We have had a very wet spring in Central Texas, and with the hot, humid weather that describes summer in our Lone Star State, it is the perfect environment for the reproduction and hatching of billions of insects...including those pesky fleas!
Any pet owner who has had trouble with fleas on a dog or cat knows how quickly an infestation of these tiny pests can get out of control. But how does it go from one to hundreds, and thousands, so quickly?
There are 4 stages in the life cycle of a flea:
Eggs are laid on the pet, but then fall off into the environment (like your home or yard) within a few hours
Eggs hatch into larvae (they look like maggots) which develop outdoors in cool, shady areas - where pets rest - as well as indoors in undisturbed, protected sites such as in carpet, under furniture and along your house or apartment's baseboards.
After a few days or weeks, larvae spin whitish cocoons and become pupae. These cocoons can be found in soil, on vegetation, in carpets, under furniture and on animal bedding. Pupae can remain dormant for months, hatching as adult fleas once the weather is favorable (like in the spring).
Once hatched, adult fleas find a host (such as your pet) and begin feeding immediately - usually within a few minutes. Egg production begins within 20-24 hours of females taking their first blood meal. Female fleas can produce 40-50 eggs per day - that's nearly 3,000 fleas in 2 months! During the warm summer months, the entire flea life cycle can be completed in 2-3 weeks.
Fleas are pests that quickly duplicate and take over the environment, and they survive best in warm, humid climates...Texas! How do you get rid of fleas, and keep them away?
While fleas do spend most of their life cycle in the environment, it's important to know that their life cycle begins and ends on your pet. Your dog or cat is the breeding ground for fleas, so to stop the fleas from reproducing you need to eliminate them at their source. Putting your dog or cat on a monthly flea prevention is the best way to get the fleas at their source. The medication kills adult fleas, so consistency is important in order to interrupt their life cycle and kill the adults before they can lay eggs. That is why it is important to keep your dog or cat on a monthly preventative year round. Don't give those pesky fleas a window to begin reproducing! Talk to your veterinarian today about the best product to use on your pet!
Source: DVM360 & AmericanVeterinarian.com
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