Fleas are one of the worst external parasites for your pet and you too. Fleas are annoying because they cause so much discomfort for your pet that they cannot stand or sit still. If your pet gets infested by a lot of fleas it might get anemia because of excessive blood loss caused by the flea bites. And more importantly, fleas are dangerous. Flea bites are known to spread deadly diseases such as the deadly plague typhus. Due to their prevalence, there are about 2500 different species and subspecies of fleas. However, there are three common types of fleas that you are most likely to encounter at your home.
Types of fleas
The cat flea
This is the most common type of flea and is very prevalent in North America. Despite being called the cat flea, it is found in both cats and dogs and will rarely bite humans. The cat flea is reddish-brown in color and measures between 1mm and 3mm in size. Cat fleas do not live for long but reproduce very fast. Female fleas lay up to 1 egg per hour. The egg is tiny, white in color, and oval in shape. Eggs can easily fall off your pet to land on your sofa, carpet, or bed where they hatch into larvae.
Also known as Ctenocephalidescanis, dog fleas are found in both dogs, cats, and, sometimes even humans. The dog flea feeds on cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, foxes, woodchucks and, humans. They are most prevalent in European countries such as Ireland, Greece, and Hungary. The dog flea and cat flea have almost similar appearances. They both measure between 1mm and 3mm in size and are reddish-brown in color. The only difference between the two is that the dog flea has a more rounded head and has more tiny spikes on its legs. The dog flea’s life span is between two and four weeks.
Human fleas are also known as Pulexirritans. They are primarily found on dogs, cats, and humans. Their bites are known to cause itchiness and can transmit parasites and diseases such as tapeworm and typhus. Human fleas are responsible for spreading the plague, yersiniapestis, which caused a lot of devastation. Human fleas can grow up to 4mm in size and share physical appearance similarities with the dog flea and cat flea. The human flea can live up to 2 years which is significantly way longer than the other two species. They are found all over the world.
How to prevent fleas from infesting your pets.
There are various steps you can take to prevent your pet from being infested by fleas. You can limit the time your pet spends outdoors. This will limit the opportunities of your pet coming into contact with fleas. You can bathe and brush your pet regularly to get rid of the fleas quickly before they multiply. Keep your grass mowed and shrubs trimmed back in order not to give the fleas a place to hide. Clean and vacuum your house on a regular basis. This will help you get rid of the flea eggs that might be hiding under the cushions or furniture.
How to get rid of fleas
Thoroughly clean the areas that have been infested and the fleas breed. This includes rags, carpets, your pet’s bed or porch and your pet’s favorite resting place.
Bathe your pet with soap and water, and then comb its fur with a flea brush. You can also buy essential oil for fleas on dogs and cats from your local supermarket.
Let your pet groom itself
When cats and dogs have fleas they clean themselves more. You might mistake this for itchiness. But if you notice that your pet is scratching itself to the point of losing hair then take it to the vet right away.
Fleas are annoying buggers that can make the life of your pet a living hell. But we have learned that there are numerous ways of preventing this from happening. And when it does, there is no need for panic. Just follow the tips we have discussed and your pet will be fine in no time.