Fleas are small, hard-bodied wingless insects with a flattened body and legs adapted for jumping on to a host. If you have pets that go in and out of your home, fleas are already on them. Flea treatment begins with the treatment of the home and yard, but that is only one half of the battle.
The Common Flea
Humans are often attacked when other food sources aren’t available. Their bite leaves a red, itchy spot on the skin. Their saliva is irritating to the host, causing dermatitis and hair loss in allergic animals. If you have fleas, you need to use the 3-zone defense:
- On Pet
Control begins with treatment to all infested areas with a residual pesticide that includes a growth regulator inside the home and a complete lawn treatment outside. Generally, lawn treatments done early enough in the season are enough as long as control continues on the inside of the home. The pet should be treated regularly either with powders, sprays or a treatment recommended by your vet. While “dips” are effective for overall treatment at once, maintaining a constant control on the pet is best. Pick up all items off the floor. Remove items from under beds and furniture and the bottom of closets. Wash or replace pet bedding. Vacuum thoroughly throughout the house. Wood, tile and linoleum floors should be thoroughly swept and mopped. Concrete floors in a garage or basement, where pets may stay, need to be cleaned. Remove all pets including birds. Fish tanks should be covered with a damp towel and the air pump turned off and covered. Treat pets Shampoo, then use drops, dogs only. Remain out of the house for at least three hours. Outdoors, wash or remove any pet bedding and make all shade areas, crawl spaces, etc., available for treatment.