There are over 2,200 species of fleas in existence today.  The Ctenocephalides felix, the most common flea in the US, utilizes most all mammals and humans as hosts.  The host animals provide the blood feast that they thrive upon.  When a flea bites the host, their saliva softens the skin making for easier penetration.  Usually it is the saliva of fleas that causes the discomfort of itching skin via Flea Allergy Dermatitis.  Additionally, fleas often transmit another nuisance to pets; tapeworms.  The most well-known diseases caused by fleas and ticks are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  However, you may want to consult with your local veterinarian for a complete list of diseases common to your region.

Outdoor Precautions

Fleas and ticks are very sunlight and humidity sensitive.  You will find them hiding up under things such as bushes, shrubs, tall grass, weeds, dog houses, food bowls, and water containers.  Cutting the tall grass and weeds in the yard and trimming back shrubs and bushes will help to control the flea and tick population in your yard.  Where possible, let the grounds remain bare so that there is no place to hide.

Indoor Precautions

Our pets are another member of our family that we want to keep healthy and hearty for life.  Our indoor pets are especially prone to fleas as carpet is a flea’s best friend.  You, your family, or your pets can track in a single female flea and with the help of carpet it can reproduce vigorously.  If possible, plan to have tile or laminate flooring in place of carpet.  Utilize the knowledge of your local veterinarian regarding flea and tick prevention for your pets.  Their expertise and product availability is far more effective and environment friendly than over-the-counter solutions.

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