Common myths about fleas
It's time to "STOP The Fleas"
Myth 1: Chemical spot-on flea products are an easy and safe way to prevent fleas
They are easy, yes, but they are not necessarily safe. The US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) recently (2010) completed an in-depth investigation due to the hundreds of reports of illness and death in pets. Serious adverse effects were reported for every product EPA assessed. EPA is in the process of increasing restrictions on their use. You can read more detailed information on the EPA website here.
Myth 2: My vet can most effectively treat fleas
It is fine to consult your vet about flea control, but be wary of any chemical flea control products your vet may recommend (see Myth #1). In addition, vets may not know the best natural methods to get rid of fleas in the environment. We recommend trying to find a holistic vet who can guide you on natural flea control/repellant products. One resource for finding a holistic vet is the directory of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
Myth 3: Chemical flea collars are an easy and safe way to prevent fleas
Flea collars are the least effective control method and their effects tend not to last very long. Conventional flea collars which use chemicals contain potentially harmful residues that are transferred to pets’ fur and hair and can be transferred to humans who handle them. The Natural Resource Defense Council is involved in a lawsuit in California to block the sale of these products, some of which contain cancer-causing agents and poisons that linger on fur and hair for weeks. Children are most at risk for neurological damage. A great natural alternative are the Only Natural flea tags, which are effective for most companion pets and work for up to one year.
Myth 4: Natural flea control products don't work
Although many natural flea control products don't have to go through "EPA-mandated tests" because they aren't classified as pesticides, this doesn't mean that they don't work. People all over the country use the natural approach to flea control effectively, and although it is not always as easy as using chemicals, you can rest assured that the products are safe for your pet and your family.
Myth 5: A healthy pet won't get fleas
All pets will get fleas if exposed to the presence of fleas, however pets with sickly immune systems are always more attractive to fleas than healthy animals. That's one of many good reasons to:
- Feed your pet with a quality diet of raw humand grade meat and fresh steamed veggies
- Regularly use a natural flea repellant tag on all pets.
Myth 6: Fleas live on pets, not in homes
Fleas usually enter the house on pets, which have been out doors and exposed to fleas. Once in doors, fleas will quickly find permanent refuge within in the home.
The usual split is approximately 5% on pets and 95% in carpets, bedding, pet beds, and furniture. All of which, make cozy homes for adult fleas, eggs, larvae and pupa (cocoons). If you find fleas in the house, please take immediate action to eliminate them. That means indoors, on your pet/s and in your yard and surrounds.
Myth 7: Keeping the house clean will prevent fleas
Unfortunately, fleas can infest even the most spotless home. Fleas usually enter the house on pets, but they can also hitch a ride on clothing, and have even been seen to jump right into the house on their own. Hard-surfaced floors are no protection, either; fleas can live in the cracks and around the edges of wood, laminate, or tile floors.
They can also take refuge in furniture, bedding, and rugs. If you live in an area with fleas, it is important to protect your pets at all times. It’s also important to get rid of fleas in your yard. Creating a flea-free buffer all around the house is a great way to prevent infestation.
Myth 8: If I only see a couple of fleas on my pet, then it’s not a big problem
Approximately 95% of a flea population is in the egg, larval, or pupal (cocoon) stage, all of which take place off the pet, usually in carpets, bedding, or furniture, or shady areas in the yard where your pet (or other critters) hang out.
If you see a few fleas, it’s certain that there are hundreds of eggs and immature stages in the environment. The process of producing an adult flea can take weeks or even months. There is no quick fix, but vigilance and persistence can get rid of even stubborn infestations.
Myth 9: Once the fleas are gone from my pet, the problem is solved
Fleas do not surrender easily. If you have seen fleas on your pet or in your house, you need to treat the house with a safe product, and stay vigilant for months. Fully solving the flea problem requires a 3-pronged approach of treating the pet, the house, and the yard. Use an outdoor treatment in shady areas under decks, bushes and trees, where fleas like to hang out. The best approach is prevention, so always protect your pets with a natural flea repellant tags, especially if they spend time outdoors, or at a dog park or doggie day care.
Myth 10: I don’t have to worry about fleas during winter
Although you may not see them in the winter in cold climates, fleas can live quite comfortably in your house, as well as on wildlife. If your pet or your house had fleas during the warm months, you’re more than likely to have fleas during the winter months as well. If your pet goes outdoors, it may have contact with squirrels, birds, or other wildlife, which means they can still get fleas. And, of course, fleas live happily in warm climates all year long, so maintaining an annual natural flea repellant routine for your pet is essential.
This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com