These tiny, wingless parasites can quickly make our beloved pets their new home, relentlessly biting them and making them uncomfortable. At worst, fleas are dangerous.
These pesky critters can pose a serious health threat to dogs and cats, transmitting a multitude of diseases and symptoms like dermatitis, hot spots, tapeworms, anemia, and Bartonella infection. Some flea-borne illnesses can even infect humans, making it critical to eliminate these bloodsuckers from our exterior and interior spaces.
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about fleas that prevent people from taking proper preventative methods. Arm yourself with the facts so you can remain vigilant about safeguarding your pets and family. Here are six common myths about fleas you need to know:
Many pet owners assume that their indoor dog or cat is immune to a flea infestation. Not true. Yes, there is a higher opportunity for your pet to get fleas every time she goes outside (or on a puppy play date). However, even animals that never go out can still end up with a flea swarm. These bugs are resourceful, jumping on your clothing and allowing you to transport them to where your precious pet awaits.
Wrong again. Fleas do prefer the higher temperatures and can die off in the colder weather. However, if they make it inside your home, they will settle in and feed off your pets throughout the entire winter season. Their ability to survive all year long makes it vital to proactively treat your property all year long as well.
Unfortunately, this is also an urban legend. Fleas don’t care how much you dust or how often you sweep; they will enter any interior they can. Worse yet, once they get in – they don’t want to leave. A healthy flea can lay as many as 40-50 eggs a day, quickly taking over any infested area in your home (or on your pet).
Sorry, but no. You may find swarms of fleas on your carpets and area rugs, but these critters can nest virtually anywhere in your home. Furniture, clothing, furnishings, and (dare we say it) bedding are all fair game when a flea is looking for its new headquarters.
As we already discussed, fleas are prolific multipliers. This means that even if you do manage to get the adult fleas off of your pets, you still have to worry about the eggs, larvae, and pupae that may be lurking elsewhere throughout your home.
This is perhaps the most common (and surprising) misconception about fleas. Pet owners believe that a pet with a flea problem is a pet with a scratching problem. However, some animals suffer through an infestation with nearly a single scratch.
Want more facts about how to keep your pets safe from a flea attack?