Spring is here and it�s time to think about fleas and ticks. Sorry, that is just the nature of the beast. I don�t want to think about it either. There are several effective flea products that are safe for exotic pets; the ferret, coatimundi, rabbit, guinea pig, ferret, and various other furry mammals. Yes, fleas are equal opportunity pests and will affect your exotic pet as well as a dog or cat.
Before you eradicate all your ants, give this some thought, did you know that ants eat fleas and flea eggs? It may be a good idea to allow them to live in the yard. They are beneficial for pest control (and example, aphids).
There are different kinds of fleas such as cat fleas Ctenocephalides felis, dog fleas Ctenocephalides canis, human fleas Pulex irritans, this is really all we need to be concerned with right now. We will discuss other fleas at a later date. Let�s move on to how to get rid of fleas, the advantage of flea control, and those awful fleas in the house.
Fleas cause all kinds of problems, including passing disease, including the plague. They can also cause allergies and severe anemia eventually killing the exotic pet.
The secret to flea control is not just treating the pet for fleas, but the whole environment around the pet. The flea can jump up to 200 times their body size therefore; you have to gain control of the fleas in the house as well as the yard. It isn�t as hard as it sounds. Once you treat everything, then you are on the maintenance plan.
Start with the yard. If you don�t you will never get the fleas controlled inside the house. If the fleas aren�t controlled inside the house they will continue to infest your pet, costing you a great deal more money. The getting rid of fleas in homes part is fairly easy. You must remain persistent. Treating just the pet doesn�t work.
Insecticide foggers or environmental sprays contain some pretty potent nasties. Some of these nasties are growth-inhibiting hormones and toxins. This, of course, is not good for you, children, or your exotic pet. I wouldn�t even go that route unless it is absolutely necessary and with the advice of your veterinarian, your doctor and the Surgeon General.
The better and safer way is one; let the ants live, two; use microscopic worms called nematodes. If you�re anything like me you have your nose planted in a gardening catalog this week. You can find nematodes in your gardening catalog. Follow directions closely.
Next are fleas in the house, in addition, how to kill fleas in carpet. Fleas have three stages, the adult, the larva, and the egg. Vacuum the house; toss some carbamate or pyrethrin insecticide inside of the vacuum bag for the little buggers don�t just hop out of the vacuum back into the carpet. Each adult flea can lay 50 eggs a day in the carpets (don�t forget the throw rugs). If you have decent suction on your vacuum the eggs and fleas will draw up pretty easily. Until you have the fleas under control, vacuum daily, then no less that weekly. The hard part is getting the larvae out of the carpet and if you don�t get the larvae the flea cycle just continues. The larva stick like Velcro. This is where a steam cleaner will come in handy. Boil the little monsters. Use a borate based shampoo. There are a couple borate powders one is for wood cleaning this is the one you don�t use it is dangerous to pets and children. The other borate powder can be used in the steamer/shampooer. Borate comes from the natural element boron which is mined from the earth. You may need to repeat this cycle in about six weeks to break the cycle if you have a serious infestation. After the initial steam cleaning repeat three times a year.
Now for the throw rugs, toss them in the washing machine; use hot water with a little borate (if the carpet can be washed in hot water � otherwise, use the borate and cold water). Next is the pet�s bedding and soft toys, toss them in hot water and detergent. If your pet is a caged pet, clean the cage and sanitize it. If you use bleach, make sure it is rinsed thoroughly, and dried. Now look around. What else could have fleas or flea eggs and larva? Yup, you will find plenty of stuff including your own bedding. I don�t know about your household but half my pets don�t know they have a bed of their own. Wash it all.
Next is the animal. Chinchillas don�t like water so don�t even think about it lol. Besides, the chinchilla has too thick of a coat to worry much about fleas. It doesn�t happen often but chinchillas can get fleas occasionally. Always check with your veterinarian prior to using any product. I have used both Advantage and Frontline (the kind where the drops go on back of the neck). I have never had a problem except for on one cat. That was just a little foaming because my daughter hadn�t kept it away from the other cat and he had licked it. I have used it on several different types of mammals including ferrets. My article on off label medications
Advantage works by disrupting the flea�s nerve transmissions thus killing the flea in 24-hours. It has been tested by Bayer and shown as safe for ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, but they never went so far as officially approving it; another off label usage. Make sure the animal cannot lick another animal until the dosage is dry. It is applied at the back of the animal�s neck; part the hair, and apply the dose to the skin. Use � of a cat�s dosage. The smaller the animal the less you use. Check with your veterinarian. It never goes into the blood stream or organs. It stays near the hair root level spreading all over the body. Reapply once a month. Advantage doesn�t kill ticks.
I have also used Frontline successfully. Rhone Merieux Companion Animal Products uses an insecticide called fipronil which is from the family of phenylpyrazoles. Frontline does kill ticks. Again I used one-half of the cat dosage. It kills all the fleas in 24-hours and most the fleas in a couple of hours.
I have also heard of people using Novartis� Program though I have never used it myself. Program is an oral suspension flea killer and I just wouldn�t want to mess with it especially on an exotic pet. I have seen people use Frontline and Program together. I haven�t. Check with a veterinarian.
Again, I have never had a problem using these two products off label. Be sure to check with your veterinarian. Make sure the veterinarian is knowledgeable about your species of exotic pet!
Now the hard part is over, it is clean sailing, with the maintenance plan. Vacuum at least weekly, again make sure there is carbamate or pyrethrin insecticide inside the vacuum bag. Steam clean every three months or at least three times a year. Whichever flea prevention you decide to use, either Advantage or Frontline continue using it. Make sure you clean the cage if you use one, the bedding, and soft toys. You shouldn�t ever have a flea problem again.
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Frontline was the recipient of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Frontline Top Spot for Cats is an easy-to-apply liquid which kills 98�100% of existing fleas on your cat in less than 24 hours. It keeps working for a month after the initial application, and remains waterproof; even if your cat is bathed or swims. Kittens can be administered Frontline Top Spot for Cats from two months of age. I have used Frontline for cats for my exotic mammals and have not had a problem. It works as it states.
Advantage Flea Killer for Cats, Orange, Under 9lbs. 4 month supply is the fastest topical solution for your cat�s care, proven to stop fleas from biting within 3 to 5 minutes after application. Fast working, Advantage cat medicine kills 98-100 percent of fleas within 12 hours of initial application. In addition, one convenient treatment lasts for up to one month.
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