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Little Known Facts about the Dog Flea

Updated on September 10, 2016

Fleas can be a real problem if you are a pet owner. They are most prevalent in the summer but live all year round. The dog fleadoes just bother your pets it will get on the family and cause problems. What they are and how to rid you of them is essential pet owner knowledge.

Fleas are blood sucking parasites and in order for you to control them you need to know their life-cycle. Basically fleas get into your house by the eggs, which are transported via the skin of your dog or cat. The adult female eats off your dog and lays eggs after. The female has to have a blood meal before she can lay eggs. The eggs fall off your pet and land in the carpet of some other part of your house. They are very small and easily hidden.

The eggs hatch into larva and mature in dark, warm areas of the house or yard. They feed on organic matter they find.

The larva turns into a pupae and cocoon themselves in a sticky substance. They hatch into adults within ten days but only after stimulated by pressure, heat or carbon dioxide.

An adult flea must have blood to survive more than a couple of days however they can live in the pupae phase for up to nine months. During the pupae phase they are resistant to insecticides.

Adult fleas unlike the larva are attracted to light. An adult female can start laying eggs two days after the first blood meal. The female lays up to forty eggs a day and can live to three weeks.

Fleas not only are a nuisance to both you and your pet but can carry disease and other parasites. Tapeworm is a common parasite carried by fleas to your dog.

The best way to treat your pet is to get them on a monthly topical or oral flea prevention product. The topical ointment is applied to the area between the dog's shoulders where they cannot lick it off. The oral is simply a tablet given once a month. Both these products contain insect growth regulators or IGR which disrupt the flea life-cycle by making sure the off spring do not develop properly. Flea collars may cause skin problems and are only moderately affective. Flea shampoos and dips help but again may be irritating to the dog’s skin and only works for a short period of time.

The dog flea is a big nuisance but you can gain control over it by putting your pet on a monthly flea treatment and possibly treat your house if needed. Flea treatments are not the same for dogs and cats so make sure you get the proper treatment for you type of pet.

File:Boy Fleaing his Dog - Gerard Terborch


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