We just celebrated National Dog Day on Sunday (National Cat Day is Monday, October 29), and since pets are such an important part of our families, Clark, your neighborly pest control expert, is committed to protecting them – as well as your home and human family – from unwanted, annoying, and sometimes harmful pests.
Earlier this year, the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicted an increased threat from vector-borne diseases, including fleas. Because summer’s warm temperatures have promoted conditions conducive to increased flea activity, Clark wants to share with you some helpful tips to protect your four-legged companions.
Fleas are public enemy number one for both dogs and cats across California and northern Nevada. These pesky, hard-to-spot insects prefer to live in areas frequented by your pets and other animals, where they can find an easy 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 (the species that most commonly attacks cats and dogs) survives on a liquid diet of blood from the unlucky animal to which it attaches itself.
These tiny insects – cat fleas only measure 1/8 inch in length – typically are brownish-black in color, but red when engorged with blood after feeding. They are also quite mobile, possessing the ability to jump six inches straight up, thus giving them the capacity to leap from the ground onto an animal, or even the pant leg or shoe of an unsuspecting person.
Fleas can even be a problem for people who don’t own a pet, because such animals as feral cats, opossums, raccoons, or various rodent species are readily available to transport fleas.
What can homeowners do to help prevent fleas from becoming an unwanted problem for their pets, home, and family? Clark offers the following suggestions:
- Wash pet bedding. Regularly wash pet bedding, and throw rugs where your pets sleep, in warm water.
- Keep your home clean. Clean areas that your pet frequents regularly. Vacuum carpets (especially under furniture), upholstered furniture, and under cushions. Be sure to seal used vacuum bags in a plastic bag and discard them immediately after use.
- Clean up your yard. Mow your lawn and trim overgrown shrubbery regularly, as fleas and ticks like high grasses. Fleas prefer warm, moist, shady areas with organic debris. Raking leaves, brush, and clippings from your yard will provide fleas with fewer places to hide and breed.
- Groom your pet regularly. Grooming is a great way to spend quality time with your pet. It also helps you keep an eye out for any external parasites that may be hiding under your pet’s fur.
- Get regular checkups with your veterinarian. Take your pet for regular checkups, and talk with your veterinarian for on on-animal prevention and treatment options.
If you are having a problem with fleas in your home, call or text California’s trusted, friendly pest control expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.