What is the most faithful bug in the universe? The flea! Once they find a dog or cat they like, they stick to them. So, if fleas commit for life, what exactly does that mean? Well, we have everything you need to know about these itchy little insects (and probably a bit more than you want to know).
A Close Look at the Flea Life Cycle
Stage One: An Egg is Laid
All fleas start their lives as eggs. And boy do female fleas have some laying power: an adult flea can lay between 10 and 60 eggs per day! And when you take into account the average lifespan of a flea—60 to 100 days, those eggs add up! In fact, one female flea can lay 2000 eggs!
The number of eggs and the reproduction rate of fleas depends a lot on their climate. You’ve probably even heard the myth that fleas go dormant during the winter. Unfortunately, we wish this one was true. But fleas happen to love the same temperatures we do. They thrive in temperatures from 75 to 95-degrees. They enjoy humidity.
Where do fleas lay those eggs? On your dog or cat. Some of the eggs get knocked onto the floor, their bedding, or elsewhere.
Stage Two: A Larva is Born!
After two days to two weeks, more than half of the flea’s eggs will hatch into developing larvae. Some eggs will stick around and hatch later on when the temperature and conditions are ideal.
These larvae have the natural instinct to hide from the light. This means they may end up in tiny dark crevices like between floorboards, under the bed, or deep in your carpet.
And like all babies, these proto-fleas need to eat. So, they spend about two weeks feasting on their favorite food: flea dirt. What is flea dirt? If you didn’t think flea larvae was charming enough, they feed on the feces of adult fleas. Ew! Right?
Stage Three: Cha-cha-cha-changes! Larvae to Pupae
While you probably associate cocoons with beautiful butterflies or moths, they are also an important part of the flea’s life cycle. After two weeks of eating poo, larvae spin themselves cocoons. This is when the larva goes into its pupae phase Where it will emerge a mature and hungry adult.
The pupae phase can differ in length depending on conditions. The adult flea will break free when the conditions are right. This may be two weeks or even several months. When they sense a tasty host to feed on, they pop out of their cocoons and come to life.
Stage Four: The Egg is All Grown Up: The Adult Flea
Adult fleas survive by indulging in a blood meal from mammals. After one meal, an adult female flea can start the cycle all over again by beginning to lay eggs.
Other Not-So-Sweet Flea Facts
- Only 10% of the fleas potentially in your home live on your pet
- Only 5% of fleas are at the adult stage at one time. The rest are eggs, larvae or pupae, waiting to mature.
- The entire life cycle of the flea can last between two weeks and six months.
- Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae and infect your pet with these disgusting parasites.
Stop Those Fleas in Their Tracks
Ending the flea life cycle is a matter of interrupting the cycle. Prescription flea medicine does just that.
Oral prescription flea medicines make their way through your pet’s system and wind up in your pet’s fat. When a flea bites your pet, they ingest the medicine which renders them sterile. This means any eggs they lay cannot survive.
Make Fleas Flee!
We have one more joke for you:
What did the dog on flea prevention say to the vet?
“Long time, no flea!”
If knowledge is power, you’re one powerful pet owner with everything you need to know about fleas. So, it’s time to give us a call and make an appointment to scratch that itch your dog or cat can’t shake. Don’t try to fight a flea infestation alone, you’ll quickly get outnumbered and overwhelmed.
Protect your pet from fleas. Give us a call and schedule an appointment today!
Photo Credit: Pixabay
All it takes is one look into your pet’s eyes to feel the urge to want to protect them. Maybe you have a fence to keep your dog from running into the road or you have microchipped your cat in case she sneaks out. But have you considered how vital your pet’s vaccinations are to protect them?
Vaccinations can prevent your pet from catching a deadly contagious disease and keep them from bringing zoonotic diseases into your home. Immunizations often lengthen pet’s lifespans and dramatically improve their quality of life.
What Do You Need to Know About Your Pets Vaccinations?
Don’t skip your pet’s annual exams and make sure your pet is protected because:
- Vaccinations prevent your pet from getting certain illnesses.
- Prevention of diseases is less costly than treatment.
- Vaccinations can extend your pet’s life and give you more years of cuddling and love.
- Vaccinations give pet parents peace of mind. If your dog or cat gets loose and runs into the woods, they may be exposed to wild animals that carry distemper, rabies, and other deadly diseases.
- Immunizations protect humans from zoonotic diseases (ones which can be passed from pets to their owners or vice versa).
- Some vaccinations are legally required for your pet.
Puppies, Kittens, and Newly Adopted Pets Need Core Vaccinations
When you first bring a new pet into your family, you will want to bring them by as soon as possible for a health check and vaccinations. We will work with you to schedule your new fuzzy family member’s immunization schedule.
Why It’s Vital to Set Up an Immunization Schedule for Your New Pet
The way vaccinations work means it is imperative to stick to a schedule and vaccinate a pet early. If your pets are exposed to a disease or virus without any vaccinations, their body may not be able to fight it off. This makes new puppies, kitties, and recently adopted pets more vulnerable to deadly diseases.
Vaccines help pets build up their body’s resistance to deadly viruses and diseases by developing antibodies from a series of vaccines. This helps ensure that your pet’s immune system will jump into action if they ever are exposed to the disease.
Don’t Skip Those Annual Exams
Equally as important as those first immunizations, keeping your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date protects them from some illnesses. In Wisconsin, your dog or cat is legally required to have current bordetella, DHLPP, and rabies vaccines.
Summertime Canine Vaccination Spotlight
If you’re planning on bringing your dog to the dog park, on a recreational hike, or even on a doggie playdate, don’t skip the canine flu shot. Dog flu can be passed from dog to dog with just a sneeze, sharing toys, or drinking from the same bowl.
Canine flu is also commonly transmitted between dogs in boarding facilities. Help your dog stay at the top of her game with a simple flu shot.
What Diseases Can We Help Protect Your Pet from Contracting?
Along with rabies, bordetella, and DHLPP, we can help protect your pet from:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Canine Influenza (dogs)
- Chlamydia (cats)
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (cats)
- Calicivirus (cats)
- Feline Leukemia (cats)
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (cats)
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (cats)
Vaccinations do more than just preventing illness, they help prolong your pet’s life and provide peace of mind. Don’t skip your pet’s vaccines.
We want to assist you in providing years and years of loving memories and joy with your dog or cat. If you have questions about your pet’s vaccination status, health, or annual exam, please give us a call.
Photo Credit: Pixabay