Fleas have a long and illustrious history. Some of it good. Much of it bad. You may wonder what we mean by 'good.' How can fleas be good? Believe it or not there have been some who have used fleas in a positive way. A good example is the use of live, performing fleas to entertain people. These sideshow acts were called flea circuses and, yes, they were a thing. But most of the history of fleas is bad. There is no better example of the bad than the black plague, which claimed the lives of more than 70 million people from 1347 to 1351. While the plague still exists today, it is uncommon. The flea-borne diseases we battle most often are Murine typhus, several forms of Bartonellosis, flea allergy dermatitis, tularemia, tungiasis, tapeworm and anemia, most of which impact dogs and cats. Each year, Americans spend around $2.8 billion on flea-related veterinarian bills, $1.6 billion on flea treatments at groomers, $4 billion on flea medications and $348 million on flea pest control. Fleas are a big problem and people who have pets are hit the hardest. Here is a quick guide for flea prevention in Texas that will help you protect your furry family members.
How To Tell If Pets Have Fleas
This is a good place to start. Detecting fleas early can save your pets, and everyone in your home, a lot of misery. Use these tips to catch fleas fast:
- Take notice when your pet scratches. If fleas are biting your dog or your cat, they are likely to scratch during and after they are bitten. Frequent scratching is a sure sign that your pet has fleas.
- Do an inspection of your dog or cat by parting fur and blowing gently to reveal fleas climbing in their fur, near their skin. Comb the fur with your fingers or with a grooming comb if needed. Fleas are ⅙ to 1/12 of an inch, hard and dark reddish-brown.
- Inspect your pet for irritated skin or hair loss.
How To Reduce Fleas In Your Yard
Fleas don't hop into your yard, they hitch a ride on a wild animal. When you take measures to prevent animal traffic in your yard, you reduce flea populations and limit your dog's or cat's exposure to fleas.
- Remove or correct conditions that allow puddles to form in your yard or water to collect in a container. These offer a drink for wild animals.
- Put bird feeders at least 20 feet from your exterior walls. Mice are highly attracted to seeds as a food source and a single mouse can have many fleas.
- Install fencing around gardens, berry bushes and fruit trees to keep animals away.
- Install fencing to prevent animals from seeking harborage under your deck, porch, stairs or some other structure on your property.
- Keep bagged trash in trash receptacles that have a lid. Secure these receptacles so they cannot be knocked over.
Keep Rodents Out
Your dog and cat aren't the only animals that can bring fleas into your home. Rodents commonly carry fleas in with them. Inspect your exterior walls and foundation and seal gaps, cracks, and holes. Pay close attention to doors and windows.
Flea Control for Pets
- Consult your veterinarian about whether or not flea collars are right for your pet.
- If you have dogs, install fencing to establish an outdoor play area. This will help to keep wild animals out and to contain your dogs to prevent them from exploring your landscaping where fleas may be waiting for a host.
- If you suspect you have fleas, you may try cleaning all pet bedding, vacuuming all your rugs, and applying a product to your pet to eliminate the fleas.
Professional Flea Control
Fleas can be a problem any time of year and they're still active right now in East Texas. If you're dealing with a flea infestation, we can help you get rid of those fleas. We use EPA-approved products that work to break the cycle of reproduction.
If you don't have a flea infestation yet and you'd like to avoid one, this is another way we can help. We offer ongoing flea reduction for homes in East Texas. Reach out to us today to learn more or to schedule service.