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Information on Fleas – via West Kootenay Animal Hospital

Information on Fleas – via West Kootenay Animal Hospital

By on Jul 29, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Flea Quick Facts

  • Fleas need to eat frequently, as often as once every 5 minutes.
  • Adult fleas feed, mate and begin laying eggs approximately 36 hours after hatching
  • Cycle from egg to adult usually takes about 3-6 weeks but can take longer
  • While adult fleas are the most noticeable part of an infestation, they are only about 5% of the total fleas present
  • It can take 6 weeks or longer to get all the fleas hatched out of their pupae
  • Fleas are triggered to hatch by warmth, vibration and carbon dioxide.
  • Often owners will see fleas reappear about 3-4 weeks after the application as this is when the largest number of flea pupae (from eggs laid by the fleas killed 3-4 weeks earlier) are ready to hatch
  • Sprays may kill eggs and/or larvae but are often not effective against fleas when they are inside the pupae.

Fleas lead very complicated lives for such small pests and can be difficult to get rid of.  Adult fleas spend almost all their time on the pet.  Fleas need to eat frequently, as often as once every 5 minutes, and will not usually leave the host unless forced to by overcrowding or unpleasant conditions such as wetting or bathing.  Adult fleas feed, mate and begin laying eggs approximately 36 hours after hatching. These eggs are small and white and roll off the pet into the house.  A larva will hatch from the egg.  A larva is like a small caterpillar.  Larvae move away from light and will move into carpet, furniture, cracks in hardwood floor, cracks in grout and under baseboards.  These larvae form pupae, a small cocoon like structure.  The adult flea will develop inside this cocoon and then hatch out when signalled by the presence of something warm and breathing, such as an animal or person.  This cycle from egg to adult usually takes about 3-6 weeks but can take longer.  Fleas are usually not detected until after an infestation has been established and cannot be eliminated overnight. While adult fleas are the most noticeable part of an infestation, they are only about 5% of the total fleas present in the home.  Here are some steps to help you get rid of these unwanted pets as quickly as possible:

Apply a prescription flea product such as Advantage, Bravecto or Revolution to each pet, cats and dogs, in the household at the correct dose.  Repeat application once per month. Make sure to remove collars until the product is dry or apply away from the collar.  The product will not protect your pet properly if it has been absorbed by the collar.  Continue treatments for three months.  You will notice improvement after the first dose and will likely think you are flea free well before three months, however since, it can take 6 weeks or longer to get all the fleas hatched out of their pupae, three months of treatment will make sure that those fleas that hatch late will still be killed by contact with an advantage treated pet. If you have other furry animals, such as hamster, ferrets or rabbits, discuss flea treatment options for these pets with your veterinarian.

Vacuum frequently (twice a week if possible).  Fleas are triggered to hatch by warmth, vibration and carbon dioxide.  These signals tell the flea that there is an animal nearby and the flea can hatch as there is an available source of food.  The vacuum mimics an animal and will encourage fleas to hatch.  The fleas will hatch and seek out the pet.  Focus on low traffic areas like under tables and behind doors where pets don’t often go.  Pets do the work in high traffic areas; you can help by vacuuming the low traffic spots.  Once fleas find a pet and jump on, the advantage will begin to kill the flea.  Death of the flea occurs within 2-12 hours of contact, well before any eggs can be laid.  Pet bedding can be washed and dried in the dryer.

Make sure your treated pets have full range of  your home.  When you treated your pet with, you stopped egg production in your home.  There are still developing fleas in the house however and the goal is to get those fleas to hatch and jump onto the dog or cat so that the prescription flea product can kill them.  Often owners will see fleas reappear about 3-4 weeks after the application as this is when the largest number of flea pupae (from eggs laid by the fleas killed 3-4 weeks earlier) are ready to hatch.  Allowing your pet free access to all parts of the home will help to get the fleas to hatch out of their pupae.  Remember that if the fleas do not get the signal to hatch from the pet, they will either hatch in response to the presence of a person, and bite that person, or they will remain in their pupae and wait for the right signal.  They can remain in this dormant or waiting stage for up to a year.

If you are bathing your pet, make sure to use an appropriate shampoo.  A shampoo made for dogs or cats is fine. Baths can be given as often as once per month without affecting the performance of the product.  If more than one bath is given, advantage should be reapplied after the second bath.  Flea shampoo, medicated shampoos, human shampoo and dish detergents are not appropriate choices when managing fleas and may affect the performance of the prescription flea treatment. Bathing is not required however. Please wait 48 hours between product application and bathing or swimming.

Sprays can be used and can be of benefit, but are not required. A topical prescription flea treatment is all you need to make your home flea free.  Sprays may kill eggs and/or larvae but are often not effective against fleas when they are inside the pupae.  Also note that fleas may carry tapeworms and may pass these tapeworms to cats and dogs.  Please contact your veterinarian to discuss appropriate deworming options for your pet.

