The irritating, biting insect known as the flea can make both you and your pet unhappy. Across the world, over 2000 varieties of the flea have been found. The flea’s life ranges anywhere from 14 days up to 2 years. Humidity and heat aid in the egg-laying process while hot, dry periods help with the adult flea population. While the conditions during the summer months make breeding easy for the flea, once the weather turns fleas like to winter in your home.
Fleas are athletes. They can jump as high as 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally. With this athleticism they can enter your residence even if your pets never visit the outside world. They can hitch a ride on your pants, your socks, and blankets or maybe you bring home a new pet. Fleas also like other animals, such as squirrels, rabbits, ferrets and a few additional warm-blooded beings.
There are four life stages of the flea. These stages are the egg, the larvae, the pupae, and the adult and I have outlined them below.
The female flea can lay 20-40 eggs a day with the eggs hatching in 1-10 days.
Once the larvae hatch, they find a dark place and feed on flea waste and debris. They molt at least two times and spin cocoons and become pupae. This stage lasts 5 to 10 days.
The pupae spend 8 or 9 days in their cocoons becoming adults, waiting for signs that it is time to exit the cocoon. This stage can last for 174 days!
Once the flea finds a host, aka your pet, they leave the cocoons, find a mate, and the party begins again. If your pet has no flea protection, an adult flea can live on them for up to 3 months.
Flea protection is not only for your pet. It is for you and your home as well. So, how do you protect yourself?
Frontline flea and tick protection is your front line of defense. It is the #1 flea and tick product recommended by veterinarians. Frontline offers a range of products to meet your pet’s needs. From monthly applications to Frontline spray for pets that can be used as needed. This product can be used on all animals from 8 weeks old regardless of type or size. Meaning you can use it on your kitten and your large dog.
Vacuuming daily is a must for your home. Proper waste disposal is very important. Empty the trash into a plastic bag, seal and remove the bag from your home. Laundering your pet’s bedding in hot, soapy water and spraying the areas where your pet lays is also necessary. Again, Frontline spray can be used for this purpose.
Don’t forget the yard! If your neighbor’s dog has fleas, you will likely have fleas in your yard. Keeping the grass trimmed and spraying the border of your yard will help keep things under control. It has also been noted that a specific herb, Pennyroyal, planted around your home and pets’ kennels may also help in the control of fleas.
Flea control is an ongoing problem for most pet owners. Keeping ahead of the game is the goal!