Last week, after much pleading from the children, you gave in. Although you didn’t want a pet, little Pepperoni charmed you, and you soon found yourself with this puppy at home. At first, everything was fine. Taking care of the new arrival added to your already busy routine, but you enlisted the help of the children to lighten your load. However, since yesterday, Pepperoni seems preoccupied, and he keeps scratching and licking himself. A thorough investigation is not necessary to detect the problem: it’s pretty obvious, poor Pepperoni has fleas!
Several questions come to mind: are fleas dangerous for animals and humans? How did Pepperoni catch these? what to do to resolve the situation? and how to prevent the next infestation? Fortunately, you have this article to help you!
Are fleas dangerous for animals and humans?
The short answer: yes. In fact, an infestation of these pests can cause several problems. For example, since fleas feed on blood, if they are very numerous or particularly hungry, they can cause anemia in small or weak hosts. In addition, because their saliva contains allergens, some pets may develop flea bite allergy dermatitis (FAD). Humans, too, can be allergic to flea saliva, causing skin rashes (especially on the lower body, where we are most frequently bitten) and itching.
Fleas can also cause the presence of Dipylidium caninum worms, because when an animal licks itself to try to relieve itself, it swallows fleas and the worms that come with them. These worms are mainly found in animals, but in some rare cases they can also affect humans, especially children.
How do fleas get caught?
In the case of your dear Pepperoni, it was Matilda, the neighbor’s cat, who gave them to him. In fact, the two animals have rubbed shoulders a few times in the backyard. As the fleas can jump up to 30 centimeters, Matilda didn’t even have to stick to Pepperoni to share her mini enemies!
Fleas can also be found on fabric items such as car benches, clothing, sheets, stuffed animals, blankets, cushions, couches, etc.
What can be done to resolve the situation?
Of course, it will be necessary to treat Pepperoni (and Matilda) with a specialized product, which your veterinarian will be able to advise you. However, to ensure that all fleas in your environment are dead, contact Brisebois Extermination, your favorite exterminator!
How to prevent a future infestation?
There are pest control treatments you can use on your pet to prevent future infestations. Also, as mentioned, since fleas are sometimes found on fabric items, be very careful when you bring such an item home, especially if you found it in a second-hand store! If possible, put your purchases in an airtight bag and place it in a freezer (at least -18oC) for 48 hours. This way, you will kill the fleas and their eggs, and have one less thing to worry about!