19 Feb 2019 Guest Blog Post—Why Treating Flea Infestations in Your Pet is Important
Most pet owners will deal with a flea problem at some point. Fleas have a pesky way of surviving, which makes them very hard to get rid of.
They can reproduce especially quickly, and they can do so even faster in warmer and moister weather conditions. Fleas can also spread with a startling efficiency for a pest. They can hop from mammal to unwitting mammal, putting even your indoor pet at risk.
On top of all this, fleas can cause health problems in both humans and pets, so treatment should never be put on the backburner.
Why Is Treating Fleas Important?
Fleas are not only a nuisance, but they can also lead to health complications as mentioned. Here are the main problems fleas cause:
- Extreme irritation: Fleas cause extreme itching and irritating, which makes your pet need to scratch themselves. When your pet is constantly scratching at themselves to relieve an itch, this causes the skin to break open and scab. This can happen anywhere on the body, but it is more common on the back end and around the tail. Additionally, pets will develop an allergy to flea bites. This makes the itching almost unbearable. The bites can become infected and require veterinary treatment if left untreated.
- Transmit parasites: Fleas carry parasites, and these can be transmitted to their hosts. Tapeworms are a common parasite transmitted by fleas. Tapeworms are carried inside the adult flea and can be transmitted to your pet on accident when they are grooming themselves.
- Extreme sickness in pets: In extreme cases, a flea infestation can make your pet very sick. Fleas can cause animals to become anemic and even require a blood transfusion. This is more common in small pets, kittens, or puppies.
- Health risk to humans: Fleas are more than just a hazard to your pets. They also pose a health risk to humans. Fleas carry numerous kinds of bacteria which can cause diseases in humans. For instance, fleas can transmit a Bartonella infection to humans, which is more commonly known as Cat Scratch Fever. This is a serious infection that causes vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and swollen lymph nodes.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
During a flea infestation, it’s not enough to treat your pet alone. You also have to treat any environment where eggs can flourish. This includes the carpet, your bedding, your car, and anywhere else your pet spends time.
And if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, you’ll want to treat your yard as well. Here are some common flea treatments and how much they cost on average:
- Flea treatments for your pets: You’ll want to start by eliminating any fleas on your pet. There are once-a-month topical treatments, like Frontline or PetArmor, that can help with this. There are also sprays and shampoos you can buy to treat your pet. And flea collars can be effective when used properly.
Regularly using a flea shampoo for your pet costs between $20-$40 a year. And monthly topical treatments cost between $40-$150 a year.
- Products for your home: Vacuuming alone can get rid of the majority of the fleas in your home. When you’re done, make sure you seal your vacuum bag in a plastic bag and throw it away immediately.
There are also products you can use to kill the remaining fleas in your home. Products like Nylar or methoprene come in both carpet powders and sprays. These products are both moderately priced.
- Hiring an exterminator: In extreme flea infestations, you may want to consider having an exterminator to treat your home. Obviously, this is going to be a pricier option. Depending on the size of your home, flea exterminators cost between $74-$400. And you could have additional costs if the infestation requires follow-up visits.
Pet insurance for flea treatment could help offset some of the costs in an extreme situation, especially if follow-up veterinary care is required. But if your pet is generally healthy and you take advantage of flea prevention treatments, this may not be necessary.
Not only do fleas cause serious discomfort to your pets, but they also pose a serious health risk to both humans and animals by carrying bacteria and parasites.
If you suspect your pet has a flea problem, don’t wait to treat your pet and your home. Flea collars, topical treatments, and shampoos and all good ways to treat your pet’s fleas.
In the future, you may consider pet insurance to offset some of the costs. But this may not be necessary if you take advantage of preventative flea treatments.
By Nate Matherson from PetsQuote. PetsQuote is an up-and-coming pet care and insurance website that focuses on providing educational resources and advice to pet owners everywhere.