There are many products presently available on the market for flea control. Everything from sprays, to chalky powders, collars worn on the animal, smelly shampoos and baths. If you search the internet you will also find advice on home remedies, methods your ancestors used, and some methods that sound like the concoctions of witch doctors. Flea control has modernized, and by demand the array of forces to control these pests available to consumers is incredible. Many of these OTC products are not equipped to handle infestations. For infestations the most popular or recommended modern methods of flea control are utilized through professional services rendered by pest control companies, and administering medications to your animal either topically or orally for additional control as well as prevention.
Fleas are a common insect-parasite that are not only an itchy inconvenience, they are also a disease risk for you and your pet. Animals can develop dermatitis, anemia, and parasites known as the tapeworm. Your first servicing or treatment against these bugs are an important step to eliminating them. However, the first treatment will not usually rid the infestation completely. A second treatment is key to most infestations, and considerably one of the most necessary defenses against these nuisances. Let me explain why this second treatment is so important. Fleas not only visit your pet, they also reside in your carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture. Fleas are first introduced to your pet typically through the outdoors. Fleas prefer warm and moist conditions with temperatures which within the range of 70 degrees or higher. Once a flea jumps on its host, it will bite for a nice blood meal, and begins to reproduce.
The life cycle of a flea has started. Adult female fleas lay eggs once the female has fed on its host. It only takes one meal. One single adult female will then lay 25-50 eggs each day. These little white eggs which can resemble salt, are actually quite slippery unlike lice, some eggs may remain in the coat but typically most eggs usually fall off the host. The eggs fall from the coat into the environment, and will later hatch in a few days on your favorite rug or lawn. These larvae can grow into adults rapidly in as little as five days, and up to a month. These adults will then jump onto the host to mate and feed, and the cycle continues leading to more and more fleas. Adults represent just 5% of the flea infestation, and the eggs represent 50%. The life cycle of a flea is typically 18-28 days in favorable conditions.
The best way protection for your household against the flea is professional servicing of your home. Your flea control efforts should be implemented in a way that targets the entire life cycle because your first treatment is only a mild defense. The first treatment will eliminate the adults, but does not treat the eggs. It is important to have at least a second treatment that your pest control specialist will schedule to target the larvae. Sometimes additional services beyond the second treatment may be necessary, you should evaluate the need for continued pesticide after your second treatment with your pest control specialist.
W.J. Arnold. © 2016
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