Dogs and cats share
the same fleas. It is important that all pets in your home are on a flea
preventive. Treating your pet for fleas has never been easier.
With the many
choices we have today, we can provide you with the safest and most effective
flea preventive for your pet?s needs.
When it comes to
environmental control, we must first understand the flea life cycle.
are four stages in the life cycle of the flea:
1.Flea eggs are whitish and about 0.5 mm (1/32?) in length. They are unlikely to
be seen without a magnifying glass. Eggs are laid by the adult flea after
taking a blood meal. The eggs are initially laid on the dog?s skin but fall off
into the environment to continue their life cycle. Flea eggs constitute
approximately 50% of the total flea population. Eggs may hatch in as little as
14 to 28 days, depending on environmental conditions. High humidity and
temperature favor rapid hatching
2.Flea larvae are about 2-5 mm (1/8 to ??) in length. They feed on organic debris
found in their environment and on adult flea feces. They dislike strong light
and move deep into carpet fibers or under furniture, organic debris, grass,
branches, leaves, soil, etc. Flea larvae prefer warm, dark and moist areas.
Outdoor larval development occurs only in shaded, moist areas where flea
infested pets spend a significant amount of time. Our climate-controlled homes
offer an ideal environment for the flea life cycle to thrive.
3.The fleapupae produce a
protective silk-like cocoon which is sticky. It quickly becomes coated with
grime and debris, which acts as a useful camouflage. With warmth and humidity,
pupae become adult fleas in 5-10 days. The adults do not emerge from the cocoon
unless stimulated by physical pressure, carbon dioxide or heat. This is
important since once fleas emerge from the cocoon they can only exist for a few
days unless they are able to feed. Pre-emerged adult fleas can survive within
the cocoon for up to 9 months. During this time they are resistant to
insecticides applied to the environment. This is important to remember because
adult fleas may emerge into the environment a considerable time after you apply
insecticides in your home.
4.Once emerged the flea adult, unlike the larvae, is
attracted to light and emerges to the surface in order to encounter a passing
host to feed upon. Two days after the first blood meal, female fleas begin egg
production. In normal circumstances the adult female will live up to three
weeks, laying approximately 40 eggs per day. The entire life cycle, from egg to
adult flea can be completed in 14-28 days depending on environmental
irritation, are fleas particularly harmful?
Fleas can cause
anemia, especially in young or debilitated dogs. A single female flea can take
up to 15 times her body weight in blood over the several weeks of her adult
life. In addition, fleas can carry several diseases and also act as vectors to
spread one of the most common tapeworms of the dog and cat, Diplylidium caninum.
How do I
prevent fleas on my dog?
control includes treating both the environment as well as your pet.
I put on my dog?
powders and spot-on preparations are all available. Be sure to consult your
veterinarian to choose the most effective and safe flea products for your home
preparations are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Remember that most
products are only effective against the adult flea. Your veterinarian can
provide you with flea products that contain Insect Growth Regulators (IGR?s)
that will help destroy the flea eggs and larvae. Before applying any
environmental product, we recommend vacuuming your carpet to stimulate the
pre-adult fleas to emerge from their protective cocoons. Be sure to discard the
vacuum cleaner bag after its use.
My dog lives most of his
life outside. What should I do?
Concentrate on dark,
shaded areas. Spray a product containing an IGR and repeat every 14-21 days for
three to five applications.
The newer topical and
oral flea preventives will greatly assist you in solving your flea problem.
With persistence and patience, you and your pet will be flea-free in no time!