cute cat

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Fleas On Cats?

Before we go into the methods of getting rid of fleas, the first thing you should know is that the most common species of flea that is likely infesting your house and pet is the cat flea, known as ctenocephalides felis. Don’t let the name ‘cat flea’ fool you though; these fleas will bite cats, dogs, and humans (this means you!) as well. While there are dog fleas (ctenocephalides canis) and human fleas (pulex irritans) as well, cat fleas are far and away the most common. In this article, we will speak briefly about life cycle and habits of the cat flea, as well as various methods of control and elimination.

Cat Flea Habits and Lifecycle

catDespite the pervasive belief that fleas as ‘everywhere’, cat fleas prefer to spend most of their time in your pet’s bedding and your carpets (since I bet your pet prefers to lie down on your carpets too) as it provides adequate shelter for the fleas to lay eggs. When the eggs hatch into larvae, which have no legs meaning that they can’t jump around like the adults, the larvae feed on ‘flea dirt’ which is the dried feces and blood of the adult fleas. Since the larvae are relatively immobile, the adult flea always makes sure to lay their eggs in areas which the larvae would be safe and have sufficient access to food. An adult flea can lay over 20 eggs in a single day and over 800 eggs over the lifetime of a typical flea. After consuming sufficient nutrients, the larvae spins a cocoon (which is waterproof and provides a high degree of protection against most insecticides) and emerges a few weeks later as an adult flea.


Eliminating Fleas

Fleas are a persistent nuisance and they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. If you have fleas attacking your furry friends, read up on these tips on how to get rid of fleas on cats for effective flea killing strategies. Despite the prevalence of many natural methods out there on the Internet, insecticides are still the most effective way to combat a flea infestation as they are specifically formulated to kill the flea at every stage of their lifecycle. In comparison, natural methods most often work as repellents (with questionable effectiveness) or only kill adult fleas (methods such as diatomaceous earth or other flea traps).

When it comes to insecticides, there are five common types that you should know about, they are malathion, limonene, pyrethrin, linalool, and carbaryl.  Both pyrethrin and linalool are organic compounds that are naturally derived from flowers. Insecticides containing pyrethrin, limonene, and carbaryl will take care of adult fleas and flea larvae, while compounds containing both limonene and linalool is able to eliminate fleas at all stages of their lifecycle, including the eggs (but may be ineffective against the pupae). Malathion is an insect growth regulator, meaning that it stops flea larvae from developing into adult fleas.

Flea Control Methods

  1. Insecticidal Soaps – Your pet is the source of the flea infestation and needs to be taken care of first. Give it a good bath with warm water and use an insecticidal soap for maximum effect. Note that some soaps are specific to your pet, so make sure you read the labels carefully, also some soaps are not appropriate to be used on puppies or after a bath
  1. Flea Dips – After a nice bath in insecticidal soaps, you can follow up with a good flea dip. The most common active ingredient in flea dips is pyrethrins, which are derived from the chrysanthemum flower. As an organic compound, pyrethrins are very low in toxicity while being no less effective. WARNING: Pyrethrins are extremely toxic to cats, so keep their use to dogs only. Mortality rates for cats treated with pyrethrins can range from 5% to 35%.
  1. Flea Sprays – If the flea dips wasn’t effective or you have felines instead of canines you can use a flea spray which usually have linalool and limonene as the active ingredients. These are citrus extracts and are extremely effective. Use on both your pet and their bedding.
  1. Flea Dust – The most common active ingredients in flea dusts are carbaryl and malathion. Carbaryl is a great choice for felines as they tend to be less sensitive to them. You can also purchase carbaryl and malathion separately at your local garden or hardware store, just be aware that malathion won’t kill fleas on their own as it is an insect growth inhibitor and not an insecticide.

Application Methods

A general application method for insecticides and insect growth regulators is as follows: you will need two treatments, with the first one being a combination of both insecticides and insect growth regulators while the second can be purely insecticides. The reason is that the first application may miss fleas in the pupal stage so you may still see adult fleas after the first application. The second application is to get rid of these newly minted adults.

modern bedroom

3 Things To Consider Before Buying A New Memory Foam Mattress

If you find yourself always waking up in the middle of the night or rolling about in bed trying to fall asleep, this might mean that your mattress is not giving you the best that you can get out of it. There are a couple of potential reasons for that. The first is that your mattress just doesn’t fit you at all. A mattress is a lot like a pair of shoes. It can feel comfortable after you’ve been wearing it for some time but that doesn’t mean that it is ideal for you.

Also, you might also need to consider the fact that the mattress is losing its durability over time. How long has it been since you’ve changed your mattress? It is often recommended by many sleep experts that your mattress should only have a life span of about 10 years, despite what your warranty might say. Ideally, any mattresses over 5 years old would have suffered some form of damage or deterioration already. This can directly affect the quality of your sleep if you do not remedy it immediately.

working in bedThe best way to fix this is simply to buy a new mattress. You don’t necessarily have to spend thousands to get the very best mattress, provided you know where and more importantly, what to look out for. For mattresses, size does matter. If you have enough space in your room, I’d suggest getting a king sized mattress. Not all mattresses offer the same features even if the prices are the same. The mattress types alone are numerous. From foam mattresses to spring or latex versions, you have approximately 6-7 different types of mattresses around, if you’re picky.

