Battling Fleas and Ticks: Do You Have an Infestation?

All pet owners have combated fleas at one time or another. If you’ve tackled them in the past, or are in the midst of your battle, don’t fret — we’ve all been there or will be in your shoes at some point. Fleas and ticks can spread disease from a place that you may not consider: inside your home! These nasty pests can infest your home and yard, wreaking havoc on the entire family.

Fleas and ticks are more than a mere nuisance. They cause distress for pets and, more importantly, they can cause disease. Fleas can transmit tapeworms and cause itchy allergic reactions while ticks can carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

The Ugly Truth

  • Adult female ticks can increase their size up to 100 times their original weight.
  • A tick needs a blood meal to produce eggs and may lay up to 5,000 eggs.
  • A female flea ingests 15 times her body weight in blood every day.
  • One flea can bite a dog up to 400 times per day.
  • A female cat flea may produce up to 50 eggs a day.
  • The most common tapeworm that dogs can get is contracted by ingesting fleas.

Pest #1: Fleas

Did you know that flea infestations begin long before fleas can be seen? Adult fleas make up only about 5% of an infestation, meaning that 95% of pre-adult fleas are lurking around your pets, home and yard waiting to cause an infestation!

The Flea Lifecycle

  • Stage 1: The Eggs — Flea eggs are not sticky so they quickly fall off pets and into carpet, furniture, yard and pet beds. They hatch between two and 21 days after being laid.
  • Stage 2: The Larvae — Larvae, or hatched eggs, head for dark places in the home and feast on flea dirt. Flea dirt is flea feces that contain digested blood from pets. Larvae are almost invisible and settle deep into carpets and furniture. Even vacuuming won’t remove them all.
  • Stage 3: The Pupae — Immature fleas, or pupae, spend eight to nine days in their cocoon, but can stay in this stage for up to one year.
  • Stage 4: The Adult Flea — Adult fleas like warm, humid places and stay on the same host pet their entire life. Adult fleas bite, feeding on pet blood and can survive for up to one year without feeding. Once they feed, female fleas lay eggs on their host and the life cycle starts over again.

Pest #2: Ticks

Ticks have two things on their minds: biting and blood. Ticks can transmit disease from animal to animal or animal to human at any stage of development.

Transmitted by deer ticks, Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can affect humans, dogs, cats and other mammals. Its prevalence in dogs has spiked 21 percent since 2009 and 95 percent of cases are reported in 13 states, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you live in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin, it’s important to take precautions to protect your pets and family from Lyme disease.

The Tick Lifecycle

  • Stage 1: The Eggs — Ticks begin as eggs that hatch into six-legged larvae after two weeks.
  • Stage 2: The Larvae — Larvae live and feed on animals or humans for one week. They then detach and molt (shed) anywhere from one week to eight months later and become eight-legged nymphs.
  • Stage 3: The Nymphs — Nymphs feed on animals, engorging for three to 11 days. Depending on the species and environmental conditions, they then detach and molt one month later and become adults.
  • Stage 4: The Adults — Adult ticks climb up grass and plants and hold their legs up to sense or “look for” their prey. They hop onboard unsuspecting pets or people and feed. After feeding, female ticks mate and lay eggs, starting the life cycle over again.

So how do you protect your pets and family from these pests? The very best way to prevent an infestation in the first place.

Path to Pet Protection: Prevent and Protect

Step 1: Protect Your Pet

For complete protection from a flea and tick infestation, apply a fast-acting, long-lasting squeeze-on topical year round like SENTRY Fiproguard MAX for Dogs.The power of fipronil, the #1 vet-recommended active ingredient, is maximized in SENTRY Fiproguard MAX for Dogs with the addition of a second active ingredient, cyphenothrin, to quickly kill ticks. The waterproof product also kills fleas and chewing lice. SENTRY Fiproguard MAX for dogs prevents and controls reinfestation for 30 days and is safe for use on puppies and dogs 12 weeks of age and older.

SENTRY Fiproguard Flea & Tick Spray for Dogs and Cats provides immediate relief for infected dogs or cats. This waterproof spray kills fleas and ticks for up to 30 days and offers a quiet, continuous spray from any angle. SENTRY Fiproguard Flea & Tick Spray for Dogs and Cats can be used on puppies and kittens 8 weeks of age or older.

Step 2: Guard Your Home

Fleas and ticks can multiply quickly once in the home.Use household sprays, carpet powders or foggers to kill fleas nesting in the home. SENTRYHOME Home and Carpet Spray kill fleas, ticks, flea eggs and larvae — controlling reinfestation for up to 210 days. In addition to flea control, it is also a pet odor eliminator.

 Step 3: Treat Your Yard

Prevent fleas and ticks from jumping onto pets when outside by spraying the yard and treating around the home’s foundation to kill any potential flea populations. In addition to killing fleas and ticks, SENTRYHOME Yard and Premise Spray Concentrate also kills mosquitoes for up to six weeks — stopping the spread of West Nile virus. It also kills deer ticks that may carry Lyme disease.

Have you taken any measures to protect your family from an infestation this year?

 

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