18 Feb Bug Blog – The Flea
We have had some of our friends asking us what to do about fleas lately, therefore, we thought it would be great to share some safe solutions in our “Bug Blog”. First, have you ever wondered about how safe a flea collar is for your pet, when the warning on the flea collar warns you not to touch it, but then tells you to have your pet wear it 24 hours a day, week after week? We need to be careful to not trust everything we read or see as being “safe”! Education is the key! We need to better educate ourselves and become “label readers”. There are safer alternatives to treating your pet and ridding your home of fleas as well.
Interesting Fact: There are over 2,200 species of fleas worldwide, with over 250 species of fleas described in North America, only a few are commonly encountered by humans with enough frequency to be considered pests.
A few of these include the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche), the dog flea, C. canis (Curtis), and the human flea, Pulex irritans (L).
Treatement: Flea treatment is best done via management of the host animal’s habitat. Since fleas must spend at least part of their life cycle on their host, the chances of encountering fleas in areas of the host’s habitat where it spends most of its time (e.g., its den or nest) are much greater than in any general area, such as a field or barn in which the host may or may not be found at a given time. One author has suggested that most fleas spend more time in the host nest or burrow than on the host itself (Benton 1980). Each year, 52 million pet owners spend about $500 million just on over-the-counter flea control products. Just about every flea feeds only on one creature.
Adult fleas are truly the “vampires” of the insect world because they feed only on our blood and the blood of our pets. They are narrow, small, wingless insects, red, brown or black in color and are protected by a hard flat shell. They are hard to see and even harder to kill with pesticide poisons. When you try to find this tiny (1/32”-1/3”) invader, remember to check your pet closely behind the ears, at the base of tail, on the stomach and between the toes.
The treatment and management of fleas can be very simple when handled carefully, thoroughly and effectively! There are many safer and far more effective alternatives to treating for fleas. We offer products, such as our PetWash, TweetMint Enzyme Cleaner (a.k.a. Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner), Fleas & Ticks R Gone, and Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.). However, our chapter also shares safe alternative treatments that you may already have on hand at home!
Please check out the following link for a more thorough explanation how to safely treat your home and pet for fleas.
Also check out the following link for the complete chapter on fleas and mange.
Thank you for becoming better “Partners for Protecting our Planet, Pets and People”!