The flea is a genus of parasitic insects possessing a suctorial mouth, from which protrudes a lancet-shaped proboscis, with it it pierces animal skin and draws blood. Fleas can leap 200 times its own length.
Have you ever suffered with fleas in your home?
Let's face it, fleas are so annoying, not only to our pets but to us and they exist everywhere.
Understanding some basic information about the flea will help you get rid of them once and for all.
What Are Fleas?
Most of us think of fleas as the tiny creatures that live on dogs and cause them to scratch constantly. But did you know that there are more than nine hundred different species of fleas?
Fleas are parasitic insects, which means they live on other creatures. They live on all mammals (including man), as well as on birds and many other animals. In fact, next to flies, fleas are the insects with which people all over the world are most familiar. This is because they infect domestic animals and man, and have done so since the earliest times.
The bite of a flea can cause quite a bit of discomfort, but that is not the chief reason they are troublesome. Fleas can carry serious diseases, like typhus fever and bubonic plague, which may result in death.
Fleas lay their tiny eggs right on the host animal on whom they arc living, or in the places where the host sleeps. The eggs are scattered widely by the movement of the host.
Larvae come out of the eggs, and when these are mature, they spin a tiny cocoon, and out of this the adult flea eventually comes. It only lakes twenty-eight to forty-eight days for the human flea to develop horn an egg stage to an adult. The rat flea in the tropics takes only twenty-one days.
An adult flea has no wings. But it has well-developed legs that it uses lot leaping, and some species of fleas are quite remarkable leapers. Some can jump as high as twenty centimetres straight up and thirty centimetres horizontally!
The mouth parts of a flea are adapted to pierce the skin of other animals to suck blood, on which they live. The body itself is flat.
Fleas are most abundant in the tropics and warmer regions, but they also exist in the polar regions and in deserts. In North America, the most important species of fleas are the human flea, the dog flea and the cat flea. All three kinds however, attach humans dogs and cats among other animals.
Disease Ridden Little Parasites
Fleas are the most widespread external parasite for pet owners worldwide. Fleas not only annoy dogs and people but can carry disease and cause other health problems. Fleas carry tapeworm, cause an allergic skin condition in dogs called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) and are carriers of infectious agents. Fleas may also cause secondary skin infection and anaemia in puppies, older and also immuno-suppressed dogs. Severe infestations may even lead to death.
Flea-related diseases account for over 50% of skin disease cases reported to veterinarians. The vast majority of these conditions could be prevented by the regular use of a fast, effective flea treatment.
While rats are widely known for spreading the bubonic plague it was in fact the fleas which spread the disease amongst the rats.
A clove a day keeps the fleas away
Many dogs and cats seem to benefit in the fight against fleas from the addition of garlic and brewer's yeast to their diets. When these substances are metabolized, an odor (and flavor) that fleas find very unattractive develops in the skin.
One to three fresh garlic cloves, pulverized and mixed with food, may be administered daily. (But keep in mind that garlic will have the same effect on your pet's breath as it does on yours.)
The important flea-control ingredient in brewer's yeast is thiamine (vitamin B). A level of one milligram (1 mg) of thiamine daily for each five pounds of your pet's body weight is ideal. For an average-size cat, this would translate to one teaspoon of brewer's yeast; for a large dog, you might administer one tablespoon of brewer's yeast supplemented with a B-complex vitamin pill. Brewer's yeast can also be dusted on externally as a flea powder. (If your pet licks some off, there's no harm done.)
A third important flea-fighting dietary supplement is zinc. This mineral is essential for healthy skin, but is lacking in many pets' diets. Use chelated (pronounced key-lated) zinc: 10 mg daily for cats and small dogs; 20 mg for larger canines.
These dietary supplements will require close to a month to build up to flea-fighting levels in a pet's skin. So start them in the spring before you find yourself in the midst of a severe flea invasion.
Of course, nothing is likely to completely eliminate fleas forever. However, you can rest assured that your efforts to eliminate and prevent fleas will directly benefit your pet's health and happiness.
And when it comes to those dangerous chemical pesticides, it's nice to know that we can live without them.
Natural Flea Spray - 100% Chemical FREE
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Chewable Tablet and Results in 30 Minutes
Washing dogs with flea shampoo, brushing them through with flea powder or putting a drop of flea treatment on the back of their neck has given me mixed, and always short-lived results. When I first heard of it sounded like a magic cure. A chewable tablet, works within 30 minutes and lasts a whole month. Surely it was too good to be true. But it works exactly as advertised. And its brought me (and of course my dogs) much relief. In summer it was too hot for the dogs to be outside so I kept them in the spacious home office with me. And the hot and humid conditions, and the fact that we lived on a property with green paddocks all around, meant that the fleas thrived outside. As soon as the dogs went outside to relieve themselves every few hours a whole host of fleas would hitch a ride back into the house. Driving the dogs mad, and me, as they found their way from the dogs backs to my bared legs. Every night when I put the dogs to bed in the garden shed (their bedding shook out and sprinkled with flea powder) I would spray the office with a special flea carpet spray. All that is a thing of the past now that they take a monthly tablet of Capstar. Capstar
Try it, you won't be disappointed.
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