Treat the pet home and yard. The first step in eliminating fleas from a house is to use an insecticide to kill adult fleas as well as a product containing nylar to prevent eggs from hatching into adult biting fleas, Treat pets using a shampoo containing pyrethrum. Treat the yard with a hose end sprayer labeled to kill fleas. Identify and treat the areas where the household dog or cat regularly sleeps or rests. This is where flea larvae are concentrated and where insecticide application will be most effective.
Fleas on pets can be prevented by using on-animal products that kill the adults and affect the eggs that are laid. Exposure to feral dogs and cats should be avoided, and avoid the infested pets living in other houses.
We tend to think of fleas as a pet problem that can easily be treated with a short trip to the vet. In actuality, fleas can quickly infest a home, bite both pets and humans, and spread serious diseases. Back in the middle ages, fleas were responsible for the spread of Black Death (plague) that killed hundreds of millions of people, some estimates showing up to 60% of the entire population of Europe.1 While plague is no longer a big problem in the developed world, fleas are still vectors for many diseases that affect both humans and animals. Getting rid of fleas in your home takes an integrated approach that consists of: proper identification, regular cleaning, caring for your pets, and the use of various pest control products that are specifically designed to kill fleas. This article will walk you through all the vital information you will need to know about fleas and how to get rid of them for good.
The above description of fleas applies to adult fleas only. The flea life cycle actually includes four distinct stages. If you are seeing adult fleas, be aware that they make up only a very small percentage of the overall flea population. According toWikipedia, the breakdown of typical flea populations is 50% eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupae, and 5% adults. This means that the number of fleas in your home is actually much, much larger than the ones that you can readily see. In order to control fleas, you must understand the flea life cycle and be able to disrupt and destroy fleas at every stage of development.
Eggs:Female fleas can lay hundreds to several thousand eggs in their lifetime, depending on the species. These eggs look like clear, oval dots and are only about .5 mm big. It is very unlikely that you will see eggs unless you know where to look and have a magnifying glass. Flea eggs are not sticky, so once they are laid, they will most likely fall off the animal. This means that the majority of flea eggs are found in places like dirt, grass, carpet, and pet bedding.
Larvae: The next stage is the larval stage. Flea larvae look like white maggots with no eyes and no legs. They are approximately 3-5 mm long. Flea larvae do not feed directly on blood, but instead eat organic particles like dead skin, dead insects, and most often adult flea feces. Flea feces contains dried blood, so the larvae will likely appear to have dark or reddish material inside their otherwise clear or whitish bodies. At some point, which varies widely by species and external conditions, the larvae will spin a cocoon and enter the pupal stage.
Pupae:This is one of the most difficult stages to spot because the flea cocoon is rather sticky and will attract dust and other debris. This means that the pupae may look like a piece of dirt and will be unnoticable to the untrained eye. Various conditions may alert the pupae that it is time to emerge as an adult. These most likely are triggered by the approach of a potential host and include things like vibrations, increased heat, or an increase in carbon dioxide.
Adult: When fleas emerge from the cocoon, they will be adults and will begin the search for food immediately. Once a suitable host is located, the females will feed, mate and begin laying eggs, thus starting the life cycle over. Adult fleas only live about 100 days on average.
Flea Bites; By Maslesha