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4 Steps To Win the War Against Fleas

by: Joseph Wharton

Step One: Know your enemy

Fleas are the most common external parasite found on dogs and cats. A single flea can bite your pet over 400 times a day, leading to itching and painful scratching, which can in turn lead to reddening, irritated skin and hair loss in the area, or cause more serious (and costly) skin conditions like dermatitis (rashes or tiny crusts) caused by an allergic reaction to the flea´s saliva.

They can also transmit the serious tapeworm parasite if your pet swallows an infested flea while self-grooming. In a single day, a flea can consume more than it´s body weight worth of blood, which can provoke serious anemia to your dog or cat. In some cases such as extreme infestations or in the case of young, ill or old pets, this can lead to death.

Step Two: Find the Flea

It is important to detect the presence of fleas on your pet before they can reach the harmful levels described above, where your pets suffering becomes evident. When the fleas first make their appearance on your pet, you might be deceived into thinking that their scratching, nibbling or licking their hair coat and skin is part of their normal grooming routine.

Therefore you must check your pet periodically, especially during warm seasons or indoor conditions (heater or fireplace in use inside the house). Carefully look for fleas around the head, neck and ears of your pet, and inspect the armpits and legpits. You might see small dark fleas moving around, but don´t be misled if you don´t see them as they are very good at hiding between skin folds and fur.

The best way to determine the flea´s presence in your pet is to search their coat for flea feces. To do this, rub or comb (you can use a special flea comb) your pet´s coat and dump the collected hair or litter into a damp white paper towel.

If your pet has fleas, black flecks will fall onto the paper and turn red or rust color when wet. The reddish color comes from the blood sucked by the flea and transferred to the feces. If the black flecks don’t become red then it´s just regular dirt. You can also test your pets resting place with this method.

Remember that the feces are food for the larvae, so it keeps the flea´s life cycle rolling on. (Nasty! I guess we all do it in a sense, but fleas literally grow/come from their parents crap! Remember to repeat this procedure periodically, especially if your pet has been enjoying the sunny outdoors.

If you do find fleas, you must act fast against them, as they can rapidly invade your home. Fortunately, fleas are getting easier to control as there is a wide range of safe and effective products available in the market to fight them.

Step Three: Attack and Destroy the Flea

Most flea problems can be eliminated by treating the fleas directly on your pet. You can take your pet to a vet so he can determine if a prescription medication is necessary, or you can use over the counter products, such as flea collars, sprays, shampoo, liquid, topical products and powders that can be applied directly on your pet´s body. Some products kill only adult fleas, while others prevent the eggs from developing. Deciding which method is best for your case may require consultation with a veterinarian.

If your pet is seriously infested, you will need to treat their resting spot and possibly your home. Frequent vacuuming of the areas your pet frequents will usually get rid of fleas at their different life stages (eggs, larvae, or adult fleas). Authorized pest control services may also treat your pet´s outdoor environment in severe cases where this is required. It is also very important that you treat any other pets in your home, as fleas can jump from one to another.

Step Four: Prevention

(This should be step one, but if you are reading this it’s probably because you already have fleas!)

Due to the flea´s rapid expansion rate, they can be hard to eliminate completely, therefore prevention is essential. So whether you find fleas on your pet or not, many veterinarians recommend treating pets monthly as part of their health care routine.

It is especially recommended to treat your pet at the beginning of the warm seasons, as fleas thrive in warm environments. Vacuuming your pet´s favorite spots frequently will also prevent the fleas from reproducing and invading your house. Taking these simple steps, you and your pet can enjoy a flea free environment year round.

About The Author Joseph Wharton is a long time pet owner and enthusiast. He enjoys writing and sharing helpful tips with other pet lovers.

Article Source:
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/pets_and_animals/article_2089.shtml

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Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Pet Shampoo, 12 fl oz
Mfc: Adams
Price: $5.22
Store:  WalMart
please delete it now as it will not be available till late in the year Kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks and lice, Prevents flea eggs from hatching for 4 weeks, Cleans deodorizes, for dogs, puppies, cats

Vetri-Science Flea & Tick Repellent Wipes
Mfc: Vetri Science
Price: $10.73
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Vetri-Flea & Tick Wipes for Dogs and Cats is a natural repellent to protect your pets from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and flies.

SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea & Tick Pendant
Mfc: TickLess Pet
Price: $39.99
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Keep your pet flea & tick free with this device's harmless ultrasound impulses! Imperceptible to you and your pets, but disturbing to pests.

Hartz Ultra Guard Reflecting Flea & Tick Cat Collar 1 Each
Mfc: Hartz
Price: $6.48
Store:  WalMart
Hartz Ultra Guard Reflecting Flea & Tick Cat Collar 1 Each Hartz Ultra Guard Reflecting Flea & Tick Collar For Cats And Kittens. Hartz ® Ultra Guard ® Reflecting Flea & Tick Collar For Cats An

Hartz UltraGuard Flea & TIck Collar for Cats and Kittens
Mfc: Hartz
Price: $5.98
Store:  WalMart
Hartz UltraGuard Flea & TIck Collar for Cats and Kittens Only for cats and kittens 12 weeks and older;White break-away buckle collar which reduces the risk of neck injury;Fresh scent and water resista

Flea and Tick Prevention for Medium Breed Dogs 15 to 40 lbs - EasyDefense Flea Remedy - Natural Flea Treatment Control Herbal Squeeze-On Drops - Three Month S
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $19.99
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Protect your pet from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes the safe and effective way! Using the power of natural Geranium and Peppermint plant extracts, these are completely non-toxic and absolutely safe for

Flea and Tick Prevention For Cats - EasyDefense Flea Remedy - Natural Flea Treatment Control Squeeze-On Drops - Three Months Supply By Only Natural Pet
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $19.99
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Protect your pet from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes the safe and effective way! Using the power of natural Geranium and Peppermint plant extracts, these are completely non-toxic and absolutely safe for

Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats, 5 Months
Mfc: Zodiac
Price: $8.89
Store:  WalMart
Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats, 5 Months Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats, 5 Months:1 collar7 months of protectionKills fleas and ticksBreakaway safety feature

Adams Flea and Tick Spray, 16 Oz
Mfc: Adams
Price: $10.68
Store:  WalMart
Adams Flea & Tick Spray provides quick relief. Get rid of adult parasites as well as flea eggs and larvae using this solution. It breaks the flea life cycle, limiting the chances of reinfestation grea

DERMagic Diatomaceous Earth Flea Bar 3.5oz
Mfc: Dermagic
Price: $11.95
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Handmade in the Northwest from organic ingredients, these amazing bars have no sulfates and rinse easily and cleanly.

Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo
Mfc: Ark Naturals
Price: $11.49
Store:  Only Natural Pet
A natural shampoo containing Neem oil to help soothe itching and skin irritation.

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment - Flea and Tick Medicine for Cats, 6 Doses
Mfc: FRONTLINE Plus
Price: $64.54
Store:  WalMart
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment - Flea and Tick Medicine for Cats, 6 Doses Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment - Flea and Tick Medicine for Cats, 6 Doses: Suitable for kittens and cats 8 wee

Hartz UltraGuard One Spot Flea Egg & Flea Larvae Treatment for Cats & Kittens, 0.03 fl oz, 3 count
Mfc: Hartz
Price: $5.12
Store:  WalMart
Protect your pet with Hartz UltraGuard One Spot Flea and Tick Drops for Cats. Use this product on cats and kittens over 12 weeks old. It completely halts the flea life cycle to keep your four-legged f

Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo 8 fl oz Bottle
Mfc: Ark Naturals
Price: $10.34
Store:  Only Natural Pet
A natural shampoo containing Neem oil to help soothe itching and skin irritation.

Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo 1 Gallon
Mfc: Ark Naturals
Price: $86.76
Store:  Only Natural Pet
A natural shampoo containing Neem oil to help soothe itching and skin irritation.

Hartz Ultra Guard Plus Topical Flea & Tick Prevention for Cats & Kittens, 3 Monthly Treatments
Mfc: Hartz
Price: $7.19
Store:  WalMart
Safeguard your pets from fleas and ticks with Hartz Ultraguard Plus Drops for Cats. This simple, convenient monthly treatment kills off fleas and deer ticks, repels mosquitoes and eliminates flea eggs
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