Is your dog always scratching and biting himself? Does he have visible bumps on the skin? Is he experiencing hair loss at the tail or near the rump? If you see these signs, chances are your poor pup has fleas. Please do not fret; here we’ve compiled tried and tested home remedies for fleas on dogs.
The most important first few steps in getting rid of fleas is to know what they look like, to understand how these fleas work, and what are the signs and symptoms of their presence. Keep in mind that fleas not only infest dogs and cats, they also feed on human blood as well.
Overview of fleas
Fleas are small bugs that feed on blood for their sustenance. They are about 1 / 12 inch to 1/ 6 inch in length which is the size of a hairpin, hey have reddish-brown bodies that are oval in shape, disproportionately small heads, and with six legs. Their bodies are flattened sideways, which allow them to navigate easily through the furs and hairs of their hosts. They have claws that they use to hang on to their hosts. They also have mouthparts that can pierce the skin to allow them to feed. They do not have wings, so they are flightless. What they do have is power from their legs, which enables them to jump to up to four feet.
Flea life cycle
Understanding the flea life cycle would also help in controlling these pests. Fleas through a complete metamorphosis throughout their lifetime: the egg stage, larva, pupa, and the adult stage. The flea egg takes two days to hatch. The female adult lays her eggs on her animal host, but usually falls over and can be found in different parts of the house. While the adult flea lays her eggs, she feeds on the host by sucking its blood. After the eggs hatch, it becomes larvae. The larvae look like tiny worms and last for five days. They will feed on any of the available food sources nearby. It could be the dead skin cells, organic matter, or feces of the adult fleas that are blood rich. Then it turns into a cocoon. It will remain there until the conditions in the environment are just right. When it senses a host nearby, it will emerge as an adult. The cycle would then start all over again. A fully developed flea will patiently wait in its cocoon for a host that it can jump on. An adult female can lay as much as 40 eggs a day and can lay eggs already after 1 to 2 days of their first blood meal. It is highly advisable to call insect exterminator and pest control services near you.
Signs of fleas on dogs
If you are looking for fleas on your pet dog, it is best to look at the hairy parts, on the belly, and their inner thighs. Other signs of fleas on your dog are if it is scratching and biting itself non-stop due to itchiness; your dog will have redness on its skin; dry and irritated skin; and raised bumps and scabs. There may also be small dark spots that look like pepper, which are actually flea feces. To be sure that these are flea feces, get a paper towel and pick them off. Wait for a few minutes. If these specks spread out like bloodstains, then your dog has fleas.
Some dogs may have mild symptoms, while others may have more severe symptoms. These include hypersensitivity, tapeworms, skin infection, and behavioral problems. If you have a cat, Catmania advise to look out for the following signs as fleas can easily be transferred between dogs and cats:
- Scratching their head or licking between hind legs
- Chewing or biting at themselves.
- Fur loss from scratching
- Skin redness
Where to find them, aside from being on your pet?
Fleas can also be found around the house. They love to stay on carpets since the appearance of carpets are almost like the furry skin of dogs and cats. This is also where they usually fall off after latching on to your pets. While they are on the carpet, they wait and lay in ambush for the next host. They can also be found in dirty clothes that have been in one place for a long time. They also find indoor plants are also inviting and cozy. Here, they can stay and hide uninterrupted.
Effective home remedies for fleas
Defend your family and pets from these pests. Nowadays, more and more people prefer homemade, natural remedies rather than using chemical insecticides that can be harmful to pets and humans. According to the professional Fantastic flea exterminator Evan Carr, you can try the following homemade remedies for fleas:
- Diatomaceous earth - Diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized remains of diatoms. They look like tiny shards of broken glass that are very lethal, not just to fleas, ut to other crawling pests as well. These are in powder form. Sprinkle some on areas around the home wherein you think there are fleas. Pay special attention to places where your dogs frequent. You can also put some on your dog. When the fleas crawl on diatomaceous earth, it will inflict tiny cuts on their bodies, causing them to dehydrate and die. Make sure diatomaceous earth is always dry to remain effective in killing fleas.
- Make a repellent using horse apples. Using this fruit is a traditional way of getting rid of fleas. Using a knife, cut off the horse apples into several pieces then put under the sun to make it more potent. Once it is dried, scatter the pieces around the house. Let it remain in place for two months. Keep doing this every two months.
- Sprinkle table salt throughout the house. This is probably one of the simplest and cheapest ways of getting rid of fleas. After sprinkling table salt around the house, let it stay for a few hours and then vacuum the areas where you sprinkled salt. Do this until the fleas are gone.
Follow these natural remedies that are proven very safe, and you will have a flea-free home.