North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Health

October 7, 2009

Do you or your pet have an itch? It could be a flea infestation

(Continued)



As stated earlier, disruption of the life cycle is the best way to address the problem, and fleas are easiest killed in the egg and larvae stages.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the areas of infestation. This is actually the fossilized diatoms of sea creatures from times long past. They look like little razor blades cutting the fleas to ribbons, and causing them to dehydrate or bleed to death. This of course does not work well on the adults. Be sure to vacuum the area frequently, and avoid inhaling the power yourself.

DE or diatomaceous earth can usually be found at a pet store or pool supply house, but you may not want to buy a 50 pound bag.

In treating your pet, contact your veterinarian. There are many options such as dips, shampoos, lotions or oral meds to give your pet to control fleas on them.

The biggest thing to do is wait. Remember, disturb the life cycle and you can easily kill the eggs and larva. However, the pupae are a pain. You may have to wait up to two weeks to get them wiped out.

Continue to vacuum at least twice a day, wash bedding and clean upholstery, and within a month you should be itch free.

Steve Mullenix (R.Ph) co-owns The Pharmacy in Mount Olive with his wife, Sherry Mullenix (J.D., R.N.). They can be reached at 631-1201.

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