places. If fleas are present you will see “flea dirt” it is looking at hundreds of black tiny dots. Sometimes it is hard to see this on dark haired animals but this is a sure sign of fleas. Fleas are larger than flea dirt, they are reddish brown in colour while parting the fur you will see them crawling quickly while on the move, but the main symptom is the flea dirt. The only way to remove the flea dirt and fleas is by treating the flea infestation, you must treat everywhere your pet has been including inside your house. Fleas thrive in long grass damp areas this could even be in your garden, fleas can hide anywhere. This is why you should be on the look out for fleas on your pets at all times especially in spring time this is usually flea time.
Life Cycle of a Flea
Under favourable temperature and humidity, the life cycle of fleas will be completed within three weeks. A female flea does lay up to fifty eggs each day. The eggs, after hatching into larvae, start feeding on flea excrement, which contains partially digested animal blood. Larvae after growing and undergoing malting twice, spins a cocoon around it. Inside the cocoon, the larvae can grow into pupae and finally into six legged adults. The adults emerge from the cocoon when they find a suitable host through vibrations, then will attach to the host all over again that will again feed and breed to start the life cycle once again. On a human, the flea bite looks like red raised swollen skin and very itchy.
How to Get Rid of Fleas? – Natural Flea Control for Pets
If your pet has fleas, it will be very uncomfortable for them and they can get into your house and can make carpets, furniture, bed etc as their habitat. Warmer months, especially promote the breeding and growth of fleas. To get rid of the fleas, it is necessary to have a regular cleaning regime to gain natural flea control.
- Bathe the dog regularly- This is an excellent method to kill fleas. Lather the body of the dog using shampoos that has natural ingredients which will keep away fleas, such as name, mint, tea tree oil, etc. Leave the shampoo on the coat for at least 15 minutes before rinsing.
- Brush the coat – Brushing the coat of the dog using a flea comb with close teeth is another way to remove the fleas. To get best results, brush the dog twice a day.
- Wash the bedding- The bedding, carpets and clothing that comes in contact with your pet should be washed frequently.
- In the home – Flea treatment for the house requires vacuuming the upholstery, rugs, carpets etc help remove eggs, larvae and fleas by about 95%.
- You can use many natural flea control, non toxic treatments and remedies, that will not kill flea eggs but will repel fleas. These herbs and essential oil sprays like mint spray, lemon spray, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil can control the flea problem. You can spray the natural remedies on the dog, on the bed and on rugs, carpets and gaps in the floors.
- To remove the fleas from the outer areas of your home, you can spray nematode worms in the soil or can add Diatomaceous Earth to the garden soil. These will kill the larvae and fleas in the soil.
Why You Should NOT Use Chemical Products?
There are many chemical products available on the market to get rid of fleas. However, they are not safe to use on your pets and after use for some time, the insect may develop resistance to a particular product. Chemical products are costly and may be toxic if it gets ingested by your pet. Flea collars with chemicals in them are not very effective in getting rid of fleas. The fleas will just move away from the collar and will remain in other parts of the body. The best guide is you need to continuously use natural flea control remedies to control or to eradicate the flea problem. If all else fails to really kill the fleas in your house then it is best you get your carpets steam cleaned.