Fleas can be a very large problem to pet owners in Louisiana. It is important to attack the problem head on and thoroughly to help insure the quickest resolution possible. Included in this page is a short explanation about what actually makes fleas do what they do. Also in this page are recommendations for flea control.
- Flea eggs are white and approximately the size of a grain of sand. When the flea lays the egg on the hair of your pet, they roll off into the environment and hatch in approximately 10 days. The larvae hatch out and migrate into the ground surface or carpet looking for food. Temperatures less than 65 degrees and humidity less than 70% slow their growth. When the larvae mature, they form a cocoon that lasts from approximately 9-174 days. Heat, carbon dioxide and vibrations stimulate the emergence of the larvae. This entire life cycle lasts from approximately 12-140 days.
- Factors that draw fleas to your pet are:
- light changes
- exhaled carbon dioxide
- Fleas spend their entire life as an adult on your pet. Short periods off the pet can lead to death do to lack of a blood meal.
- Egg production can peak at around 40-50 eggs a day for a period of 100 straight days.
- A flea can consume approximately 15 times their body weight with each meal. Most of the blood consumed by a flea is passed in the form of “flea dirt”. This is an excellent food source for the larvae.
The de la Houssaye Animal Hospital recommends total flea control which includes the environment outside and inside the home. Routine control on the pet is also a must. Control of fleas can also control the infestation of tapeworms in your pet. This can also be a public health issue.
The de la Houssaye Animal Hospital recommends routine bathing and/or dipping of your pet with reputable flea products. If one is thorough with appropriate products and used correctly, you can achieve control of the fleas in your home environment.