You feel dirty just saying it: “fleas.” These parasites can make you and your dog want to pull your hair out, so take a look at our tips below and arm yourself for the fight against fleas.
Waging a successful fight against fleas means knowing your enemy. Take a look below to find out more about this pesky little pest.
Fleas are small in size (1/12–1/16" long) and reddish-brown in color. Their bodies are hard, flat and covered with short spines and long legs for jumping.
Fleas are not picky eaters. If it bleeds, they’ll feed. But, pets that spend a great deal of time outside are more at risk because this is where adult fleas live on wildlife hosts.
An adult female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and once the eggs are in place they take two weeks to hatch into caterpillar-like larvae.
When fleas are in this stage, they feed off of organic waste inside of your dog’s coat. After a few weeks as larvae, fleas will then spin a cocoon.
After spinning a cozy cocoon, fleas usually spend around two weeks as pupae. But, until something jolts them out of their slumber they can stay in this stage for several weeks. The cocoon’s resilience is exactly what makes re-infestation a common problem for pet parents even after proper treatment.
Once the pupae breaks free from their cocoon they are now a full-fledged, persistent, itchy and dangerous adult.
Because flea infestations are cyclical, killing live adult fleas is not enough. Flea eggs and larvae usually make up around 95% of an infestation’s population, so using a spot on treatment will kill and repel flea eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. There are also collars available and several shampoos to choose from. The Petco Grooming Salon also offers a flea relief service.
If fleas have found their way onto your pet, odds are they have found their way into your home as well. When treating your pet’s environment you have a variety of options. Petco has a large variety of powders and sprays safe for use around pets. You can also try foggers, which release insect growth inhibitors to control eggs, larvae and adults. This treatment option can be a bit intensive because you have to repeat the process three weeks later to kill any newly hatched adults.
You can also call a professional exterminator. Although this option is a little more costly, it involves no labor on your end, and is usually guaranteed to work.
This is one of the most important stages in the process, so whatever you do, don’t skip it. Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your pup from pests. Protect your pet, your home, and your yard to prevent infestations.