Prevent Tick and Flea Infestation in Your Home
Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Graeme, Robbi, Eng and 1 other
Dogs, no matter how clean you are with them, will always attract fleas and ticks. Your furry companion could get them from anywhere and bring them home.
Then your house could get infested with ticks and fleas. These are external parasites and they will always find a way to get what they need. Finding ticks and fleas all around your home is not a very pretty sight. As you know, your home is a reflection of who you are.
It also tells people how you take care of your family members, including your dog. Finding out how to prevent tick and flea infestation in your home is an essential part of being a responsible dog owner. Once you know how to do this, you won't have to worry about waking up to a wall or a carpet swarming with these creepy crawlies.
How are Ticks and Fleas Different?
Even if your dog plays host to both ticks and fleas, these two ectoparasites are very different from one another. It is vital for every dog owner like you to know more about these organisms so that your dogs and family can be protected. Below are the differences between ticks and fleas:
- Classified as arachnids. They have eight appendages and are close to spiders.
- Hosts are humans, cats, dogs, cattle, oppossums, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, deer, foxes, lizards, snakes, birds, and rodents.
- Their lifespan can last to about 3 years. Others complete their life cycles in just a few weeks.
- They patiently wait for their hosts to come.
- They feed on their viable hosts during the larval, nymph, and adult stages.
- A tick dies after laying thousands of eggs.
- Once the female tick has fed enough and is completely engorged with blood, it lets go of the host so that it can lay its eggs.
- Ticks are tougher than fleas. They are more difficult to eliminate.
- They can spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease, which are very dangerous diseases.
- Fleas are classified as insects. They have six legs. They have no wings but they can jump long distances relative to their size.
- The most common hosts are opossums, cats, dogs, foxes, coyotes, and raccoons.
- Fleas can live for at least a hundred days.
- During their entire existence, fleas can only live on a single host.
- Adults are the only ones that feed on adults.
- Fleas can lay 20 - 40 eggs once they begin to feed. The number of eggs depends on how long they feed on their host.
- Fleas can lay eggs in any place the host frequents.
- They want warm living spaces.
- Fleas spread tapeworm and bartonellosis.
Sign of Flea Infestation
Fleas usually start invading about 5 to 6 weeks after the warm season starts. The usual sign that your dog is harboring fleas is flea dirt. Black specks or flea dirt is the term used for flea fecal matter. You can use a fine comb to check your dog for flea dirt. Make sure to dump the fleas from the comb into water that has soap. You can avail of a flea comb from the pet retailer or the veterinarian. You can also check by rubbing your hands through your dog's fur. Place a white piece of paper under your dog's fur to check for black specs.
Health Issues from Ticks and Fleas
When ticks and fleas affect your dog, health issues come up. The following are some of the common health problems that your dog can acquire when there are ticks and fleas on them and on the people they live with:
- 1FAD (Flea Allergy Dermatitis). This comes from the saliva that the flea leaves on your dog's skin. Your dog will experience severe itching on the backside, tail, and groin. There will also be bumps and scabs on the back and neck.
How to Prevent Tick and Flea Infestation in Your Home
You have to prevent ticks and fleas from infesting your living environment. Below are the various ways you can keep fleas and ticks away from your home:
- 1Apply tick and flea repellent on your dogs.
- Tick dip or spray. This should be applied on the day you perform housecleaning.
- 2Keep your dog from roaming the house. Placing your dog in quarantine will give you the chance to clean every surface and area of your home thoroughly.
- You can leave them in a pet boarding place.
- Make sure that the parasites are completely gone before you let your dogs back inside.
- 3Vacuum. Intense vacuuming will eliminate all the eggs and living parasites.
- Vacuum your sofa, bed, and cushions.
- Target more vacuuming in places where your dogs sleep and play.
- Vacuum your carpets, car, and closets.
- 4Thorough washing.
- Use hot water to wash clothes, linens, blankets, couches, and covers.
- Use the dryer to completely remove the eggs and the live parasites.
- Dry clean clothes that cannot be washed with hot water.
- Wash other fabrics to which ticks and fleas can attach themselves.
- Leave cushions and fabrics under the hot sun periodically.
- Clean and sanitize surfaces and corners.
- 5Chemical treatments.
- Make use of a pesticide to eliminate the ticks and fleas. Focus on areas where your dog hangs out and sleeps.
- Keep the pesticides away from your children's and dogs. Read the instructions carefully.
- For severe cases, hire a fumigator. Leave the house for a few days so that they can do their job. The chemicals they use are severely toxic and strong
Ticks and fleas can be acquired from any place at any time. Be prudent with your dog and you will be able to ensure health and sanitation for your living environment.