How to Defend Your Home and Pets from Fleas and Ticks
Winter days are here and you must be wondering where in the world all fleas have gone which so far harassed your pets. Well, they haven’t gone anywhere. They are right there in your house in the form of microscopic eggs and larvae. They are lying dormant in your carpets, furniture and pet beddings. As soon as the right temperature and humidity sets in, the larvae will turn into pupae and then adults, waiting for the right host to take a hitchhike.
So how did they enter your house in the first place? Well, if during the summertime you had an outing with your dog, he had a great time rolling in grass and sand and socializing with a few canine friends. Unknown to you, fleas and ticks were waiting for him to take a free ride. And your dog’s unbridled activities must have provided the right opportunity. A few days later, you find him scratching or biting himself at body parts he can reach. You should know it’s flea and tick season again.
Given the ideal temperature, humidity and ample food (read blood), adult fleas will live up to 100 days on hosts – enough for female fleas to gorge blood and lay eggs – often 20-40 each day. Your dog then acts as ‘shaker’ as he goes showering eggs on bedding, furniture and everywhere. Soon eggs will hatch and develop into larvae, which will then pupate and turn into adult fleas, ready to strike again.
Ticks have a more complex lifecycle and they transmit some of the very dangerous diseases in pets such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Lyme disease. Major culprits are brown dog tick, American dog tick, lone star tick and deer tick.
Killing these parasites is not enough. Prevention is the best strategy but getting rid of fleas and ticks is no longer a seasonal task. It’s a year round protracted task. Here is how to do it:
- Buy Pet Supplies: by the time you notice the first flea or tick, it is probably too late as infestation should likely be set for about 6 to 8 weeks. It’s time to buy pet medication, for example Frontline Flea Treatment, a proven topical that provides a month long protection once applied.
- Be Persistent: Application of topical solution is only half a battle won. The microscopic eggs and larvae previously laid by your dog all over the house are now ready to attack. Continue the treatment for four to six months.
- Be Hygienic: Parallel to the above steps, frequently vacuum clean carpets, your pets’ bedding and kennel, and all areas your pets sleep or rest. Do not forget to discard vacuum bags. Keep your lawn well trimmed to discourage ticks. Groom your pets using special combing kit to remove flea larvae, pupae and fecal matter.