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Summertime Flea and Tick Prevention

Did you know that a flea's life span is six to twelve months?  During it's lifetime, two fleas can produce millions of offspring. What does this mean for your beloved pet and your home? Misery on you and your pet! Disruption of your whole household. Discomfort, itching, scratching, flea allergy dermititis (FAD). These tiny creatures can cause from mild to severe reactions in your pet. Since they feed on blood, a severe infestation can cause your pet to become anemic which can cause death. All mammals are susceptible to fleas. The exceptions would be for some that live in high elevations or extreme dry whether.

Remember that just because you do not see fleas on your pet does not mean your pet has not fallen prey to these pest. Flea dirt found on the skin, scabs, dark specs and scratching can all be symptoms of having fleas. In extreme cases, your dogs gums and lips may become pale and he may become lethargic. Fleas can also carry tape worms. If your gets diagnosed with tape worms this can also mean he has fleas.


Now for some good news!
There are many fleas treatments and preventions available over the counter and from your veterinarian. To treat both your home and your does require some patience by you. The fleas life cycle is three to four weeks. Which means you can expect for it to take at least that long to rid your pet and environment of all fleas. There are many flea control products on the market available from your vet and also pet stores. The best flea control product is one that will not only kill the adult fleas, but will kill the eggs and larvae. Sometimes it will takes a combination of products to be effective.

Fleas dips, shampoos, powders, flea combs, and sprays will usually only kill the adult fleas and only on your pet. Your home and yard also need to be treated. For your home, you will need to vacuum, wash your pets bedding once a week. Cleaning with a disinfectant on washable surfaces. Household foggers, or insecticide will need to be used every two to four weeks. Be careful with these toxic chemicals and follow the manufacturers instuctions. When using a combination of products make sure you consult your veterinarian on how to best elliminate fleas. A professional exterminator may be a good idea for you as well.

In the yard, you can also spray with insecticide or a more natural approach would be nematodes, or microscopic worms that kill flea larvae and cocoons. Apply them once a month until fleas are gone. Consult your veterinarian, pet supply, or garden store for more info on nematodes. Since sunlight kills fleas, remember to pay special attention to the shady areas of your yard.