THE FLEA
Did you know that about 5% of the flea population is the adult? YIKES!!
The eggs, larva and pupa stages are much more numerous!

The Flea Life Cycle: there are four parts to the life cycle of the flea:
Adult
Egg
Larva
Pupa

The pupa, like a cocoon, houses the adult flea until environmental conditions are best for the survival of the adult flea. In the Louisiana environment, the pupa can live up to 6 months! The pupa is the toughest part of the flea life cycle because it is so hardy to the environment and resistant to insecticides. This is why environmental control is so important in eliminating a flea a problem
Not only do flea bites cause itch you pet can also be allergic to flea saliva which means even one bite can make your pet severely uncomfortable due to itch.

You have to treat all of these areas:

(a) your pet

(b) the pets your pet comes into contact with or lives with (that stray cat in the yard???)

(c) inside the house

(d) outside the house

 

YOUR PET – Current Flea Preventions:

Capstar (oral flea): this product is an oral tablet that will kill any adult fleas on your pet within 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. May be given once every 24 hours or as needed during an infestation.

Comfortis (oral flea): this product is an oral tablet that will kill any adult fleas on your pet within 30 minutes and provide lasting protection for approximately 30 days.

Trifexis (oral Flea, GI parasites, Heartworms): Oral monthly heartworm prevention that contains comfortis for flea prevention. Administer every 30 days. Canine only.

Activyl (Topical Flea, Tick): Topical flea/tick prevention. Apply every 30 days. Canine only.

Bravecto (flea and tick): this product is an oral flavored chewable tablet that will kill any adult fleas and ticks on your pet for approximately 390 days (3 months). Canine Only….they just came out with a topical for Felines!

Revolution (Topical Flea, Heartworm, GI Parasite, Earmites): This is a topical prevention to protect against fleas. Apply every 30 days.

There are new preventatives coming to the market all of the time and some of theme are great!! Just ask if you have questions about a certain product you have heard about.

All Pets in a household regardless of being indoors or outdoors should be on flea prevention.

Flea Shampoo: A great shampoo for your pet when fleas are noted is a detergent based product such as liquid Dawn or Joy (yes – like the bottle at your kitchen sink!). The flea’s body has a protective wax-like covering; due to this, detergent based soaps will mix with the wax and kill the flea – the trick is to rinse very well with chilled water to aid in rinsing all the detergent off of your pet’s skin and the chilled water will hydrate and act as an emollient too. This is a great option when pets have high numbers of fleas present and should always be followed up with flea prevention and environmental control methods to prevent re-infection!

YOUR PET(S) Environmental Flea Control
FleaBusters
This is a great product that will aid in drying out the larvae and adult fleas. It is statically charged to stick to carpet fibers and will not be removed with vacuuming. FleaBusters is a desiccant or drying agent that can be safely used in your home. Look at www.FleaBusters.com for more information. This product should be used in dark or covered spaces as this is where fleas like to congregate most.

Vacuum Cleaners
Daily vacuuming is very important as the heat and vibration will stimulate the pupa to hatch allowing our flea preventions and household cleaners to be effective. Unfortunately, the pupa is very hardy and no product on the market will kill the pupa! After cleaning, recommend cleaning the inside of the vacuum and other parts with Dawn/detergent solution. Discard bag (if using a bagged machine) securely in outside trash to avoid fleas escaping back into the household.
Fleas and larva like to live in the cool shadows, clean under that couch and coffee table!! They will not be high in numbers in the path of foot traffic.

Yard Control
Over the Counter Insecticide Products:
Look for products containing the active ingredients fipronil or imidacloprid. These products are often labeled for fire ant control and can be purchased at HomeDepot or Lowes to kill adult fleas within the yard. Follow directions on back of bag for proper application. Target areas of shade and where leaves/debris pile up (base of trees, flower beds, along fences lines). Typically fleas, eggs, and pupa will not be in the middle of the yard – they like shade and moisture.

Local Pesticide Service:
Contact your local pesticide service for further options to help alleviate fleas within the yard. They can give great options that are not only effective but also pet-friendly!
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If you think you are using a product that is no longer working…it could be the case! But I bet it also has something to do with the lifecycle and needing to treat the other animals and the environment!

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Don’t ever hesitate to call me about fleas! I love this conversation!

Have a great week! and let’s go kill some fleas!!!

Dr. Catherine

Poor thing…itchy from fleas!

This is flea dirt (flea feces)…looks like pepper down at the base of hair. If you touch it with a wet Qtip – the feces will rehydrate and the blood with be noticeable on the Qtip.

The Flea…

Fleas can cause all sorts of major medical issues, more often it will cause your pet to become very itchy and get a secondary bacterial infection. REMEMBER – the skin is the largest organ! Lets keep it healthy!