Often, mattresses that have been used for more than 5 years will have sagged in one way or another. You’ll find that the upper middle part of your mattress, where your shoulder area rests upon, will have sunk in more ofen than not. This only happens primarily to spring mattresses because the springs or coils in the mattresses would have lost their elasticity. The same is often said of foam mattresses, but that does not happen as often because foam (especially the higher-end memory foam) have the ability to return to its original form after it has been stretched or compressed. If you are searching for the best memory foam mattress, check out these top 5 memory foam mattresses. Any one of them will give you a good night’s rest.

After all, what makes a good bed is its support structure. Without the right firmness or material, any mattress at all, regardless of how expensive it is, will feel unsuitable for you. You have to immediately like the feeling of laying upon that mattress before you even consider its hidden features. It doesn’t matter if a mattress is ‘visco-elastic’ or made out of cashmere. If it doesn’t feel right, move on to the next choice.

More than a few people have been lured into a sense of buying what’s ‘best’ or ‘most popular’. You might find that pocket spring mattresses will be a lot more comfortable for you than say a much more popular memory foam mattress.

bright bedroom

6 Pillow Tips & Tricks For Optimal Sleep

Taken a trip to your local Bed, Bath & Beyond lately? There are so many different types of pillows on sale that choosing a pillow can often be as hard as choosing a breakfast cereal, without the ease of the brand loyalty aspect. So that means people choose a pillow entirely based on its features, of which there are even more! Check it out, there are memory foam pillows, shredded memory foam pillows, buckwheat pillows, blended fills, pillows with weird slopes on them etc.

Yet choosing a pillow should not be a trivial choice; in fact it is far more important than choosing your favorite breakfast pillow; scientists have linked lack of or non-optimal sleep to higher risk factors for all sorts of health conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes. So if you haven’t been able to find the right pillow for you yet, here are 6 tips and tricks to get the most out of your pillow.

Rotating Pillows May Actually Be Good for You

Just because your current pillow may not be the most comfortable doesn’t mean it’s time to dump it and head to the store for a new one just yet. Often, simply swapping out your pillow for another one (even if that other pillow is not brand new, such as the one in your guest room or something) can help if you have been waking up with a stiff neck in the morning. If you are one of those suffering from a painful neck, try this great pillow for neck pain. It is voted as one of the top pillows for neck pain and I can attest to that! Some people prefer to swap pillows on a regular basis, such as once every two weeks, in order to mitigate their neck pain. This is a similar concept as back pain sufferers who use different types of chairs throughout the day.

multiple pillowsConsider Using Multiple Pillows

While one pillow per person has become a societal norm, there is absolutely no reason that it is appropriate for you. The idea of a pillow is to provide support in such a way that allows you to maintain a neutral spine and posture, and for people with very broad shoulders, large curves in the upper back, or even just those who have very soft mattresses, using multiple pillows might be more suitable. The best is the thick/thin pillow combination or two medium ones.

Try This Butterfly Pillow Trick

This is a little trick if you find your pillow is too skinny. Take your skinny pillow and twist it lengthwise in the middle; it should now resemble the shape of a bowtie or butterfly. This gives your pillow a firmness gradient; firmer in the middle and softer at the edges. Obviously this depends on the type of pillow you have; there’s no way you’re doing this to a memory foam, latex, or buckwheat pillow, for example.

Do You Know How To Make One and a Half Pillows?

Another neat trick you can do to better make your current pillow work better for you, presuming it’s currently just a little too thin for you and insufficiently firm. Find the softest towels in your home and place them on the pillow (under the pillowcase, of course). Adjust the layering until you can get to your desired firmness and thickness.

Ensure You Use the Right Pillow Positioning

Ummm, under your head right? Not so fast! Little do most people know but there is in fact more than just one way to lay your head on the pillow. A pillow needs to occupy the space between your neck and your shoulders while giving your head a little raise, meaning that you may need to adjust your pillow further down the bed or up your headboard depending on your body type.

Your Sleeping Position May Not Be Right For You

sleeping on tummyDepending on your sleeping position, there will be different individual characteristics in a pillow that you will be looking for. For instance, when you sleep on your side (the most common sleeping positions with researchers estimating that 70% of the populace are side sleepers) the distance between your head and the mattress the breadth of one shoulder, meaning you will need a thicker pillow or a specialized side sleeper pillow. Whereas if you are back sleeper you would want a pillow that’s a bit thinner, while if you’re a stomach sleeper (the rarest), you would want the thinnest pillow possible or one to support your stomach. That said, you should consider that your sleeping position itself may not be optimal for you. If you find yourself awakening in awkward positions such as arms twisted underneath your body or randomly splayed over your head, you may want to discipline yourself to change your sleeping position.