Here are some tips you need to know when it comes to fleas.
• Fleas are the number one external parasite that you may encounter throughout your pets life.
• Just because you can’t see any fleas on your pet, does not mean they are not there.
• If you have a flea infestation, only 5% of adult fleas actually live on your pet. The other 95% live in your home!
• A female adult flea can lay over 2000 eggs in her lifetime.
• The flea will jump onto your pet and bite them, taking a blood meal.
• You may see a “salt and pepper” substance on your pet’s back, that is commonly called “flea dirt”, and it’s the digested blood that the flea excretes.
• The flea will then lay eggs on your pet, which then fall off and grow into larvae which live in your carpet, baseboards, furniture, and bedding, anywhere your pet goes.
• The larvae spin a cocoon and pupate, then emerge as an adult flea, and the cycle begins again.
• This whole cycle can take only 12 days in the right weather conditions. That’s a lot of fleas in a short period of time.
• It is much easier to prevent fleas than to treat them once your pet has them.
• Generally, flea season is spring through fall, but in recent years there have been increasing flea infestations throughout the winter as well.
• If you have a flea infestation and have any other pets, all of the pets in the house will have to be treated for fleas, as well as treating the house.
• The entire house and all furniture will need to be vacuumed, and all bedding should be washed and dried in a clothes dryer.
• Flea product should be purchased by your veterinarian as some store-bought products can be harmful especially for cats.
If you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime at Baxter Animal Hospital.
Written by Anne Huard