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Fleas are parasites that prey on specific animal species like the canine, feline, deer, opossum, fox, and squirrel. Flea infestations are not be taken lightly, especially when the aforementioned animals are involved. It is one thing to own a pet-free home, but when animals are involved, a single flea can turn out to be catastrophic for everyone involved. As a Livonia resident, it is likely you have encountered a few fleas in your lifetime. Rarely will you find someone who is willing to admit otherwise. You can walk down the street of a small community and encounter a flea by the time you return home if you are in the accompany of a dog or cat. Flea sightings in Livonia are up and drawing concern among local officials and citizens. Contrary to belief, fleas are not just an animal problem, it is the entire community’s problem.
What Are The Most Common Flea Sightings Reported In Livonia MI?
If you are a long-time Michigan resident, you know fleas are an ongoing problem for pet owners. In fact, flea sightings are reported almost daily in Livonia during both the summer and fall seasons. While average citizens cannot differentiate between the 2,200 known flea species, differentiating between the flea and other parasite species should come naturally. Most people have reported a flea sighting at least once in their life, especially pet owners. The most common flea sighting in the State of Michigan is the Ctenocephalides Felis, better known as cat flea. The adult flea measures about 1/8” in length, with long skinny legs, and a flat slender body. Differentiating between what some people refer to as the “flea’s counterpart,” the tick, is fairly simple because the two do not share the same characteristics. In many encounters, people are shocked by the flea’s hard-shelled body, which becomes noticeable when squeezing it between two fingers. This is a common defense mechanism owners utilize to protect their pets and homes from flea infestations.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Flea Bite?
The most common characteristics of a human flea bite are a red spot, pustule, itching, and mild swelling. Animal flea bites are much more difficult to visually detect and identify because they are generally hidden way beneath the fur. However, there are common animal behaviors that point to a flea bite. These include scratching, whining, restlessness, and nipping on the fur. If you detect any of these signs, it is likely your dog had a flea encounter not too long ago. Flea bites do result in a mild allergic reaction, which is where the visual signs come into play. Flea bites have also been associated with tapeworm infections in animals that have the tendency to spread to humans.
What Should I Do To Protect My Home And Pet From A Flea Infestation?
The first thing you should do is create a flea prevention strategy, one that includes all the necessities, such as a deterrent, bath schedule, and visual inspection of the animal’s skin and fur. However, a flea prevention strategy will only go so far as to protect your home and animal(s). To maximize the effectiveness of your new flea prevention plan, you must implement and stick with it. Here are a few strategies to include in your flea prevention plan:
- Do not adopt a pet until you are fully prepared to take on the responsibility of its care
- Treat existing cats and dogs with anti-flea parasitic medicine once a month
- Keep lawn neat and trim, prohibiting grass to grow taller than three inches
- Install “do not feed wildlife” signs along the perimeter of your property
- Install barriers around decks, porches, and pools to keep wildlife and strays out
- Consider installing a gate around the perimeter of your property
- Visually inspect your pet’s living quarters for “flea dirt,” debris left behind by fleas
- Regularly wash your pet’s bedding and allow to air dry
- Create a vacuum schedule for your entire home, including pet’s living quarters
Unfortunately, there is not flea prevention strategy that is guaranteed to provide 100 percent protection. However, if the strategy consists of the necessities, your dog will live a more comfortable lifestyle with little to no risk of a flea infestation. We have been serving the City of Livonia and its citizens for several decades. We have successfully eradicated hundreds of mild to moderate residential flea infestations.
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