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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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Advantage II Topical Flea Monthly Treatment for Small Cats, 2 Monthly Treatments
Mfc: Bayer
Brand: Advantage II
Price: $25.99
Store:  WalMart
Advantage II Topical Flea Monthly Treatment for Small Cats, 2 Monthly Treatments Advantage II Flea & Tick Topical Solution for Small Cats (5-9 Pounds), 2 CtAdvantage II Once-A-Month Cat & Kitten Topic

Flea and Tick Prevention for Small Breed Dogs up to 15 lbs - EasyDefense Flea Remedy - Natural Flea Treatment Control Herbal Squeeze-On Drops - Three Month Su
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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

Advantage II Cat/Kitten Flea & Tick Spray, 12 Oz
Mfc: Bayer Ag
Brand: Advantage II
Price: $9.25
Store:  WalMart

Advantage II Cat/Kitten Flea & Tick Shampoo, 8 Oz
Mfc: Bayer Ag
Brand: Advantage II
Price: $6.50
Store:  WalMart

Safari Grooming Tools for Dogs Long Hair Flea Comb
Mfc: Coastal Pet
Price: $6.49
Store:  Only Natural Pet
High quality grooming tools to make your dog's coat look and feel better than ever!

Fleabusters Flea Shampoo for Dogs and Cats
Mfc: Fleabusters
Price: $15.99
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Prevent fleas while conditioning your pet's coat with this unique shampoo!

Pet Armor Plus Flea and Tick Protection for Cats, 3 Monthly Doses
Mfc: PetArmor
Price: $27.54
Store:  WalMart
PetArmor Plus kills fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks and chewing lice. The fast-acting, long-lasting squeeze-on is formulated to protect your dog against dangerous pests. It breaks the flea life c

Bio-Groom 18008 Flea and Tick Protein-Lanolin Enriched Cat Shampoo, 8 oz Bottle
Mfc: Bio Groom
Price: $7.82
Store:  WalMart
Bio-Groom 18008 Flea and Tick Protein-Lanolin Enriched Cat Shampoo, 8 oz Bottle Bio-Groom 18008 Flea and Tick Protein-Lanolin Enriched Cat Shampoo, 8 oz Bottle: Uses pyretherins for effective flea kil

Fleabusters Flea Shampoo for Dogs and Cats 8 oz bottle
Mfc: Fleabusters
Price: $15.99
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Prevent fleas while conditioning your pet's coat with this unique shampoo!

Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Flea & Tick Wipes 40 Count
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $10.39
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Protect your pet naturally with EasyDefense Flea & Tick Wipes. Biodegradable towelettes made with FSC certified material, infused with geraniol, peppermint and thyme oil are a safe and convenient way

Zodiac Spot On Flea & Tick Control for Dogs
Mfc: Zodiac
Price: $14.58
Store:  WalMart

Project Life Mini Kit, Flea Market, Maggie Holmes Edition
Mfc: American Crafts
Price: $15.38
Store:  WalMart
Add some color and words to all of your albums with this mini kit of journaling and title cards. Project Life Mini Kit, Flea Market, Maggie Holmes Edition: Ten 4" x 6" title cards, ten 4" x 6" journal

Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Flea, Tick & Mosquito Wipes
Mfc: Only Natural Pet
Price: $10.39
Store:  Only Natural Pet
Protect your pet naturally with EasyDefense Flea & Tick Wipes. Biodegradable towelettes made with FSC certified material, infused with geraniol, peppermint and thyme oil are a safe and convenient way

Rubies Boys Mucha Lucha The Flea Masked Wrestler Costume
Mfc: Rubies
Brand: Rubies Costumes
Price: $14.99
Store:  WalMart

Unique Bargains 7.1" Pet Dog Cat Nonslip Handle Metal Teeth Grooming Flea Comb
Mfc: Unique Bargains
Price: $10.16
Store:  WalMart
Unique Bargains 7.1" Pet Dog Cat Nonslip Handle Metal Teeth Grooming Flea Comb Fits all breeds and coat typesErgonomic handleEliminates fleas, eggs, or dust1 x Pet Grooming Flea Comb
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