Keeping your four-legged friends free from fleas

Aug 30, 2019, 09:14 AM by Fred Speer

Pets are part of the fabric of life for thousands of California households. Research shows that Americans are owning pets at record numbers, according to the American Pet Product Association. The association’s recent survey revealed that 68 percent of U.S. households have some type of pet living there.

When it comes to four-legged, tail-wagging, squirrel chasing canines, the research showed that 48 percent of U.S. households have a dog as a pet. That adds up to an estimated 90 million pups. Not to be outdone, 38 percent of homes welcome cats.

National Dog Day took place this week (National Cat Day is Tuesday, October 29. Because your pets are an important part of your family, Clark, your neighborly pest control, termite, and lawn care expert, would like to help you protect your furry friends, as well as your home and human family, from annoying fleas.

There are an estimated 2,000 species of fleas worldwide, and more than 300 types are found in the United States. Fleas feed on any warm-blooded body, including humans. However, they prefer to dine on hairy animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, opossums, raccoons, and skunks.

Fleas are prodigious breeders and that can make them very difficult to control once they establish their presence in your home. In fact, a flea can produce as many as 400 to 500 offspring in its lifetime. That is why an effective flea management program requires treating infected animals by a veterinarian, cleaning flea-infested areas, and taking preventative measures to keep fleas from returning.

The primary flea threat to dogs and cats across California and northern Nevada is the cat flea.  These bothersome little insects prefer living in areas frequented by pets and other animals while they are on the prowl for their next meal.

Like many insects, fleas can adapt to both indoor and outdoor settings. An adult cat flea survives on a liquid diet of blood from the unlucky animal to which it selects to attach itself.

These tiny insects – cat fleas only measure 1/8 inch in length – are typically brownish-black in color, but red when full of blood after feeding. They are also quite the little athlete, possessing the ability to jump six inches straight up, thus giving them the ability to leap from the ground on to an animal or even the pant leg or shoe of an unsuspicious human.

And fleas can be a problem for people even if they don’t own a pet, because animals like the ones mentioned above can also be flea transporters.

What can you do to help prevent fleas from becoming an unwanted problem for your pets and family? Clark offers the following flea control tips:

ü  Regularly clean all surfaces that your pet frequents, and vacuum carpets (especially under furniture), upholstered furniture, under cushions, and in crevices.

ü  Seal vacuum bags in a plastic bag and discard them immediately after use.

ü  Wash pet bedding, collars, plush toys, and throw rugs regularly in warm water.

ü  On the exterior of your home, focus your efforts on areas when your pets spend time, including lawns and shaded areas under landscape bushes. Keep your grass cut, and trim weeds and overgrown shrubbery that give fleas shelter.

ü  Check pets' coats thoroughly for fleas, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.

ü  Talk with your veterinarian or animal groomer for recommendations on on-animal prevention and treatment options.

Call or text Clark at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) if you think your home has fleas. We will have one of our highly trained technicians come out for a free inspection to see what you are dealing with. You can also send an email to for more information.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.

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