Getting rid of Fleas
The flea life cycle goes from egg to larva to pupa before the final adult stage. The process can take anywhere from two to three weeks to several months, depending on the conditions. Adult cat and dog fleas can live up to one year in ideal situations, but only about one to two weeks if no host is present.
Eggs take anywhere from two days to two weeks to develop, hatching when environmental conditions are just right for them. If temperatures are cold and dry, the eggs will take longer; if temperatures are warm and humidity levels are high, the eggs will hatch at a faster rate. Larvae then emerges as the next life stage. Flea dirt is a specific visible indication that your pet has fleas. If you start noticing small black clumps all over their fur, it could mean that your cat or dog is dealing with a flea infestation. When you notice this , it means it’s time to start treating the pets for fleas.
What is Flea-dirt – flea dirt is flea faeces. You will notice small dark clumps on your pet. This is the dried blood that the flea has sucked out of your pet, and it is a clear sign that your pet has fleas! Most flea dirt comes from female fleas, who over their lifetime will digest close to 15 times their body weight of your pet’s blood if you don’t use some sort of treatment.
Eggs are produced by adult females at a rate of up to 40 a day!
95% of your flea population are babies (larvae, eggs, and pupae), scattered around the house and garden, mostly where the animals lay and hang-out. Like us, they love sand, bedding and lounges, and warmth but not sun. Flea bite anaemia occurs in severe flea infestations or in tiny puppies. When a flea bites, it feeds on blood. With many fleas feeding at the same time, significant blood loss can occur. Fleas are more than just blood-sucking insects; they can also cause or transmit diseases in dogs.
Fleas are not only a nuisance to humans and their pets, but can cause medical problems in pets including flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), tapeworms, hair loss, and secondary skin irritations. Also, large numbers of fleas can cause anaemia, especially in puppies and kittens. Some pets have been known to die if the anaemia is severe. While bites are rarely felt, it is the resulting irritation caused by the flea salivary secretions that varies among pets. Some may witness a severe reaction (rash or inflammation) resulting in secondary infections caused by scratching the aggravated skin area. Tapeworms normally plague our pets but may appear in children if parts of infested fleas are accidentally consumed. In some cases, fleas have been known to spread bubonic plague from rodent to rodent and from rodent to humans.
Regular vacuuming of floors, rugs and lounges removes many larvae, eggs and pupae.
Treating your pets:
- For a dog, begin by giving him a bath using flea eliminating shampoo or for heavy infestations, use a flea dip. Give a once-a-month or once a quarter oral flea preventative tablet. We recommend a tablet because they generally eliminate the fleas before they have a chance to bite your pet. If you bathe your pet frequently when using topicals, remember to use a gentle shampoo that will not wash away the protection. Cats need to be treated carefully. Read all labels and only use those products that are meant for cats.
- You MUST also treat the areas inside and around your home for fleas to get rid of the infestation by getting a pest control company to do a professional and safe fumigation. We are experts in the treatment of fleas in around your home!