We all love our furry friends. Who can resist their adorable cuteness? Whether they are dogs, cats, or hamsters, they all certainly helps melt away all of life’s stressors. Studies have also shown that pets can help prolong lives. Apparently, these studies have reached the community of fleas, as they continue to attack our pets and apparently, they get to live longer whenever they do so. That is why they are such frustrating pets to pet lovers.
If only our dogs can talk, they can immediately tell us about all the sufferings inflicted by fleas, which would make it a little easier for their owners to help their helpless pets. But as we all know, they do not speak, so it would be up to us to ease the sufferings of our good old friends.
Flea problems are common among pet owners. Dogs, in particular, are their favorite hosts. It does not really matter if your home is spotlessly clean, fleas only care about the presence of hosts in your house. If you are having flea problems, and are looking for the best home remedies, you came to the right place.
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Common Types of Fleas in the United States
There are around 2,500 species of them all throughout the world. Out of this number, there are only 200 present in the United States. We can narrow this down further to a few types that are more common pests among homeowners. Below is a rogue’s list of fleas that continue to frustrate American pet owners:
1. Cat fleas
Their main hosts are cats, but they also infest other animals like dogs, hamsters, and even humans. If they are not latched on to your pet, they can usually be found hiding on carpets. They also love to hide in indoor plants as well as on clothes.
2. Dog fleas
Dog fleas are sometimes confused with cat fleas, but the difference is the appearance of their heads. And just like cat fleas, they infest mammals and even humans. They are not as prevalent as the cat fleas, though.
3. Rat fleas
Rat fleas feed on rats, but can feed on human blood too. There are two kinds of rat fleas: the Oriental and the Northern rat fleas.
Oriental rat fleas came from the Orient and came to America. Their size is about 2.5 mm in length and are very good jumpers because their body shape are perfect for jumping.
The Northern rat fleas, on the other hand, originated from Europe and are the most widely spread among all its genus. They have long bodies, about 3 to 4 mm in length, and with eyes on its head. Rat fleas usually are found in rats but can also use humans as host.
4. Springtail fleas
Springtail fleas like to live in damp areas. They are about the size of a pinhead, and are very good jumpers. This type of fleas can jump to as high as four feet. Unlike the other fleas, they do not attach themselves to animals, unless they detect a skin infection which would make the skin damp and therefore attractive.
5. Human flea
Human fleas infest humans. They like to hide in the hairy parts of the human body, such as the underarms and the head. Practicing good hygiene will keep them away.
6. Chicken fleas
These fleas are found buried near the face or head of chickens. They would at first glance appear like the chickens have black heads. Upon closer inspection you would find out they are chicken fleas.
7. Sticktight fleas
They love to bury their heads on the skin of animals. They are so difficult to remove because of this habit. They infest dogs, cats, birds, and even humans. They are so difficult to remove because of this habit.
Flea Life Cycle
Fleas go through a complete metamorphosis during their lifetime. They go through 4 stages: the egg stage, larva, pupa, and the adult stage.
An adult female can lay as much as 40 eggs a day, and these eggs would take two days to hatch. After the eggs hatch, they turn into larvae. The larvae look like tiny worms and last for 5 days.
The third stage in their life cycle is when the larvae will form a cocoon to pupate. They will stay there until they sense a host and then they emerge as adult fleas. A fully developed flea will patiently wait in its cocoon for a host that it can jump on.
The cocoon can sense vibrations, carbon dioxide exhales, and warm temperature – signs that a potential host is just around the corner. The cycle would then start all over again. A female flea can lay eggs already after 1 to 2 days of their first blood meal. It is the reason you need to call a local pest control near you for swift eradication of these pests in your home.
Effective Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs
Set your pet free. Fleas will only torture your poor dog until such time as they are completely removed. Here are some of the best home remedies for fleas on your dog:
- Use baking soda and add salt to it. This is one of the simplest yet most effective treatment for fleas. Just mix the two together and put inside an old shaker bottle. Spread this mixture all over your carpet and on your furniture. Put some also on your pet’s bed. Leave this mixture overnight, then vacuum in the morning. Fleas will be removed by doing this.
- Use apple cider vinegar. Mix a liter of water with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Since apple cider vinegar is acidic, it will make your dog’s coat be acidic too. This will reduce flea infection.
- Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on carpets, furniture, your pet’s bed, and anywhere your dog frequents. Diatomaceous earth is also safe enough to be directly applied to your dog’s body. Make sure that you avoid the eyes, ears, nose, and genitals. This can kill the fleas by dehydrating them.
By using one of these remedies, or combining them, you can be sure to eliminate these troublesome pests. As a result, you will have a happy and healthy dog.