Prescription products like Advantage, Bravecto or Revolution are not flea repellents.  It will not keep fleas from jumping onto your pet.  It does however kill them once they are there.  Fleas can jump onto your pet from the indoor home environment or from the ground outside. These products reduce flea biting within minutes and the fleas will die in 2 – 12 hours, depending on how recently the last dose of advantage was applied.  Any fleas landing on your pet will die and will not lay eggs or contribute to a flea infestation.  If you would like to see these products at work during an active flea infestation, you can have your pet sleep on a white or light coloured towel overnight and look for the dead flea bodies on the towel in the morning.  You may also find dead or dying fleas on your couch or lap after your pet rises. These are debilitated fleas that were no longer able to stay on the pet and are either dead or quickly dying.

Fleas lead very complicated lives for such small pests and can be difficult to get rid of.  Adult fleas spend almost all their time on the pet.  Fleas need to eat frequently, as often as once every 5 minutes, and will not usually leave the host unless forced to by overcrowding or unpleasant conditions such as wetting or bathing.  Adult fleas feed, mate and begin laying eggs approximately 36 hours after hatching. These eggs are small and white and roll off the pet into the house.  A larva will hatch from the egg.  A larva is like a small caterpillar.  Larvae move away from light and will move into carpet, furniture, cracks in hardwood floor, cracks in grout and under baseboards.  These larvae form pupae, a small cocoon like structure.  The adult flea will develop inside this cocoon and then hatch out when signalled by the presence of something warm and breathing, such as an animal or person.  This cycle from egg to adult usually takes about 3-6 weeks but can take longer.  Fleas are usually not detected until after an infestation has been established and cannot be eliminated overnight. While adult fleas are the most noticeable part of an infestation, they are only about 5% of the total fleas present in the home.  Here are some steps to help you get rid of these unwanted pets as quickly as possible:

image via: www.petbasics.com

image via: www.petbasics.com

Apply a prescription flea product such as Advantage, Bravecto or Revolution to each pet, cats and dogs, in the household at the correct dose.  Repeat application once per month. Make sure to remove collars until the product is dry or apply away from the collar.  The product will not protect your pet properly if it has been absorbed by the collar.  Continue treatments for three months.  You will notice improvement after the first dose and will likely think you are flea free well before three months, however since, it can take 6 weeks or longer to get all the fleas hatched out of their pupae, three months of treatment will make sure that those fleas that hatch late will still be killed by contact with an advantage treated pet. If you have other furry animals, such as hamster, ferrets or rabbits, discuss flea treatment options for these pets with your veterinarian.

Vacuum frequently (twice a week if possible).  Fleas are triggered to hatch by warmth, vibration and carbon dioxide.  These signals tell the flea that there is an animal nearby and the flea can hatch as there is an available source of food.  The vacuum mimics an animal and will encourage fleas to hatch.  The fleas will hatch and seek out the pet.  Focus on low traffic areas like under tables and behind doors where pets don’t often go.  Pets do the work in high traffic areas; you can help by vacuuming the low traffic spots.  Once fleas find a pet and jump on, the advantage will begin to kill the flea.  Death of the flea occurs within 2-12 hours of contact, well before any eggs can be laid.  Pet bedding can be washed and dried in the dryer.

Make sure your treated pets have full range of your home.  When you treated your pet with, you stopped egg production in your home.  There are still developing fleas in the house however and the goal is to get those fleas to hatch and jump onto the dog or cat so that the prescription flea product can kill them.  Often owners will see fleas reappear about 3-4 weeks after the application as this is when the largest number of flea pupae (from eggs laid by the fleas killed 3-4 weeks earlier) are ready to hatch.  Allowing your pet free access to all parts of the home will help to get the fleas to hatch out of their pupae.  Remember that if the fleas do not get the signal to hatch from the pet, they will either hatch in response to the presence of a person, and bite that person, or they will remain in their pupae and wait for the right signal.  They can remain in this dormant or waiting stage for up to a year.

If you are bathing your pet, make sure to use an appropriate shampoo.  A shampoo made for dogs or cats is fine. Baths can be given as often as once per month without affecting the performance of the product.  If more than one bath is given, advantage should be reapplied after the second bath.  Flea shampoo, medicated shampoos, human shampoo and dish detergents are not appropriate choices when managing fleas and may affect the performance of the prescription flea treatment. Bathing is not required however. Please wait 48 hours between product application and bathing or swimming.

Sprays can be used and can be of benefit, but are not required. A topical prescription flea treatment is all you need to make your home flea free.  Sprays may kill eggs and/or larvae but are often not effective against fleas when they are inside the pupae.  Also note that fleas may carry tapeworms and may pass these tapeworms to cats and dogs.  Please contact your veterinarian to discuss appropriate deworming options for your pet.

Prescription products like Advantage, Bravecto or Revolution are not flea repellents.  It will not keep fleas from jumping onto your pet.  It does however kill them once they are there.  Fleas can jump onto your pet from the indoor home environment or from the ground outside. These products reduce flea biting within minutes and the fleas will die in 2 – 12 hours, depending on how recently the last dose of advantage was applied.  Any fleas landing on your pet will die and will not lay eggs or contribute to a flea infestation.  If you would like to see these products at work during an active flea infestation, you can have your pet sleep on a white or light coloured towel overnight and look for the dead flea bodies on the towel in the morning.  You may also find dead or dying fleas on your couch or lap after your pet rises. These are debilitated fleas that were no longer able to stay on the pet and are either dead or quickly dying.

Article via:
West Kootenay Animal Hospital
http://www.wkanimalhospital.com/news/information-fleas

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