When talking about pests we often focus on why they are dangerous to have in our home, what damages they can do to our property, and what diseases and health consequences they can pose to people. But, what about our beloved pets? What problems do pests pose to them and how can we help to protect them? Today, we are going to talk about fleas, focusing on the dangers they pose to our pets.
Let’s begin by discussing why summertime is the time of year when fleas are the most active and become the most problematic for our pets. The warm, humid weather conditions during the summer months favor larval development; the whole developmental process from egg to blood-feeding adult can take as little as two weeks in the summer if the conditions are right, meaning that A LOT of fleas can develop in a very short period of time! Another reason that flea infestations are so prevalent in the summer is that the warm weather allows wild animals to become more active. Fleas are often introduced onto properties by raccoons, deer, mice, squirrels, skunks, and other wild animals that are traveling through your yard or living near your home. Once fleas have been introduced onto your property by wild animals, it is only a matter of time before your furry friends pick them up.
Now that you know why fleas become so problematic during the summer months, it is important to discuss the dangers that fleas can introduce to our pets! Fleas are much more than an annoyance, they pose significant health risks to pets! These health risks that include:
Tapeworms - Fleas serve as intermediary hosts for both dog and cat tapeworms. As your pets groom themselves, they may ingest the adult fleas and if the fleas are infected with a tapeworm cyst, your pet will become infected with parasitic tapeworms.
Allergies - Flea bites, in general, are quite itchy, but some pets can be more sensitive or even allergic to their bites. Pets that are sensitive to flea bites can experience extreme itchiness which can lead to fur loss and/or secondary infections.
Anemia - Fleas feed on blood, so if your pet becomes infested with fleas and are not effectively treated to eliminate them, they can develop anemia which can make them become very ill.
Murine typhus - Murine typhus is a serious disease that is spread by fleas; this disease can affect both people and cats.
As you can imagine, once fleas have found their way onto your pets, it is only a matter of time before they find their way into your home and once they infest your home, they become an extremely frustrating problem to deal with. Fleas are extremely difficult to eliminate because adult fleas lay their eggs on the animals they are feeding on, and each female has the potential to lay up to fifty eggs per day! These eggs then fall off and land on bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpeting. Once the larvae hatch, they remain hidden in the bedding, carpets, or furniture until they develop into adults which can take 2-4 weeks or longer if conditions aren’t favorable. This means that even if you are able to get rid of some or even all of the adult fleas in your home with DIY treatments, there are still hundreds of flea eggs throughout your home waiting to develop into new biting adults!
The best way to eliminate fleas in your home and prevent their return is to put your pets on a flea preventative treatment under the guidance of their veterinarian and contact Parkway Pest Services for professional flea control! At Parkway Pest Solutions, our highly-trained and experienced professionals can provide the services needed to eliminate ALL the fleas from your home, including the eggs, and offer the continuous services needed to keep them out for good! To learn more about how we can keep your home flea-free throughout the summer and the rest of the year as well, give us a call today!