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fleas insects

Why should a flea application be done 7 – 19 days after the first one?

Fleas are those little, jumpy, itch causing, insect-parasites which infest areas quickly because of the rapid nature of their life cycle. They are a parasite because they rely on a host in which to live. They bite to feed off their host. If they aren’t controlled or left untreated, your pet may become sick with anemia, dermatitis, and tapeworm.

Once you have detected fleas in your house, you may already have an infestation. Fleas can be found on your pet, but you may be sharing your house with them also. Fleas like your carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture whenever they aren’t spending time on a host. You should always consider treating the outside of your home as well as the inside. Fleas are usually first introduced to your pet through the outdoors. Once a flea senses the vibrations of a potential host nearby it will jump to hitch a ride. Once a flea jumps on its host, it then begins to feed and reproduce. With a single adult female flea requiring to feed on its host once, before laying eggs (around 25-50 each time). These slippery little white eggs usually do not remain on the host, and will often fall from the coat of the host. This is where they will later hatch in your home, and begin to reside like a pesky squatter on your carpet, and on your lawn.

Flea larvae can mature into adulthood in as little as five days, and in some situations the larvae may take up to a month to mature if environmental conditions are less favorable. Once again the adults soon jump onto any nearby hosts for mating and feeding, and this is where the infestation cycle continues unless the infestation is treated. When you examine your pet for fleas, it is important to consider that adult fleas actually only represent about 5% of the flea infestation, but the eggs of the fleas make up about 50% of the infestation. When considering the typical or average lifespan of the flea is approximately 18-28 days in favorable conditions, it is then wise to understand that eradicating them isn’t as easy as one treatment.

It is important to consider the life cycle of the flea and understand that a second treatment 7-19 days after the first will help safeguard your home against re-infestation. The most widely recommended way to protect your household against the flea is professional servicing of your home. You should focus on treating both the inside and outside areas of your home, and plan on at least 2 services to fully eradicate the fleas. In addition, it is recommended to also consult with your veterinarian to have your pet medically treated for further prevention.

W.J. Arnold. © 2016

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