Spring is Here and So Are the Fleas

The time of year has arrived where we are getting ourselves ready to enjoy the warmth, the sunlight and the vacations that are awaiting us over the next few months. For a lot of people, spring is their favorite time of the year.

Temperatures are not too hot or too cold, the days are getting nice and long and there are flowers EVERYWHERE. There are some negatives to this season too though, as there are for all seasons.

And one of those is the unfortunate emergence of fleas. If you’ve got pets, you are no doubt very excited to be able to enjoy more walks and trips to the park with them, or to just let them outside more often.

Fleas are a very common issue though, and they pose certain dangers to your pets such as infections, irritation and if your pet gets fleas they can get into your house and result in certain health problems for you too.

You should take measures to prevent this, because it will just be this annoying black cloud which will hang over a season that should be enjoyable. Let’s look at fleas in a bit more depth:

What Exactly Are Fleas

Fleas are a species of insect which lives on the exterior of a host. In a sense, they are parasitic because they are bloodsuckers, and have also been known to carry illnesses and diseases which can be transmitted to the host.

Fleas were the primary spreaders of the bubonic plague, which you probably know of as the Black Death. The sickness which spread via horses on the Silk Road from China to Europe in the 14th Century where it killed almost half of the population of the continent. 

Don’t worry though, the plague is obviously long gone and you and your pet are not at risk of catching it, but they can still carry things like lyme disease and tapeworms. And their bite can also be quite painful and susceptible to infection.

A huge part of the issue surrounding fleas is the fact that they are very difficult to spot. Firstly, they are powerful and fast jumpers which means that if your pet even happens to walk past one, it can simply jump onto their skin.

Once there, the infestation can basically just grow. Fleas have a short and quick life cycle, which starts with them laying eggs on their host, which grow into larvae, pupa and finally adults and then the cycle continues.

They are so small that they’re almost impossible to spot unless you have yourself a magnifying glass. They’re literally about an eighth of an inch in length. So too keep your eyes out for them, you need to recognize certain signs:

Recognizing the Signs

Luckily, there are a few very clear signs of a flea infestation that you can keep an eye out for. The biggest indicator is that your pet will be more itchy and so if you see excessive scratching it might be a good sign of an infestation.

Your pet might start biting at their skin too if it gets particularly bad, and this can result in some hair loss. If you see patches, this might very well be the reason. During spring, try to do some regular examinations of your pet’s skin.

You’re looking out for signs of irritation. Redness, bumps, grazes or scabs would be common. And you might also spot adult fleas running away from your fingers. You may find some tiny black specks, which is likely flea excrement. 

What you could also do, especially if you are recognizing other signs already, is invest in a flea comb. This is a great little device which will capture a few fleas from the skin. Inspect it after use and see if there are any on the tines and how many too.

If you can safely determine that you do in fact have a flea problem, then there are a few things you need to do:

How to Deal With It

First and foremost, you should bring your pet to the vet. You can’t know for sure how bad the infestation is and if there are any infections or diseases already taking root which need to be dealt with.

A vet can determine that and can give you medication to clear up any of these problems as well as something to get rid of the remaining fleas. You can also get certain kinds of shampoos which will kill fleas too.

And then it’s also very important that you take some preventative measures so that it doesn’t happen again. There are flea collars which you could invest in, these will emit a toxic gas which will kill any fleas that try to latch on to your pet and so you won’t have to worry when you take your pet out.

And then there are sprays you can get to treat your garden and your home with. Spray it on the grass and on the carpet and it will do a similar job to the collar in emitting a gas which will be toxic for fleas but perfectly safe for you and your pets. 

A flea infestation can be a very stressful thing, especially if you see your pet suffering from a lot of pain and irritation. But if you know how to recognize the signs, and if you make sure to take the necessary preventative measures when spring rolls in, then it shouldn’t be a problem that’s too difficult to deal with.