Fleas are a major nuisance for pets and their owners. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent an infestation from occurring. Once fleas do infest your pet and your home, getting rid of them can be a very difficult task. To better understand why it can be so difficult to prevent and treat fleas, it is helpful to understand the life cycle of the flea and how flea treatment and prevention products work.
The Flea Egg
The life cycle of the flea starts as an egg. The female flea is capable o flaying several hundred eggs during her lifetime, which is part of the reason why fleas are so difficult to get rid of. As these eggs hatch and continue the life cycle, the female offspring also lay hundreds of eggs.
Fleas use your pet as a sort of incubator for their eggs while also using your pet as a feeding ground. Fleas generally lay their eggs directly onto the pet, though some may drop off in your home and on your carpeting and furniture. They may also lay their eggs in the area around your home, such as in your backyard or even in your vehicles.
The Flea Larvae
When the flea emerges from the egg, it is in the form of larvae. The larvae that hatch on your pet survive by feeding from the dried blood and dander on your pet’s body.
The Pupa and the Adult Flea
The flea larvae then develop into pupa, which then hatches into an adult flea. Once the pupa develops into a flea, it will hop onto your pet or possibly onto you as it searches for a host. Unfortunately, pupa can be dormant for a period of several months. During this time, they may be buried in your carpet or on your pet as they wait for the right conditions. The ideal conditions for pupa to hatch is in a warm and humid environment, though even temperate conditions will work. In fact, in temperate conditions, a flea will often complete its entire life cycle in a matter of just three weeks. Since homes are kept nice and warm, it is a great environment for fleas to live throughout the entire year.
Considering the Life Cycle During Prevention and Treatment
When working toward preventing fleas and treating a flea infestation, it is important to keep the flea life cycle in mind. Since fleas can complete their life cycle in just three weeks, you cannot focus on just one stage of development. Rather, you need to use products that kill fleas during all of the stages of the life cycle. In addition, you need to be diligent about vacuuming your furniture and carpeting in order to pick up the pupa that may be laying dormant in your home. When doing this, put a flea collar inside of the vacuum bag. This way, any fleas that are sucked up will be killed.
Fleas can be a great nuisance and can be quite difficult to eradicate once they find their way into your home. So, take preventative measures in order to prevent an infestation from occurring in and around your residence.
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