What is the difference between a bored visitor and a dog with fleas? One is itching to go and the other is just darn itchy!
How about this one: What is a flea’s favorite book? The Itch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
If you didn’t find those funny, you may need a checkup to see if your funny bone is working. Or maybe you’re a responsible pet parent that doesn’t find fleas to be a laughing matter. Either way, these pesky little bugs can wreak havoc on your dog or cat.
Arming yourself with knowledge is one way to protect your little buddy from an infestation, protect your wallet by not wasting money on ineffective flea treatments, and protect yourself from wasting your time.
Lucky for you, we are taking a magnifying glass to the life of the flea… and we’re not just scratching the surface.
The Flea’s Life Cycle
Stage One: How Many Eggs?
Fleas start out as eggs. Tiny eggs. Fleas lay thousands of tiny eggs. How many? An adult flea can lay between 10 and 60 eggs every day! And these egg-layers can live two to three months. That’s a lot of eggs, right? One flea can lay about 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.
What if a momma flea reaches adulthood in the winter? Unfortunately, the myth that fleas go dormant during the winter is untrue. While fleas do prefer heat, they can live quite comfortably inside our homes. This is because fleas enjoy the same temperatures we do. They thrive in temperatures of 75 to 95-degrees.
So, where do fleas lay their eggs? On your dog or cat. But many of those eggs end up getting knocked off or shaken off and flying onto your floor, their bedding, or elsewhere.
Stage Two: Larvae Alive!
A few days after eggs are laid, they begin to hatch. Not all eggs will hatch, right? About half of them will develop into larvae.
Flea larvae are practically microscopic. They are also repelled by light. So, they frequently end up in the cracks and crevices of floorboards and deep in the carpet. This is why fleas can seemingly reemerge after you think you’ve eliminated them.
And to make these babies even more adorable, they survive off adult flea poop, also known as “flea dirt.” Gross.
Stage Three: From Larvae to Pupae
So, once flea larvae have had their fill of flea dirt, they spin themselves itty bitty cocoons. This phase can last between two weeks and six months. When the conditions are right, they hatch.
And they don’t emerge as beautiful butterflies. They emerge as adult fleas ready to find their first blood meal.
Stage Four: The Adult Flea
Adults fleas live off the blood of their hosts. They feast on your pup, cat, or your ankles. And once they’ve had a meal, they’re ready to lay eggs, and the cycle starts all over again.
Other Flea Facts
- 5% of fleas are at the adult stage at one time. Others are eggs, larvae or pupae, waiting to mature.
- 10% of fleas live on your pet. The rest live throughout your home.
- The life cycle of the flea lasts between two weeks and six months.
- Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae and infect your pet with these intestinal parasites.
Stop Those Fleas from Infesting Your Home and Biting Your Pet
Ending a flea infestation is a matter of interrupting the flea’s life cycle. Prescription flea medicine does just that.
When your pet ingests oral prescription flea medicine, it makes its way through your pet’s system and winds up in your pet’s outer fat layer. Then, when a flea bites your pet, they ingest the flea poison which renders them sterile. This means any eggs they lay cannot survive.
Make Fleas Flee!
What did the dog on flea prevention say to the vet?
“Long time, no flea!”
Protect your pet from fleas. Don’t give fleas the chance to infest your home and wreak havoc on your pet’s skin and mental state.
It’s time to give us a call and make an appointment to scratch that itch your dog or cat can’t shake on their own. Don’t try to fight a flea infestation alone, you’ll quickly get outnumbered and overwhelmed.
Photo Credit: Pixabay