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. Data from the association indicates that 70 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 69 percent of pet-owning U.S. households has a dog and 45 percent of homes has a cat in residence.
Because your pets are an important part of your family, Clark, your friendly pest control, termite, mosquito, and lawn care expert, would like to help you protect your furry friends, as well as your home and human family, from annoying fleas.
Meet the flea
There are an estimated 2,000 species of fleas worldwide. 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 such hairy mammals as dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, opossums, raccoons, and skunks.
Fleas are prodigious breeders. This can make them very difficult to control if they establish themselves in your home. In fact, one 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 the fleas from returning.
The primary flea threat to dogs and cats across California is the cat flea. These bothersome little insects prefer living in areas frequented by pets and other animals while they search 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.
Fleas can be a problem for people even if they do not own a pet, because animals like the ones mentioned above can be flea transporters.
Flea prevention tips
What can pet owners do to help prevent fleas? Clark offers the following flea control tips:
- 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, collars, plush toys, 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.
- Check pets' coats thoroughly for fleas, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
- Talk with your veterinarian or animal groomer for recommendations on on-animal flea prevention and treatment options.
Got questions about fleas? Call Clark
If you have questions about fleas, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.