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Fleas in Summer

Fleas in Summer

You must have observed that flea problem tends to worsen during summer. In this article, you will find several ways to control fleas.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Fleas can be quite a nuisance to your pets. While most cats and dogs are naturally gifted at grooming and keeping themselves clean, fleas can infest the hard to reach areas on your pet's body and start breeding there. Once your pet gets infested with fleas, they can make your pet's life very difficult. The constant scratching and biting makes their skin raw and susceptible to various infections. As a pet owner, you must be aware that fleas especially thrive in hot and humid weather. As a result, you find more fleas around summer time.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Summer?
Fleas are six legged parasites that thrive on mammal blood. Their body structure is flat, compressed one, that allows them to crawl all over their host's body. Besides, their legs are especially equipped to take higher, longer strides. A flea can jump up to 33 cm in a single leap. Also, their bodies are designed to withstand large amount of pressure (this explains why you cannot kill a flea by squeezing it between your fingers). A female flea lays up to 50 eggs per day. The adult flea population accounts for only 5% of total flea infestation. The infestation comprises fleas in various stages of their life cycle such as larvae, pupae etc. An egg completes its life cycle within 14 days. Thus, you can imagine the rate at which the fleas infest your pets and eventually your home.
Fleas are most commonly found on the fur of animals, inside ears and on skin folds. The first sign of flea infestation that you can see is in the form of tiny black, brown spots on the fur of animal. This 'flea dirt' is excretory product of adult fleas which forms a source of nutrition for larvae. Thus, it is imperative to remove flea dirt as fast as possible. You can remove active fleas from your pet's body using a flea comb. Always remember to soak the comb in soap water after every use as soap kills fleas. Also, bathe your pet as frequently as possible to get rid of fleas, larvae and flea dirt.
Hot, humid weather during summer can trigger the reproduction of fleas. Besides, your pets are more likely to spend time outdoors, with other neighborhood pets. This makes them very prone to catch infestation. This infestation can then easily find its way into your house, in your kid's bedroom, on furniture, carpets etc. The tremendous growth rate of fleas during summer makes it almost impossible to get rid of infestation completely. Yet, you can follow these measures to ensure a flea-free summer for your pets.
  • Start inspecting for fleas from the very beginning of summer. If you see reddish, brown specs of your pet's fur, switch to flea control measures immediately. This will give you enough time to eradicate fleas before active symptoms develop.
  • Use flea medicines, shampoos to bathe your pets regularly. Considering the 14 day lifecyle of flea, you should administer medications every two weeks. This will take care of even the smallest bit of infestation.
  • For removing fleas from your home, simply start vacuuming the possible infested areas such as bedspreads, carpets, furniture etc. Dispose off the garbage bags as fast as possible. Wash the infested bedspreads, carpets with soap or detergent. You may have to repeat this exercise of flea control in home every few weeks to ensure a flea-free home.
  • If possible, try to keep your pet away from other flea infested animals.
These measures should help you in warding off fleas in summer. Besides your pets, you should also prevent fleas from infesting your kids as well as other humans.