Many of us have pets. And most of us are lucky that they are flea-free. Whether it is by our own diligence or because we just conquered a flea infestation. But even if our pet is flea-free the infestation isn't over. There is one last step that must be undertaken. Ridding our home of any remaining flea larvae and eggs.
These tiny parasites are after just one thing. Your pet's blood, and sometimes our blood too.
Fleas have been around for many centuries and feast on mammals blood. But even though we know a lot about these little critters today, there is still a multitude of myths surrounding them. In this article we will look at the 7 common myths about fleas.
Use Garlic to Keep Fleas Away
First of all fleas are not vampires. Second, There is absolutely no scientific evidence that garlic will control fleas on any animal. Third, and probably the most important one, is that garlic can seriously harm your pet. Garlic has a compound in it that can damage red blood cells. If ingested in a large enough quantity you pet may develop anemia which can be life threatening.
Fleas Only Infest Animals If Outside
This is another misconception. There might be a higher risk to pets when they are outside but fleas can be picked up anywhere. For instance, say you visit a kennel without your pet. Maybe you're a volunteer there. You have contact with strays that they bring in. The fleas from these animals jump onto your clothes. At the end of the day you go home to your pet. And you bring company with you. Now the fleas have fresh meat. And the cycle starts all over again.
Fleas Don't Infest Animals In the Winter
This is a half-truth. Fleas do prefer warmer weather and that is usually when veterinarians see the greatest number of infestations. But fleas are known to migrate into people's homes which provide the perfect environment for these pests. Even though freezing might kill fleas, an animal that has fleas in the winter has a couple of places on its body that will protect the fleas from the cold. The main one is the genitals.
Keep Your House Clean To Prevent Fleas
This might help but all it takes is one flea to come into your house to start an infestation. As a matter-of-fact, it is impossible to keep up with a flea's reproductive process. These little creatures can lay between 40 and 50 eggs a day. And if you miss just one egg you will then have two fleas each laying between 40 and 50 eggs per day. Miss another egg and then there are three fleas. And you can figure out the math here. The best protection is to treat your pet throughout the year. Prevention is the key.
Fleas Prefer Houses With Carpets
That is a really good point but it is still wrong. The early life cycle of a flea allows it to live anywhere. It is the adult fleas that need animal blood to survive. Little fleas are often found in clothes and the eggs can often survive the washer and dryer.
There Are No More Fleas On My Dog. Problem Solved
Great! But wait! Are you sure? Think of this. Adult fleas only account for 5% of the problem. The other 95% of the problem come in the form of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. Since these forms don't really need animal blood to survive they can re-infest your pet at a later date. So you need to get rid of these too. The problem here is that many products only attack the adult stage of fleas. And you usually also need to do more than just one treatment to get rid of fleas completely.
If My Pet Isn't Scratching Then He Doesn't Have Fleas
Even though scratching is the primary sign of a flea infestation, a lack of scratching doesn't mean your pet is flea-free. The fleas could be in an early life cycle. Larvae, pupae, and eggs could be stuck to your pet's fur.
So now that you know a little more about fleas do you still think that your pet is flea-free? This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed all year long. And you really need to stay with it. The most important reason is that fleas are the least of your concern. Fleas are known to pass on other parasites and diseases like tapeworms and cat scratch disease.
A flea infestation is not something any pet or person should have to suffer through. Prevent one from happening by asking your veterinarian for a safe and effective flea-control product and using it as recommended.