Meet the Pest
Cat fleas are a type of pest that even the most avid animal lover detests. Knowing how to get rid of cat fleas is important to more than just cat owners since it is the primary type of flea found on other pets and rodents. Not to mention, a cat flea doesn’t mind taking a bite out of humans. And despite how small a cat flea might be, they can still manage to transmit diseases between animals and humans. Fleas are typically a very small but visible brown pest that pet owners can find crawling around on their feline friends. The idea of bugs on your best friend is stomach-wrenching enough, but realizing that cats lay on beds, walk on counters and sleep on your couch turns a cat flea problem into an immediate extermination project.
Bed & Breakfast
Cat fleas don’t limit themselves to just felines. Cat fleas have been found on small rodents like opossums or dogs and even on the skin of humans. Fleas are typically not able to live an entire life cycle on humans, but they are more than happy to leave bite marks and cause some allergic reactions with their saliva. When trying to find cat fleas on a pet, the most likely areas are around the abdomen and near their tails. Fleas can fly, jump and zig-zag out of sight, so being quick is a major asset when trying to manually remove them from your pet. Cat fleas typically lay their eggs in the bodies of their hosts. To add to the ick
factor, when the eggs mature, they will fall to the ground - meaning your furniture, carpet and bedding. The eggs will develop into adult cat fleas after about three weeks in various stages of development. Once a cat flea reaches adulthood, it immediately seeks a blood source and starts the life cycle all over again.
Quit Bugging Me!
Knowing how to kill cat fleas is something that most homeowners want to figure out as soon as possible for their own sanity, along with the happiness of their pet. Merciless scratching can send anyone into action quickly! Some ideas to initially stop the itching starts with a few of these tips:
- Soak your pet in a flea bath. Cat flea-killing shampoo is available at any pet store. Thoroughly cleaning a bathroom afterward is also important, including all rugs and towels.
- Carefully comb through your pet’s hair to make sure you have captured all the fleas.
- Clean the areas where your pet spends the most time, particularly his or her bedding. If the bedding happens to be your bedding, get it in the washing machine pronto.
The worst enemy of cat fleas is the daunting effects of a vacuum, which swoops in and depletes an entire generation of fleas. It is also important to target the low foot traffic areas that fleas might enjoy the most, such as the space behind doors and underneath furniture.
Getting rid of fleas long-term involves understanding where they may be coming from and how they are getting into your home. Many pet owners assume fleas are a result of a pet being filthy or a home being unclean. However, it turns out a cat flea doesn’t mind whether or not its blood source is clean or messy, which is why it is important to always be on the lookout for a flea problem. Some of the do-it-yourself pest control methods to permanently exterminate cat fleas includes the following:
- Take note of your pet’s itching. Don’t assume that it is just because he or she was just groomed or because it is time for a winter coat to grow in. Getting rid of a cat flea infestation early will save a lot of trouble down the road.
- Purchase a flea control and prevention product for your pet. Be certain to read the information and apply appropriately. Many products should not be applied until 24-48 hours after a pet’s bath.
- Vermiculite is a highly effective cat flea control product that can be applied to carpeting and upholstered fabrics. It comes in a powder form that can be sprinkled and vacuumed up to help exterminate cat fleas, particularly cat flea eggs.
Cat flea extermination is something that no pet owner wants to encounter. By keeping up with chores and watching pets for signs of fleas, homeowners can stay on top of a cat flea pest problem before the fleas take a bite out of them.