“How do I get rid of these fleas?” This is the never ending question that I hear year round. Now we are coming into spring and with warmer temperatures and moisture this is a breeding ground for fleas. They can be active in your home year round however you may notice them more when as the warmer days become more frequent. A few things you should know about fleas; they have a life cycle, they reproduce quickly in just a 12 to 14 day time frame, and there are many choices in ways to eradicate them.
Before we get into possible treatments, lets go over the flea life cycle. This is very important when treating your dog or the environment. In order to stop fleas from reproducing you must treat the environment as well as the dog. Dogs now can be treated monthly with simple treatment of drops or oral medication. The environment, on the other hand, still requires attention. The life cycle below shows you the 5 stages of the fleas’ life,
- Unfed Adult Flea
- Fed Adult Flea
Treatments on the animal or in the environment can eliminate all of the life stages except one, the pupae. In this stage the flea leaves the larvae stage and creates a hard sticky cocoon around itself. This cocoon is not something that any chemical or treatment can penetrate. Once this cocoon opens you have adult fleas that are feeding and laying eggs. These eggs will be ready to hatch and begin the process all over again in 12 to 14 days. When treating your home or yard, this is where the time table becomes so important. Apply the first treatment, then the second treatment needs to be re-applied 12 to 14 days later to finish off what was not eliminated in the first treatment.
You have several choices in treating your yard and home. Of course there are foggers and sprays you can get at any hardware store. These are toxic and not always environmentally friendly but are effective. If you are looking to be more “eco” friendly for the home I would suggest a company like FleaBusters. One treatment and they guarantee it for a year. Your home will be dusted with a non toxic powder to stop the fleas in your home. This company has been in business for a long time, check there website for more details. www.fleabustersca.com.
For your yard, flea control nematodes. These little organisms can live in your yard and help your flea population without harmful chemicals. They are very effective because they eat the eggs and larvae left by the adult fleas and of course this means they can’t reproduce. Click here for more information on how to order your own nematodes on-line.
Now let's talk about how to treat your dog? Today’s dog world is filled with the easy choices of Frontline, Advantage, and Sentinel for your pet. But how do they work? How many of these products do I use? These products are safe and help in the prevention of flea reproduction. Sentinel is a oral tab given monthly and contains a hormone that helps control the flea reproduction cycle. When a flea bites the dog, the flea is then not able to reproduce and dies off leaving no eggs behind to hatch. Monthly drops help in getting ride of adult fleas and also keep them from reproducing also. Eggs will not hatch if laid on the dog or if the flea bites the dog they become unable to reproduce. Always check with your vet on the flea control choices for your dog and of course read up on the products your using. Know the side effects and possible reactions your dog can have to them. If your dog is on a monthly flea program, please keep in mind there is no need for additional flea treatments like shampoo. Once your pet has treatment, flea shampoo and other products may dry out your pet's skin. Keep things simple and let the products do the work.
Remember fleas carry diseases and parasites that can affect your pets and your family. Have a game plan ready should your dog get them. Any cat or squirrel can leave them in your yard and they can make their way into your home on your dog.