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Regardless of if it is a cat, dog, bird, or any furry creature, it is hard not to be a pet lover. There really is something special about unconditional love. Something that is going to be there to love you to the fullest of its abilities. Of course, that pet is also going to depend on you for everything. It will be your job to care for your new furry friend. It will also be your job to protect them from all threats. One of those threats will, unfortunately, be the flea. A small parasitic, yet nightmarish insect. If you’ve ever dealt with them in the past, you already know what a true hassle they can be. Either way, you’ll want to jump on a flea infestation as soon as you discover it. Doing so will require knowing as much as possible about the pesky pest.

What Is The Flea

As common as the flea is, there is a good chance you don’t know as much as you think you do about the insect. Starting with the fact that the flea is just a common name for the insect order Siphonaptera. Despite its unique and impressive ability to leap long distances, this is a flightless insect of 2,500 known others. They are parasitic pests that survive on external feeding on mammals and birds. They’ll also commonly be found feeding on humans, although they’ll always choose the mammal or bird as a preferred host.

The mature adults of the species can grow to be nearly 3 millimeters and are usually brown with flattened or narrowbodies. It is the unique flat shape of their body that allows them to move easily and freely through the thick hide of an animal and feed. They might have not wings, as was mentioned above, but their strong claws more than atone for these missing body components. With these claws, they can attach to their host, making it nearly impossible to shake them off. You’ll virtually have to pick them off with tweezers once they’ve attached.

They can leap distances nearly 50 times that of their body length, making them expert travelers. Each species of the flea is considered a specialist to its host animal. Some species never breed on other animal hosts. For instance, the Malacopsyllidae are only found on armadillos, whereas the Ischnopsyllidae are only found on bats. As informative and interesting as all this is, you are likely only concerned with how to deal with these parasitic leapers. That’s exactly what we’re here to help you accomplish.

Determining And Detecting A Flea Problem

Before you can tackle a flea problem in and around the property, you must know you have a problem. Despite what you might think, this could be harder than intended. Fleas are certainly one of the more annoying pests out there and the signs of an infestation aren’t always so apparent, especially if this is your first go-around. Luckily, with the right information, you’ll be able to jump on the situation as soon as possible.

Abnormal Scratching

This one is probably a bit obvious but can easily be missed if you aren’t looking for it. Make sure you are always paying close attention to your furry friend. If you notice it scratching or digging at its coat more often than normal, you probably have a flea problem on your hands. Fleas like to set up shop around the head, neck, tail, armpits, or groin, so these are so key areas you’ll want to watch out for.

Hair Loss And Unusual Red Patches

Flea saliva can be extremely problematic for some pets. These would be the ones that are allergic to the substance. When you have a pet that is hypersensitive to the saliva, you’ll know because it’ll cause rashes and lesions. This can sometimes also lead to alopecia or hair loss. This being said, hair loss can also sometimes ensue after all the excessive scratching and licking. Either way, if you have a flea infestation on your hands it could eventually lead to hair loss. Make sure you always keep a close eye on your pet’s coat.

Pale Gums

You might assume all flea symptoms are going to closely relate to the skin and scratching. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. Pale gums are oftentimes a common sign of anemia, which can be an indictive indication that your pet has a flea infestation. As a matter of fact, if it has gotten this bad, you likely have a major infestation on your hands.

Fleas, as small as they are, can cause huge problems. These are some of the most common indications of an infestation, but there are plenty of other things you’ll want to watch out for. At the first sign, you’ll want to get our local pest management office on the line. We are here for you!

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