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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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Le Salon Flea Comb
Mfc: Le Salon
Brand: RC Hagen
Price: $6.20
Store:  WalMart
Le Salon Flea Comb Le Salon Flea Comb, by Le Salon

Hartz Ultra Guard Flea & Tick Collar for Cats & Kittens 7 Month Protection
Mfc: Hartz
Price: $3.78
Store:  WalMart
Hartz UltraGuard Flea and Tick Collars for Cats and Kittens kills both fleas and ticks for up to 7 months. Hartz Ultra Guard Flea & Tick Collar for Cats & Kittens 7 Month Protection. Hartz ® Ultra

Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Squeeze-On Flea and Tick Control for Cats and Kittens BULK - 18 Count - 3 x 6 Pack
Mfc: Sentry
Price: $43.67
Store:  WalMart
Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Squeeze-On Flea and Tick Control for Cats and Kittens BULK - 18 Count - (3 x 6 Pack) Sentry Purrscriptions Plus Squeeze On Flea Tick Control For Cats Kittens - BULK - 18 Cou

SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection
Mfc: Gen7Pets
Price: $39.99
Store:  WalMart
SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection: SonicGuard is an ultrasonic tick and flea protection that is clean, safe, easy-to-use and cost-effectiveT

SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection
Mfc: Gen7Pets
Price: $39.99
Store:  WalMart
SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection: SonicGuard is an ultrasonic tick and flea protection that is clean, safe, easy-to-use and cost-effectiveT

SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection
Mfc: Gen7Pets
Price: $39.99
Store:  WalMart
SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection: SonicGuard is an ultrasonic tick and flea protection that is clean, safe, easy-to-use and cost-effectiveT

SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection
Mfc: Gen7Pets
Price: $39.99
Store:  WalMart
SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection: SonicGuard is an ultrasonic tick and flea protection that is clean, safe, easy-to-use and cost-effectiveT

SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection
Mfc: Gen7Pets
Price: $39.99
Store:  WalMart
SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection SonicGuard Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Protection: Ultrasonic tick and flea protectionClean, safe, easy-to-use and cost-effectivePreventative non-chemical r

Ovitrol Plus Flea Tick Shampoo for Dogs Cats 12oz
Mfc: Vet Kem
Price: $14.95
Store:  WalMart
Ovitrol Plus Flea Tick Shampoo for Dogs Cats 12oz Ovitrol Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Cats is a soothing, oatmeal-enriched insecticidal shampoo that offers immediate and residual control. Oatm

Disney Pixar Cars Movie Moments Vehicle 2-Pack, Flea and Flick
Mfc: Mattel
Price: $29.99
Store:  WalMart
The Movie Moments assortment lets you re-create memorable scenes from the Disney Pixar movie, Cars. Disney Pixar Cars Movie Moments Vehicle 2-Pack: Flea and FlickIncludes two die-cast vehicles

Disney/Pixar Cars P.T. Flea Die-Cast Vehicle
Mfc: Mattel
Brand: Disney Cars
Price: $14.99
Store:  WalMart
Disney/Pixar Cars P.T. Flea Die-Cast Vehicle Disney/Pixar Cars P.T. Flea Die-Cast Vehicle: Age Range: 3Y+Favorite 1:55 scale die-cast vehicles from Disney/Pixar Cars moviesEach features authentic styl

Wondercide - Natural Flea & Tick Spray-Cedar & Rosemary 4 oz
Mfc: Wondercide
Price: $12.99
Store:  WalMart

Wondercide - Natural Flea & Tick Spray-Cedar & Rosemary 32 oz
Mfc: Wondercide
Price: $34.99
Store:  WalMart

Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Spray For Cats & Kittens, 8 oz
Mfc: Sentry
Price: $8.16
Store:  WalMart
Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Spray For Cats & Kittens, 8 oz Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Spray For Cats & Kittens, 8 oz: Kills and repels fleas and ticksSentry natural defense is for cats

Sentry Fiproguard Flea & Spray for Cats, 6.5 Ounce
Mfc: Sentry
Price: $11.99
Store:  WalMart

Mycodex Flea Tick Shampoo P3 1 Gallon
Mfc: VPL
Brand: Vpl
Price: $80.04
Store:  WalMart
Mycodex Flea Tick Shampoo P3 1 Gallon Mycodex Flea & Tick Shampoo P3.A potent, triple strength shampoo with synergized pyrethrins to effectively control severe flea and tick infestations on dogs, and
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