Flea Infestations are the most common parasite problem of dogs and cats in our area. It is estimated that American pet owners spend over 500 million dollars each year on flea products most of which do not work! During the past few years much research has centered on studying the life cycle of the species of fleas that attack dogs and cats in an effort to develop better flea control methods. There are over 2000 species of fleas, but few actually attack dogs and cats
- 90% of life cycle is OFF pet.
- Fleas prefer blood of dogs and cats instead of people but will bite humans when starved
- Fleas have well-developed hind legs and are capable of jumping 16-36 inches.
- Fleas can survive freezing and can survive without a blood meal for up to 17 months.
- Female fleas may lay 500-5000 eggs during her lifetime.
- Best breeding conditions for fleas to multiply are 65° to 80°
- Fleas carry many diseases, such as Bubonic Plague, Tapeworms, and bacterial infections.
- Fleas cause many skin allergies, as well as anemia from sucking blood from its victim.
- Adult fleas live an average of 6 months to 1 year. Flea eggs are white, and hatch in about one week into a white larva that can mature into an adult flea in as little as 3 weeks.
- Fleas are very susceptible to dry weather conditions. Fleas are non-existent in some very dry areas of the United States.
- Best control is cutting grass low, and a Scalibor flea/tick collar applied by April 1st.
- Dips will kill, but won’t prevent ticks from getting on your dog.
- Pull off when found on dog with tweezers, wash hands — won’t damage skin (buried heads will work out by themselves).
- American dog ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever in this area.
- Ticks can also cause tick paralysis. Lyme disease is also gaining the attention of vets as an emerging disease of importance.
- Several parasite preventatives include effective tick prevention and are available through your veterinarian.