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Guarding our Furry Children against Fleas

Our pets are not just animals that take up space in our home. Our pets are family.  Their health and well-being are extremely important and just like we would take care that our human children are doing well, we also want to make sure our furry children are also doing well. One of the things we carefully guard against is that nasty little bug called the flea.

What are they?  Fleas are little wingless parasites that attach to the body of our pets and other living animals and suck their blood. The saliva causes extremely itchy red bumps.  Although they rarely attach to human skin, they can and will bite humans causing skin itching and redness.

The problem with fleas:  No doubt about it – fleas are extremely annoying.  They can cause our pets to scratch uncontrollably, sometimes breaking the skin and causing open wounds.  They can cause our pets to lose their hair, get infections and develop nervous reactions, restlessness or irritability.  But one of the worst things that can happen is when a dog or cat actually becomes allergic to the flea saliva.  Even one flea attached to their body could cause them to become lethargic and extremely sick.

Diseases: Another issue with fleas is that they carry diseases.  These diseases include typhus, plague, tapeworm and other viral and bacterial infections.

Getting rid of them:  When it comes to fleas, not only do you want to get rid of the fleas that are attached to your pets, but you also want to clean and sanitize their environment repeatedly.  Since fleas can lay eggs in your carpet and bedding, you want to wash and vacuum every day until a few days after you no longer see evidence of fleas.

Taking care of the house and yard:  Fleas have a multi-stage life cycle where you could have eggs, larvae, pupae and adult flea infestation in your home at the same time.  Therefore, you must also have an approach that addresses each stage of the process.

At the first sign of a flea, pet parents sometimes rush to the store and purchase multiple harsh flea treatments.  This approach may not be the best because these same chemicals come into contact with our pets and could cause them to become ill.  It’s important to get the right kind of treatments that will take care of your pet, the immediate pet environment, the house and the yard all at once. Professionals can and will help you plan your attack on the flea to make sure they are gone for good!

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