Fleas - Manning Veterinary Hospital

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Understanding Flea Control

Understanding the flea life cycle and how flea control products work is required to ensure you are providing your dog with the best possible flea control

The complex flea life cycle
The flea life cycle is comprised of four developmental stages; the egg, the larva, the pupa and the adult flea.
The time it takes for a flea egg to develop into a adult flea can vary from as little as 12 days to as long as 325 days.

Flea Eggs - up to 40-50 white, small (0.5mm) flea eggs per day may be laid by an adult female flea on your pet. These flea eggs fall off the pets coat into the environment within eight hours of being laid.
Flea Larvae - Flea eggs hatch within 1-10 days into larvae. Flea larvae are mobile; moving away from light, towards moisture and the ground.
Flea Pupae - Within 5-11 days, flea larvae spin a sticky, silk cocoon to become pupae. Pupae can remain dormant for up to six months, depending on environmental conditions.
Adult Fleas - Young fleas are stimulated to emerge from the cocoon by your pet's body temperature, movement, shadows and exhaled carbon dioxide. Within a second, your passing by pet may acquire newly emerged fleas from its home environment (eg under the house, veranda, within the pet's bedding, under leaf matter in parks or from the garden.
The adult fleas then mate on the pet within 8-24 hours. The production of flea eggs begins within 24-48 hours of their first blood meal.

General recommendations to help reduce the risk of re-emergence and re-infestion

  • discard all flea infested items (eg. bedding) where practical.

  • Clean between floorboards and in cracks between tiles and pavers.

  • Vacuum regulary; steam clean where possible. This will assist with the removal of aggs and stimulate fleas to emerge.

  • Wash bedding and blanket regularly -in water above 60 degrees for atleast 10mins

  • Place any household items that come in contact with pets and cannot be washed e.g rugs, cushions, door mats ect) in direct sunlight every few days - this will help kill the immature flea stages.

  • Prevent pets access to areas of potential flea contamination (e.g. block pets access to under the house or varanda and keep moist shady areas free from debris).

Where possible, prevent untreated animals from entering your home environment
Consider conducting your own "white sock test". Put on a pair of long white socks and walk around your pets environment. This will stimulate the fleas to emerge and jump onto the socks and help you determine where fleas are coming from. If you find a flea source, clean up the area as much as possible.

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