According to the American Pet Product Association, 44 percent of U.S. households have a dog as a pet. That translates to an estimated 78 million four-legged, tail-wagging, wet kiss-giving pups. Not to be outdone, 35 percent of homes welcome a frisky feline to their home.
The Clark Man is looking forward to National Dog Day on Saturday, August 26 (National Cat Day is Sunday, October 29). Because your pets are an important part of your family, we are committed to protecting them, as well as your home and your human family, from unwanted, annoying, and occasionally harmful pests.
Fleas, primarily cat fleas, are public enemy number one for both cats and dogs across California. These annoying little insects prefer lurking in areas frequented by pets and other animals while they await their next blood meal.
Like most insects, fleas require moisture and prefer a humid climate, and they can adapt to both indoor and outdoor settings. An adult cat flea survives on a liquid diet of blood from whatever unlucky animal it selects by attaching itself.
Cat fleas only measure 1/8 inch in length, and are typically brownish-black in color but red when filled with blood after feeding. They are also quite the little athletes, possessing the ability to jump six inches straight up; they can leap from the ground onto an animal, or onto the pant leg or shoe of an unsuspecting human.
Fleas also can be a problem for people who don’t own any pets, since animals such as feral cats, opossums, raccoons, or rodents are quite capable of transporting these insects.
What can homeowners do to help prevent fleas from becoming an unwanted problem for their pets and family? The Clark Man offers the following suggestions:
- Regularly clean all surfaces that your pet frequents, and vacuum carpets (especially under furniture), upholstered furniture, under cushions, and in crevices.
- Seal vacuum bags in a plastic bag and discard it immediately after use.
- Wash pet bedding and throw rugs regularly in warm water.
- 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.
- Talk with your veterinarian or animal groomer and get recommendations for on-animal prevention and treatment options.
If you have questions on how to protect your pet and family from fleas, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.