Fleas can make your dog and cat itch, causing considerable discomfort. Additionally, fleas can cause anemia (blood loss) and transmit diseases (Bartonella henselae, Rickettsia felis, Yersinia pestis), and are the intermediate host for tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum). Fleas can begin feeding within seconds of jumping on your pet and within 24 hours can begin laying eggs. Egg production can reach a rate of 40–50 per day, resulting in an infestation. Wherever the pet spends the most time is usually where the heaviest flea egg infestations are found.
Larvae hatch from eggs in one to six days. Indoors, flea larvae tend to live deep in carpeting or under furniture. Outside, they develop best in shaded areas. Any area of a yard where a pet seeks shelter from the heat or cold is potentially a great environment for fleas.
A mature larva transforms into a pupa inside a silk cocoon. Under most household conditions, the adult flea will emerge in three to five weeks. However, a fully developed flea can remain inside the cocoon for up to 350 days, which enhances the flea’s chance of survival. This explains how a flea infestation can erupt out of nowhere, even inside your home.
Adults emerging from cocoons can begin feeding immediately if a host is present. They are attracted by body heat, movement and exhaled carbon dioxide.
The flea feeds through a tiny, slender mouth part called the proboscis. Before feeding, it pumps saliva, which contains an anticoagulant, onto the skin. This prevents the blood from clotting, and the protein it contains can cause a severe allergic reaction in the host (flea allergy dermatitis).
Please inquire with us as to which preventatives we would recommend for your felines and canines.