This hot humid weather provides great environmental conditions for breeding of many creatures including one of the most annoying, fleas. Both cats and dogs share the same species of flea. Treating and preventing your pets from fleas has never been easier. When it comes to environmental control it is important to first understand the flea cycle.
There are four stages to the flea cycle: the egg, larvae, pupae, and adult flea. Flea eggs are laid by the adult flea on the animal but then fall off into the environment to continue their life cycle. Flea eggs make up over 50% of the flea population.
Flea larvae prefer warm, moist, dark areas like: in carpet under furniture, under leaves and soil. They feed on organic debris on adult feces. The larvae then produce a protective silk-like cocoon to become pupae. They can remain in this cocoon for up to 9 months. When stimulated by physical pressure, carbon dioxide or heat they emerge as an adult flea.
The adult flea is attracted to light and movement. The adult flea hops to its host to suck blood. An adult flea can hop over six feet in a single jump. A single female flea can take up to fifteen times her body weight in blood and can lay 40 eggs per day!! The entire life cycle, from egg to adult flea can be completed in 14 to 28 days depending on environmental conditions.
As you can see, fleas have a very effective cycle and it is easy to understand how one flea can become many in a short period of time. It is important that EVERY pet in your household be on a flea prevention, since they do not need be outdoor animals to attract the adult flea. Stray animals, wildlife or our clothing or shoes can carry the adult flea close enough to our pets to cause infestation.
There are many great products on the market now for flea prevention and control. Most products are given monthly to each pet and environmental products are available.
Your veterinarian will help you pick-out the best product for your pet and his or her environment.