Flea & Ticks Got Fido Down?
The War Against Fleas & Ticks
From the circus to your home, the war against fleas & ticks wages on. Ever come home to find Fido is scratching like a maniac? You take a quick look and see nothing there...figure it's allergies. It's fall now, fleas shouldn't be a problem right? WRONG! Fleas and ticks can occur in any season as long as the temperature is right. According to PetMD, fleas can survive in temps of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and ticks need around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to treat your home would be in the winter, and then treat your pets accordingly along with your regular cleaning to keep things under control. Humidity levels also affect flea life. 75-85 percent humidity will sustain growth and reproduction. Bathing unfortunately isn't enough to keep these creatures at bay, so what can we do? Read on below.
Fleas & Ticks in the Fall
For most pet owners, we do what is necessary to create the best possible environment for our pets; they are family after all. We vaccinate, get check-ups, bathe regularly, use flea & tick prevention, heart worm prevention, and most important keep a clean environment for our pets.
Spring and summer seem to bring about fleas and bugs etc; however, In the fall statistics will show you that fleas are at their worse. Fleas wage war on our pets and our homes. They feed and then they breed.
They can be found in furniture, carpet, bedding, on your dog, on YOU. Just about anywhere.They can be picked up in the long grass outside and carried in. The same goes for ticks, they tend to live in long grass and wooded areas. So keeping your lawn cut is also important!
The Flea Life Cycle
In the Larva stage, fleas will look for a dark warm space to hide...they will burrow into your carpet fibres and stay there for 7-14 days. Anywhere they can find even, the possiblities in a house hold are endless.
The Pupa Stage - lasts for about a year....once the temperature and environment is right, (stimulation) they hatch. This could be vaccuming, walking in and out, your pet scratching at the carpet fibres. Big no no but it happens.
This flea cycle goes on and on, who knows how many there are. It is an endless cycle that you really have no power to completely stop; however, you can control it.
Signs of Fleas & Ticks
The fleas you see on your dog are only about 5 percent of the population. If you see them on your dog, they are in your environment breeding.
- Hair loss
- Black specks on skin and bedding or pet environment
- Dermatitis - dogs allergy to the biting
- Constant licking and gnawing
- They are on YOU!
Note: Be careful to examine your dogs poop, as ingesting an infected flea can lead to tapeworm.
Ticks are not always noticeable, depending on your dogs coat. My Lily has long hair, and the only way I could find a tick in the past was to comb through or pet her. If you notice a bump, take a closer look. Ticks much like fleas are drawn to moist areas on your pet. Take care in removing the tick using a tick twister. You do not want to break off the body and leave the head in the skin as it can lead to infection. It's important to note that if a tick is full of disease, you will have 24 hours to remove the tick to avoid infection. Infection can lay dormant for years without presenting, so it's a good idea to get blood work done every so often to check for lyme disease. There are vaccines, but in my mind preventative measures are the best, as vaccines aren't 100 percent effective.
How To Control Flea Infestation
Ticks are equally as disturbing; however, fleas can be tough to get rid of if you aren't armed. You may not be able to completely rid the world of fleas, but you can prevent them from affecting your life and give your dog some peace.
- REVOLUTION FOR DOGS - (SELAMECTIN) Prevents parasites. Just one application per month protects against heart worm, fleas and other parasites. Can treat puppies as young as six weeks. This medication will go into the dogs blood stream. Once a flea bites it will die, instead of living on to breed. Your dog becomes a walking exterminator.
Note: Once you apply REVOLUTION, adult fleas will be killed and flea reproduction will stop by preventing eggs from hatching. Woo hoo!!!! We're nearly there!
- VACUUM - As soon as you have finished vaccuming, tie up the bag or dispose of what you have collected immediately. This rids the fleas that are still kicking around out of your home!
- HOUSE HOLD CONTROL - There are many things you can use around the home to stop pests from coming in. Pests absolutely hate Citrus. Dimataceous earth can be purchased from any home hardware store, and is safe to ingest. Also a great choice and less harmful to animals than the sprays you can buy.
- BATHING - your pet and use a flea comb to search for fleas. Once you have found them immediately dip into hot water as this will kill the flea
Note : Look for irritated areas on your pet's back, abdomen, neck and rump and on the inside of the thighs. You can also check for flea "dirt" (which is actually flea feces) by running a fine-toothed metal flea comb through your dog's hair and wiping off the comb with a wet white paper towel. If any black flecks turn reddish (because of your dog's blood in the flea's feces) when wet, you've found flea dirt.)
There are newer solutions on the market that control both Flea and Tick which are mentioned in this article. If ticks aren't a problem in your area, then revolution is a wonderful solution as it also protects against heart worm and other parasites.
To Treat Or Not To Treat
What prevention method do you use on your pet?
Ticks are bloodsucking creatures, and are the leading carrier of disease. They have become more and more of a widespread problem. They are in the same family of the anthropod - and are spider like in nature. There are many different types of ticks commonly including the Blacklegged Tick, Lone Star Tick, and Dog Tick. They can transmit diseases such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Outbreaks of tick related illnesses are common between April and September, when the weather is warmer.
Ticks generally will perch atop long grass and wait for a host to walk by then latch on. They do not fall from trees, they do not have the stamina, but precautions in any case are warranted.
When a tick bites a human or dog sometimes it goes unnoticed, as they deer tick which transmits Lyme disease, is so tiny. They latch on and bury their heads into the skin, and begin to feed. They have a window of about twelve hours to transmit their disease, so it's best to get them off within that time, using appropriate tools such as the tick twister.
Bravecto and Advantix
Because traditional flea medications do not always prevent against ticks, there are newer solutions available to you. Bravecto is a treat that can be given once every three months to protect against flea and ticks, meaning they kill the tick and fleas once they attempt to feed, breaking the window of time it takes to transmit disease. It's economical and fun for your dog.
Advantix claims, "No bite is right." So it works as a parasitic atop the skin repelling the fleas and ticks from biting.
Netiher of these options protect against heartworm, so you will need to use heartguard tablet to prevent against this. Revolution will kill a tick but only after a couple of weeks, so if you want to use revolution which also prevents against heart worm, you will need to find some other form of tick prevention should you live in a tick prevalent area.
I have used all methods and have found Bravecto to be the best on the market. No side effects and no waiting between bath times. My dog also has a heart guard tablet which is like a treat to take as well.