Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging in severity from minor irritation to life-threatening illnesses. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and other diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and most other mammals. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too.
A flea problem on your pet means a flea problem in your home! Only 10% of the flea life cycle is spent on the animal and 90% is in the environment. Understanding the flea life cycle can be a daunting task but is essential for complete flea control. Our staff will gladly assist you in this process. We can provide you with safe, effective flea prevention and if necessary, flea treatment.
You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help you prevent flea infestation or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way onto your pets or into your home. There are a large number of options for flea control for pets ranging from topical to oral. Some of these are available over the counter while others are prescription only. These vary widely in safety and efficacy so it is crucial to check with us on the best choice for your pet(s).
Call us today for advice on flea control for your pets and to find out how to eliminate and control fleas in your environment. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site
Fleas, like other holometabolous insects, have a four-part life cycle consisting of eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults 1. Eggs are shed by the female 2 in the enviroment . Eggs hatch into larvae in about 3-4 days and feed on organic debris in the environment. The number of larval instars varies among the species. Larvae eventually form pupae 3 , which are in cocoons that are often covered with debris from the environment (sand, pebbles, etc). The larval and pupal stages take about 3-4 weeks to complete. Afterwards, adults hatch from pupae 4 and seek out a warm-blooded host for blood meals. The primary hosts for Ctenocephalides felis and C. canis are cats and dogs, respectively, although other mammals, including humans, may be fed upon. The primary hosts for Xenopsylla cheopis are rodents, especially rats. In North America, plague (Yersinia pestis) is cycled between X. cheopis and prairie dogs. Humans are the primary host for Pulex irritans.