How to Get Rid of Flea Successfully!

By Ann Wong

"Fleas are a nuisance" that's what people would most probably describe these little pesky creatures. However, fleas can be more than just a nuisance to their host. They can in fact cause some medical problems which include:

Flea Bite dermatitis which are caused by the saliva of the fleas. When flea bites, it excretes its saliva to prevent clotting of its victim's blood and some people and some animals suffer allergic reactions to the flea saliva resulting in flea bite dermatitis. These may causes intense itch and inflammation and hair loss in cats and dogs, which are often seen as bald patches especially near the rear.

Fleas also cause tapeworm Infestation: These worms appear as tiny white rice grains that are usually seen stuck on the hairs near the anus of your pets. Although tapeworm doesn't usually cause serious disease in pets, they are disgusting. People can also become infected with tapeworm if they accidentally ingest an infected flea.

Fleas are blood-sucking insects and in heavy infestation, anemia may results and in young pups and kittens, fleas can cause anemia to the point of death.

Hence "How To Get Rid Of Flea" is a billion dollar question as pet owners alone spend close to a Billion dollars each and every year on flea control.

Why is flea control such a difficult task that many have even deemed impossible?

Here's the list of the reasons why people have failed in their attempts to control fleas:

1. Very often, people tend to believe that flea is only a pet's problem and hence they focus on treating their pets in the hope that the problem will be solved totally disregarding the surrounding environment. At least this would mean less work for them by simply treating the cat or dog instead of treating the whole house which is indeed a daunting task to many.

2. There are many flea treatment products available in the market. The lack of understanding and confusion as to which is the best to use for their own needs have often lead to less than satisfactory results obtained. Fleas have evolved through the years and they have gained resistance to a number of chemicals. Many products currently sold in the market are not effective anymore due to the resistance build up by the fleas against them. Unaware of this, people tend to simply pick the cheapest and most economical one from any supermarket or pet store, only to be disappointed when it did not help at all.

3. A lack of understanding of the flea's life cycle has also contributed to a low success rate in flea control. Fleas exist in different life stages in their entire life cycle and getting rid of just the adult fleas would not solve the problem at all. Adult fleas only represent a small percentage of the total flea population. The rest of them >98% are in the eggs, larvae and cocoon form and ignoring these will simply means that your flea problem would be never-ending as the whole flea life cycle will be repeated over and over again.

4. Lastly, people lack diligence in their efforts to control fleas. The very instance when no more fleas are detected, they often feel contended and all work is stopped almost instantly. They see no need for repeated treatment in the days or months to come and guess what? The tiny pest will be back in no time and much to their exasperation, the whole flea control process has to be repeated all over again. Diligence is of utmost importance when dealing with fleas!

To succeed in getting rid of fleas, it all boils down to diligently following an integrated plan whereby you need to treat both your pets and the premises at the same time.

1. Treat your pets.

The first instance when people detected the presence of fleas is usually on their pets. Many anti-flea products are available in the market for flea treatment on pets. These include flea combs, shampoos, sprays, topical spot-on and oral medications. Choose one that is suitable for your pet and when in doubt, always consult your vet for a recommendation.

2. Treat your house

This is the most tedious part of flea control and the part that people would fail most of the time. The whole house would need to be treated including frequent vacuuming of floor and furniture surfaces, together with a regular schedule of washing pet bedding and furniture coverings to remove the immature stages (egg, larva, and cocoon). For heavy infestation, the use of flea bombs or flea foggers may be needed which helps to cover a more extensive area.

3. Treat your garden or yards.

If you find fleas within your house, chances are that the gardens and yards would be infected as well and treatment of these areas need to be carried out as well as part of your flea control plan. Products specifically used for outdoor flea treatment are available and these include the use of Diatomaceous earth (DE) and Nematodes. Both are natural products, which helps in killing off fleas but non-toxic to other insects and birds.

4. The Need to REPEAT at regular time interval.

Lastly, treatment needs to be repeated at regular interval to see a more lasting effect. Re-treatment of your pets, house, gardens & yards are needed after several months initially and then perhaps at a 6 months interval and eventually only once a year treatment may be necessary to maintain a flea free home.

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Do you find the above information useful? You can learn a lot more at "Flea Control" Your Guide To a Flea Free Home, which provides more details on the right choice of products and methods to be used.