Fido's Flea Problem Is A Pet Owner's NightmareNPMA Staff
Friday, May 7, 2010
By NPMA Staff
A beloved pet is scratching up a storm on the family couch. A
closer examination of the animal's coat and the owner sees tiny
brown specs scurrying along the animal's skin- fleas. According to
the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), fleas are not only
an itchy annoyance. These pests can also be a major headache for
homeowners trying to control infestations.
"Fleas are known for their quick breeding capabilities and a
handful can quickly turn into hundreds if left unchecked," says
Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "Their
small size and mobility make it impossible to find them on surfaces
such as carpets and linens, but a pest professional can help to
eradicate an infestation."
Fleas feed on warm-blooded hosts, including humans. Known for
leaving itchy, red bumps, these parasites are also known for
transporting themselves on rodents and other mammals by using their
powerful legs to jump as high as 8 inches vertically and 16 inches
NPMA offers tips for pet owners this season:
- Check pets frequently for fleas and flea dirt, especially after
being outside. Be aware of excessive scratching, licking and
nibbling grooming behavior in pets.
- Avoid walking pets in tall grass where there is a greater
chance of fleas hitching a ride.
- Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals as fleas
can jump from host to host.
- Talk with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options
available to kill fleas and flea eggs.
- Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.
- Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture
frequently. Empty vacuum bags/collectors and throw the contents
away in an outside receptacle.
- If you suspect a flea infestation, contact a licensed pest
professional immediately to treat the pest problem.