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As a pet owner, it is likely that you’ve had a run-in or two with fleas. If not, you’ve at least had the possibility on your mind. You have to know that your dogs and cars are vulnerable to fleas. As a matter of fact, any wildlife that you house in your backyard can be susceptible to fleas. Most people just consider fleas only a nuisance, but they can pose serious health problems. These parasites are known for transmitting typhus and plague. They do this by vectoring the disease-causing bacteria to a host via their bites. In Atlanta, GA, fleas should be considered more than just a prime annoyance and cause a major cause for concern.
The Most Common Types Of Fleas
There is no denying that there are tons of species of fleas. With just a little research and effort, you can quickly discover this. That being said, the most common flea you’ll find in Atlanta, GA is what is known as the cat flea or the Ctenocephalides Felis. The adults of these species are about 1/8 inch long and flat as a credit card. Unlike bed bugs and lice, these critters will actually appear slim and flat when viewed from above.
This body shape gives them several distinct advantages. The first is obvious, as it allows them to effortlessly slide between the hairs on an animal’s body. It also gives them the ability to escape and elude capture. All this being said, there is a common misconception about this species of flea. That misconception is that they only appear on cats, hence the name. This is, however, not the case at all. These critters can be found on any animal from cats to dogs, opossums, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. There have even been some instances when fleas entered homes without pets. They simply went into the home and attached themselves to the occupant’s shoes and clothing items.
The Flea Bite
Flea bites can be extremely troubling. As you’ve already learned a single flea bite can lead to typhus and plague. However, a bite can also lead to pet hair loss. This is usually the result of constant scratching of flea allergy dermatitis. When there are large infestations the risks are even greater. This is because there can be severe blood loss and anemia or even death. In addition to all this, fleas are hosts to tapeworms that can infect indoor pets and in some cases, even humans.
Prevention Of Fleas
Believe it or not, prevention of fleas is much easier than elimination. Once they’ve established themselves in your home they can be hard to eradicate. This is why it is best to head the problem head-on and try to prevent the problem before it starts. That being said, there is no way to completely eliminate your potential threat of flea infestation, but there are things you can do to greatly increase your chances. In order to do this you’ll want to:
- Think twice about getting a pet, especially if you aren’t going to take the time to properly protect them against fleas.
- Pets should be regularly issued anti-parasite medication for flea prevention.
- Mowing the lawn frequently will reduce the humidity at ground level. A grass height of about 3 inches should suffice.
- Never feed wildlife on your property and consider adding a fence to your property to keep out wildlife and unwanted pets.
- If you have a porch or low deck, you might want to consider installing heavy gauge wire or some other barricade around the structure to keep out unwanted guests.
- Keep a diligent eye on your pets and their living quarters. Always consult with a professional before issuing your pet any type of flea medication because you just might make the situation all that much worse.
- Wash your pet’s bedding and clothing on a regular basis.
- Thoroughly vacuum carpeted areas and rugs to remove larvae and eggs or any potential threat.
While you can never completely zero out your chances of flea infestation, you can see there are ways to increase the chances of living a flea-free existence. Also, you’ll always have the option of turning to pest management professionals. This is especially true if you are in Atlanta, GA, as there are tons of reputable providers that provide reputable services.
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