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Fascinating Fleas

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Fascinating Fleas

If you’re a pet owner, chances are at some point you have fought the flea fight. Alternatively, if you think Fido is flea-free because you don’t see fleas, think again! Whatever your past experiences, all can agree that fleas are frustrating! Read on to learn how to evict fleas and take back your home!

While there are over 2000 species of fleas worldwide, its Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea, that pets are most likely to encounter.  Fleas are ubiquitous in the environment, meaning they can be found essentially everywhere! They are a year-round threat and if uncontrolled, their numbers can rapidly get out of control.

Fleas aren’t just a nuisance, they can cause serious problems for you and your pet

 
Zoonotic Concerns

Zoonosis is a technical term for an infectious disease which can be transmitted from animals to humans. 

The good news is that fleas would much rather feast on dog or cat blood than human blood, however, in an active flea infestation you can expect some red, itchy bites!

Fleas can transmit a bacteria, Bartonella that is the cause of cat scratch fever, follow this link to learn more. 

 
Pet Health Concerns

Flea bites can be more than just irritating to your pet. When present in great numbers, particularly on young or small animals, fleas can ingest so much blood that your pet could be become anemic.

Pets can transmit parasites! A type of tapeworm, Diplydium caninum, is transmitted by fleas. These worms mature and draw nutrients from your pet’s intestine. 

Pets can be allergic to flea bites. Affected pets are have red, itchy skin and can be extremely uncomfortable. To learn more about Flea Allergy Dermatitis (click here)

 
Pet Health Concerns

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Flea bites can be more than just irritating to your pet. When present in great numbers, particularly on young or small animals, fleas can ingest so much blood that your pet could be become anemic.

Pets can transmit parasites! A type of tapeworm, Diplydium caninum, is transmitted by fleas. These worms mature and draw nutrients from your pet’s intestine. 

Pets can be allergic to flea bites. Affected pets are have red, itchy skin and can be extremely uncomfortable. To learn more about Flea Allergy Dermatitis (click here)

The Flea Lifecycle

Fleas have a 4-stage lifecycle, with the fleas you see on your pet just the tip of the iceberg. 95% of the flea’s lifecycle occurs in the environment.

  1. Adult Fleas

  2. Eggs

  3. Larvae

  4. Pupae

Adult Fleas

Fleas are wingless insects that pounce on passing pets. Once they have found a host, it’s rare for them to move from pet to pet, preferring to live out their adult lives on a single animal.

 

Facinating Flea Fact

Fleas  are amazing athletes, capable of jumping over 200 times their height!

That's equivalent to an adult humain being jumping over the Eiffel Tower!

Eggs

Fleas reproduce at an astounding rate! Female fleas lay eggs the same day they jump on your pet. Peak egg production can top 50 eggs per day and with 100+ days of reproductive life that amounts to….. an awful lot of fleas!

Flea eggs fall off your pet, scattering about your home everywhere you pet goes.

Fascinating Flea Fact

1 flea can become 1,000 in just 21 days!

Larvae

This worm-like flea stage burrows deep in your carpets, crevices of floorboards, and nooks and crannies of your pet’s favourite sleeping spot….try not to think about that the next time you’re couch surfing! Larvae feed on mostly on flea poop and other flea eggs…yum!

Pupae

Don’t be fooled, no beautiful butterflies will hatch from these cocoons. Pupae are sticky, impenetrable fortresses from which adult fleas hatch. Hatching is triggered by warmth, humidity and vibrations causes by passing pets or people. While under ideal conditions, pupae can hatch in as little as one week, they can wait patiently in crevices for up to a year, only hatching when conditions are right.

Fascinating Flea Fact

Adult fleas can develop from eggs in as little as 2 weeks or as long as 1 year, depending on conditions

Our Top Tips for Fighting Fleas

Prevention is by far the best strategy for flea control. You can accomplish this by:

  • Year-round flea control with an approved product. Speak with your veterinary team, your best source of advice for all things parasites.

  • Pick the right product. With such an array of products available it can be hard knowing what to choose. Some products kill fleas on contact while others work in the blood, killing fleas when the take a blood meal. What’s important is to find a quality product that you trust and feel comfortable using.

  • Treat every in-contact pet, every month. Yes, that includes your indoor only cat!

What do you do when faced with an active flea infestation?
  • Treat every pet as soon as you notice even a single flea on a pet

  • Choose products with quick adult-killing power. Your goal is to break the flea lifecycle, before fleas have a chance to lay eggs.

  • Continue treating all pets for a minimum of 3 consecutive months. You may need more than one intervention.

  • Tackle the environment to reduce immature flea stages. Vacuum daily, wash all pet bedding in hot water, and if the infestation warrants, reach out to a pest control company.

Aword to the wise - Practice Patience

It's not uncommon for your flea problem to appear to worsen before it improves. This is caused by immature stages emerging from the environment. They were there before you noticed a flea on your pet, but rest assured, they too will perish as young adults

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Flea Allergy Dermatitis