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10 Things to Know About Fleas Before Choosing Flea Prevention Products

If you have animals, fleas are probably a concern for you. Fleas can be rather pesky and almost any warm-blooded animal can be a host for fleas including dogs, cats, birds and even people. Understanding more about fleas will help you with flea prevention and to overcome a flea infestation if you are affected. Here are 10 fun and helpful facts that can help you when making a flea prevention plan, and when choosing the right products for your pet.

1. Fleas are very small. In fact they are usually between 1/16 and 1/8 of inch in length when full grown. They have a short, flattened body. Because of their small size and flattened body, they are able to easily move through hair and feathers.

2. Fleas are great jumpers. They have a total of 6 tiny legs and the back 2 are used to easily propel the fleas more than 200 times their body length.

3. While fleas are skilled jumpers, they cannot fly. They have no wings.

4. Fleas lay small oval shaped eggs. They are generally white in color and are found in groupings of about 20 eggs.

5. Fleas can multiply very quickly. A single adult can lay up to 50 eggs in a single day. This can make getting rid of fleas very difficult. If you leave just one adult behind, they can quickly multiply.

6. Adult fleas primarily consume blood which they obtain from their host. In order to lay eggs, an adult must first consume blood from their host.

7. Flea larvae do not eat blood. Instead they consume the waste of the adult flea as well as dead skin cells and hair.

8. Fleas can cause serious health problems and can spread disease. Fleas commonly cause a form of skin allergy called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). They can also cause other forms of skin irritation as well. Fleas can also carry the bacteria known for causing the bubonic plague and typhus as well as tapeworms, viruses and protozoans.

9. Killing fleas can be very difficult and usually requires a combination approach to fully eradicate the fleas in all four stages of the flea life cycle (egg, larva, pupa and adult). The best flea treatment methods use a combination of flea powders and sprays as well as treating the affected animal with drops, flea collars and shampoos. In addition controlling the humidity levels and careful cleaning of the home including vacuuming can be very effective. For best results, a consultation with a veterinarian will result in the most effective and balanced plan.

10. Don't just treat once and assume that your flea problem will be remedied. Since fleas have a long and diverse lifecycle it is a good idea to continue treatment for at least 6 months. Many times it will appear that the flea infestation has subsided, but it then reoccurs once treatment is stopped. Once the infestation is taken care of, preventing fleas should then become an active and consistent regimen.

As you can see, there is a lot to know about fleas. While a flea infestation can cause some serious problems, they can also be taken care of. Prevent when possible, but if you are suffering from fleas, don't worry. With a little care and some time you will be able to fully eliminate your flea problem from your home and animals. Please consult with your veterinarian before beginning any flea control or elimination program for additional information. is a helpful resource sponsored by the Munster Animal Hospital. On this popular pet forum you will find interesting discussion, helpful articles and animal lovers from across the globe.



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