At certain times of the year, many pet owners dread the initial indicators of a flea problem with their pet. There are almost two thousand different species of flea which each have a preferred type of host. The most common of these is the cat flea which prefers to feed on cats or dogs. This can be remarkably frustrating for pet owners since removing the animal will not eliminate the problem, as you would then be the new host for the fleas.
A single female flea can lay up to twenty five eggs each day. She can suck almost thirty times her own weight in blood every day and will excrete flea baby food up to six times her own body weight. These tenacious abilities ensures that the flea population will grow extremely fast, which can be devastating for homeowners.
Flea Life Cycle
All species of flea follow a particular life cycle. This moves from egg to larvae through to pupa or cocoons before becoming an adult flea. Unfortunately many commercial flea treatments are ineffective against pupae and it can take almost two weeks for these cocoons to hatch, so you will usually have a flea control issue for at least a couple of weeks. The especially annoying aspect of a flea problem is that pupae can actually lay dormant waiting for a new host for up to a year. While the flea is in its cocoon, they can detect any vibrations which allow it to determine the optimum time to hatch.
The most common site of a flea control issue is where your pet spends most of their time. This can include their bedding or favorite spots on the carpeting or furniture. It is important that your flea control treatment method eliminates all stages of the life cycle, since you will find an average of almost one hundred eggs, cocoons and larvae for every five fleas. This can make the recurrence of infestation very common.
Flea Control Tips for Pet Owner
If your cat or dog is showing signs of a flea problem, it is important to remember that it is not only the pet which will require treatment. All debris should be removed from the floor including under any furniture. Pet bedding should be washed on a hot cycle and all flooring should be cleaned by either mopping hard floors or vacuuming carpets or rugs. Be sure to clean under any furniture and between cushions and remember to empty your vacuum bag after each session of vacuuming.
Many pet flea treatments can take a little time to eliminate all fleas effectively, so it is important to continue to be vigilant with your cleaning to prevent re-infection. Try to vacuum at least every couple of days to control the flea population and ensure that any pupa concealed in the flooring will hatch.
You may also find that if your home has a flea control issue, you may also have fleas within your yard. In order to ensure that your pet’s flea issue does not reoccur, you should treat the pet, yard and house simultaneously. There are specific flea treatments available for different pets, but remember that fleas can jump to a different host, so all pets in your home will need to be treated. Care should be taken with certain flea treatments for the home and yard, as they can be toxic to cats, dogs, rabbits etc.
If you are interested in learning more about flea control, or you are experiencing difficulties with a flea issue, contact us. We have the experience and expertise to effectively deal with any flea control issues and would be delighted to assist you with any questions or queries you may have.