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Fleas are a major pest , with more than 1 billion dollars spent in USA annually on pest control for fleas. There are various species of fleas - cat fleas, dog fleas, rat fleas and rabbit fleas, but they bite almost any warm blood animal. The bites causing itching, irritation and can cause secondary diseases like tapeworms, dermatitis and plague. They multiply very fast and millions of eggs are laid in a short period if conditions are favorable.
How to get rid of fleas:
1. The safest and cheapest method of getting rid of fleas is to use a mixture of boric acid and salt. The powder should be sprayed on carpets, bedding and areas frequented by pets. Boric acid acts as a desiccant and dries out the exoskeleton of the flea, but does not have any side effect on human beings or animals.
2. In areas with a high concentration of fleas, keep a bowl of soapy water below a table lamp. The fleas will leap towards the light at night, jump into the water and drown.
3. Vacuum clean carpets, bedding and other areas where the fleas are likely to lay eggs. After cleaning seal the residue in a plastic bag and dispose of it away from the house. If the bag is not sealed properly, the fleas will crawl back.
4. Insect growth regulators are hormones which prevent eggs from hatching and larvae from growing into adults. Methoprene and pyroproxifen are effective in reducing the population of fleas.
5. Citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, balsam, citrus peel extract, lavender oil and tea tree oil are some natural products which are effective insecticides for fleas.
6. Wash pet bedding and other furnishings once a week in hot soapy water to kill eggs and larvae. Try to reduce the contact between your pets and wild animals which may carry fleas. Flea dips and flea sprays like Frontline, Revolution and Advantage can eliminate fleas but may have side effects.
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