Fleas can overwhelm even the most stalwart among us. Their minuscule size allows them to invade and take over in tremendous numbers, and they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can defend your pet, yourself, and your home from these tiny terrors. Our animal hospital in Webster is a great source of information and various products designed to kill fleas and keep your pet healthy. Check out our flea protection and prevention information below.
Can They Spread Disease?
They certainly can. Fleas aren’t just pests; they can also spread diseases among people like typhus and plague, and cause anemia, tapeworm, Bartonella (a bacterial infection), and flea allergy dermatitis in cats and dogs.
Why Are Fleas so Tough?
In their pupal stage, fleas wrap themselves up in sturdy cocoons that are impervious to conventional flea-killing methods. Another reason that fleas are such a pain to deal with is because a majority of the existing flea population at any time consists of flea eggs (about 50%) and flea larvae (35%). Adult fleas account for less than 5% of the flea population at any given time.
Protecting Your Pet
The best way to protect your pet against fleas is to make sure they’re treated regularly, as directed, with flea preventatives. You can contact our animal hospital to learn more about the flea prevention options we offer and see which one would work best for your pet.
It’s important to note that the flea eggs and larvae on your pet will not die until they have matured into adult fleas and attempted to feed on your pet. This is why it’s normal to see fleas jumping around on a pet even after they’ve been treated—the fleas likely just hatched!
Dealing with Fleas in Your Home
Understanding the flea life cycle is crucial to handling an infestation and preventing future ones.
The life cycle of the flea has four stages:
- Eggs – Take 2 days to 2 weeks to develop into larvae
- Larvae – Need 5-14 days to transition into pupal stage
- Pupae – Take anywhere from a week to several months to mature into adult fleas
- Adult fleas – Female adult fleas will begin breeding and laying eggs a few days after their first blood meal
Be vigilant. Vacuum on a regular basis for several weeks and wash all bedding, towels, and toys in hot soapy water. Hot soapy water should help with removing flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. If your vacuum cleaner uses bags, carefully seal and remove all bags after use.
Vacuuming helps flea pupae hatch sooner—they respond to the heat and vibrations produced by the vacuum cleaner. You can also use a humidifier to speed things along. Once the pupae have hatched into adult fleas, you can use foggers and sprays to destroy them.
We’re Here to Help if You Need Us
You’re not in this alone. If you have questions or need help, just call us at (651) 426-2246!