Although the summer is coming to a close all over the United States, many people all over are still faced with the problem of their dogs, cats and houses being infested with fleas. Fleas are not a laughing matter as they do carry many harmful effects and can impact the health of your pet. There’s an estimate on the web that it costs 1 BILLION dollars a year to control fleas on your pets. So what are these little critters?

Adult fleas range from 1/16 to 1/8-inch long, do not have any wings, come in an assortment of colors, yet are usually red to brown, extremely thick bodied, amazingly have 3 pairs of legs. You would think that they’re jumping beans due to their jumping abilities. They can leap up to 7 inches, and can leap side to side up to 13 inches.

Now that we know what they are, how can we find them and target them for extermination? The first step is inspection. You can’t treat what you don’t know exists. Find out where your pets sleep and rest, as fleas tend to migrate to areas where they are sleeping. You can detect these flea areas, too, by using a white sock wrapped over a shoe and walking around a house. Other areas of activity occur where the animal goes in and out of the home, eats, plays, and explores. Cats are no different than dogs, except where they travel. You usually can’t find a dog on top of a cabinet..unlike cats.
Now, there are two methods to stopping the flea problem at your house, home, or apartment: either kill the ones you have or stop them from even getting into your house in the first place.
Pet medications like Advantix, Frontline, and frontline plus , are a great way to stop the problem before it even starts. By applying this flea control medicine to your pets, you will be able to stop the host from attracting and carrying the fleas in your home. This is how it works and works very well as thousands of units are sold monthly, worldwide.
But what if you’re to far past the point of pre-medication and need to address the flea problem now? You can hire an exterminator, which is a great option, but also rather costly. If you can’t afford a flea exterminator, then my next suggestion is to defumigate your living area for fleas. Many manufacturers make so called “flea bombs” that kill fleas where they live”. The only downfall to this method is that whereas it does work, you do have to close up your living area, close the doors and windows and let the flea bomb do its work. Left over residue, odors, and a feeling to always keep the windows open is often an after effect to using a flea bomb.
Or if you prefer less messy treatments, you can always use evasive techniques and put a shallow pan of water on the ground, and put in some dishwashing detergent. By placing a small lamp (gooseneck) in it, and leaving it on at night, the fleas will be drawn to the light, hit it, and fall into the sudsy mixture, thus killing them.

You have many tools, weapons, and procedures at your disposal in this war against the fleas. Never feel so frustrated that you have nowhere else to turn to. When in doubt, however, always call a professional who can best assess your situation, but always try a home remedy first. Good luck!

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3 Feb 2007