Fleas are the most common cause of skin disease in dogs and cats here in the Portland area, and across the country. Not only can they cause skin disease, they can cause severe discomfort, anxiety and pain to our furry family members. Fleas can bite up to 400 times in a single day, everyday. They are ravenous, disgusting, blood-suckers that consume up to 15 times their own body weight daily. When a flea bites its victim, it injects saliva into the skin. This starts an awful process, starting with the initial allergic reaction, followed by intense itching, hair loss, scabs and irritated skin that can, and often will, end in an infected.
     Animals that are exposed to these vampire pests, can loose so much blood that they become anemic. Anemia is a dangerous drop in the number of red blood cells in the body and it is very dangerous. Small animals, such as kittens or puppies are especially vulnerable to anemia from flea bites. If untreated this could result in death of the tiny animal. Signs anemia has set into your tiny fur baby include, lethargy (a severe lack of energy), and pale gums. If you see these signs in your pet after noticing fleas, seek help from a veterinarian immediately.
    Identify fleas early on your pets and in your home by knowing what you are looking for. Fleas are reddish-brown in color and are small, wingless insects. They have oval shaped bodies and flattened broad spines. The body is covered with a tough shell with many bristles. They will feast on the blood of animals, of course, but also humans and birds. It is very easy for a flea to catch a ride into your home via your pet and then jump from your pet to your bedding and onto you. Skin infections and the intense itching becomes unbearable for people too.
    A total flea infestation does not take much time at all. A female flea can lay 40 to 50 eggs a day! If a female lays eggs on your pet, some eggs may fall and hatch on your carpet, bed or other furniture, being easily spread to everyone in your household. New and old fleas will be looking to feed, and new females can begin laying eggs 2 days after her first blood meal. These annoying pests are extremely hard to get rid of because of their rapid reproduction rate and long, complex life cycles. A flea can live up to an entire year in the presence of a host to feed on and up to 100 days without a blood meal.
    Pet, home and even yard treatments need to begin at the same time. Thoroughly bathe pets with mild soap and water, starting with a ring of soap around the neck so fleas don’t run to hide on the head.  Next, you will want to comb your pet with a flea comb and follow up with a vet recommended treatment. Some fleas may be at different stages and may actually be resistant to some flea control products. 2 or more follow-up treatments, every 5-10 days, will be necessary to get rid of all fleas. Even a moderate infestation could take months of treatment without professional intervention. Sasquatch Pest Control is your greatest ally in the fight to rid your family from the dangers of being a meal for fleas. Call today! 503-828-9492