Living in the deep south we are no great strangers to fleas and ticks. There are well over two thousand kinds of fleas… but it only takes one kind needed to cause health issues and annoyances for your family and your dog. Fleas and ticks can live well over a year without feeding and lie in the grass waiting for us, or our dogs, to simply walk by so that they may attach and feed. Our pets are most commonly infested with female ticks, and those females lay eggs, and that is how a major infestation grows out of hand. Fleas and ticks generally inhabit wooded areas and tall grasses or shrubbary, 18 to 24 inches in length.
When fleas bite they transmit their saliva and with this saliva sometimes comes many health issues. Bites can also cause skin allergies in most pets, causing them to scratch and irritate their skin so bad that rashes and hives can form, and the hair may fall out. Tapeworm is a parasite that can be transmitted to your pet from fleas, but some would say that ticks could be the real harbingers of disaster. Ticks have been known to transfer Lyme Disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, tularamia, and many more diseases that kill many dogs a year. Luckily ticks can be worse from one area to another and can multiply or die off during the seasons or on a yearly basis. This, however, doesnt mean that your pet is safe at any time or in any given area. It only takes one flea to cause a major infestation, and it only takes one tick to give your pet a life threatening disease.
Fleas and ticks are pests that can sound pretty scary, but there are many ways to prevent an infestation. Keeping your home dry and clean on a regular basis will help keep them away. Many stores sell flea powders that you simply sprinkle into your carpet, let it sit for a few minutes, and vacuum it up. Keeping your lawn mowed regularly is a must, and there are various chemicals you can use to treat your yard that are not hazardous to your family and pets. There are many natural remedies that are spread about by rumor but there tends to be a lack in scientific proof that these remedies actually work, and it is also important to keep in mind that just because a remedy is organic or natural doesnt mean that it is safe for your family and your pets. If you simply keep your yard to a bare minimum of ground you will highly cut down your chances of a flea and tick infestation. There are also many preventative topical solutions that you can apply to your pet once a month to fight off fleas and ticks. Some of these products include Frontline, Advantix, Petamour, and Hartz flea solutions; and you can purchase tons of different brands of grooming shampoos that will kill and fight agains these pesky bugs.
If you notice your pet itching frantically or happen to find a flea or tick on them is wise to schedule a visit with your veterinary clinic so that a treatment method can be discussed. Many clinics offer great treatment methods and can suggest lots of methods for you to rid your hoousehold and your pet from infestation. It is also smart to consult your vet before using any topical treatments on your dog. If your dog has skin allergies or any other health problems some of these treatments can be extremely harmful and only cause more health issues. Be sure to read up on fleas and ticks to gain the best possible knowledge on how to prevent and treat infestation, and consult your local veterinary clinic and shelters for advice in dealing with these vermin.