Just the word makes us cringe, or maybe scratch our heads.
Fleas are a year-round problem here in Florida. Our warm and humid weather allows fleas to thrive at almost any time of the year.
Adult fleas spend most of their time on your pet. Within 24 hours of being on your pet, female fleas begin to lay eggs – up to 50 eggs per day! These eggs fall off your pet and land on the floor, in furniture (including pet bedding), or anywhere your pet goes! The eggs hatch into a larva (maggot-like) stage which grows until they form a cocoon. In the cocoon, pupae develop and will hatch out as adult fleas. The new adult fleas infest your pet…. And so the circle of life continue for the flea! The flea life cycle can be as short as 2 weeks or as much as 6 months depending on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.
Fleas and Your Pet
With just a few fleas you might not know your pet has the beginning of a problem. Once enough fleas hatch and jump onto your dog or cat, they will become uncomfortable. You may see skin inflammation or scratching, which can lead to open sores and infection (even “hot spots”). You may see ‘dirt’ on your pet’s skin - this is flea manure passed by the adult flea and is flea-digested blood from your pet. Blood loss from flea bites can make young or small pets anemic. Allergic pets can react to just one or two flea bites. Sometimes fleas can carry parasites (such as tapeworms).
Flea control medications have become much mor effective in recent years. We have several options, including oral tablets and topical products. Each situation is unique so the choice of flea control should be tailored to your home and your pet(s).
Treating your pet's environment is also important because the flea life cycle involves so much time off the pet. Be sure to vacuum your home, especially the floors and furniture your pet frequents. If possible, wash your pet's bedding regularly. If you have a pest control service treating your yard, let them know you are having a flea problem.
Check out this great video