It is said that the annual global spend for treating fleas via prescriptions is worth $4 billion dollars, and that flea related vet bills estimate at around $2.8 billion dollars. It’s big business keeping your pet flea-free. This blog will help you understand the flea which in turn will help you eliminate them.
A little bit about the pesky flea:
Flightless, wingless insects but man can they jump! Fifty times their body length to be exact, that’s like us jumping 90 metres!
There are 2500 species of fleas. Some exclusively feed/breed on a single host group, others are less fussy and feed on whatever they find.
The cat flea feeds/breeds on cats, dogs and us humans too!
The first sign is the itching! A flea bite can cause raised, swollen spots in lines of two’s or as a cluster of bites.
The itching is created from the saliva injected at the time of biting and can continue long after the adult flea has left its host. The continual scratching can cause hair loss and if left untreated can cause terrible discomfort to your pet.
A Flea Allergy Dermatitis, known as FAD, is an allergic reaction to their saliva. The eggs and faeces can also create itching. If you have an allergy pet it is more than likely that they will have an allergy to fleas too.
So what are you looking for on your pet?
It’s not just the fleas you are looking for. The adult fleas job is to feed and breed. So after they have produced eggs on their host their job is done and they leave. The eggs can take 2 days to 2 weeks to hatch into larvae from there the larvae feed on the adults faeces which is basically dried blood. Then they pupate, drop to the ground (think floors, carpets, bedding) and wait for a new host to kick-start them into hatching which can be up to 200 days later!
Let's say you have 5 adult fleas this means that you will also have 50 eggs, 35 larvae, 10 pupae. 95% of the problem is caused by the latter three stages.
So you're not just looking for the fleas, you are looking for tiny, white, oval shaped eggs and dirt like speckles of dust.
How can I keep fleas away from my house?
Fleas like to live in moist, humid, warm conditions. They like humidity at 70%+ and around 20-30 deg celsius. The best way to tackle the problem is to make inhospitable environments for them to live in.
This means reducing the humidity and moisture:
- Air your pet’s bedding regularly in the sun for 6-8 hours – this will eliminate moisture
- Wash your pet’s beds in hot water
- Dry bedding in a dryer
- Use natural insecticides to treat floors and carpets
fill with baking soda,
add 4-6 drops lavender essential oil
Sprinkle over the carpets.
then vacuum up using a hepa filter.
And don’t forget to do your wooden floors too – wash in water, white vinegar and a few drops of lavender oil.
Care if you have a cat - essential oils are toxic to cats – due to the cat's physiology they lack the ability to eliminate some of the compounds and these toxins can build up. Never use essential oils around cats.
How can I keep fleas away from my pets?
As with any living thing the weak are always attacked first – it’s just the way of nature. Keep your pet healthy from the inside out – this is a big factor. Continual overloading of allergens weakens the internal system – you can read more about allergens in last month's blog here. Good clean diets will make a pet healthy and strong from the inside out. Support their internal system with prebiotics or probiotics.
For us it’s a combination of keeping the dogs healthy from the inside, treating the house with lavender oil, washing the dogs in a neem based soap and putting the dogs beds in the sun daily (when it’s out).
If you make your house inhospitable then they won’t want to live there in the first place and will go elsewhere.
As we are heading up north for the holidays I am currently trialling flee-flea to support my dogs' internal system. This is a supplement that can be ingested or sprinkled on the coat to act as a flea deterrent. They are currently eating it daily in their food with no problems (and I have fussy eaters!). Have you experienced this product – would love to hear your feedback??
Another natural control is a frequency programmed pendant, these work on your pet's frequencies. All cells and molecules of living things vibrate within a certain range of frequencies called Harmonic Resonance Frequency. The Pawtect pendant uses your pet’s natural energy to send out ‘flea and tick repelling frequencies’ creating a natural, effective barrier that is active for up to two years. Pawtect, which has been available in New Zealand since 2011, is a leading edge chemical-free frequency programmed pendant worn on your cat or dog’s collar.
Pawtect is another example of immune supporting treatments as it is all about being healthy from the inside so if you are after a natural long lasting treatment then I would highly recommend researching this modern day technology - you can check more info and reviews here: http://www.pawtect.com/testimonials/
You know your products are effective as, like us at Eezapet, Pawtect offer a money back guarantee too.
So as you can see there are many different ways to treat your pet and your house.
If your pet does get bitten, gets itchy or suffers with a FAD then of course Eezapet will break that itch/scratch cycle. Applied to the itchy area the scratching stops within 5-15 minutes and the powerful herbal formulation helps the skin to heal, promoting hair regrowth.
Eezapet made for a speedy recovery for rescue dog Coco who had a terrible FAD. Removing her from her environment was also necessary. Photos taken 7 days apart
Happy pets make happy owners - it’s the Eezapet way