FLEA LIFE CYCLE
Adult flea, Eggs, Larva, Pupa & Adult flea
The flea population is made up of 50% eggs, 30% larva, 15% pupa, and 5% biting adults. The life cyle from egg to adult varies from two weeks to eight months. The female flea lays approximately 30 eggs a day.
When the eggs are laid they drop off where the pet sleeps or rest (carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, dog or cat boxes, kennels and sandboxes, etc.).
When the eggs hatch they turn into larvae found indoors in floor cracks & crevices, along baseboards, under rug edges and furniture or beds The larva are blind, avoid light, pass through three larval stages and take a week to months to develop. They feed off digested blood from adult flea feces, dead skin, hair, feathers, and other organic debris. The pupa mature to adulthood in a silken cocoon woven by the larva to which pet hair, carpet fiber, dust, grass cuttings and other debris adheres.
In about 1 to 2 weeks, adult fleas can emerge when the detection or vibration from pets, people movement, pressure, heat, noise, or carbon dioxide.
Fleas survive the winter in the larval or pupal stage and can become active with warm or moist temperatures. Optimum temperatures for the flea's life cycle are 70 F to 85 F and humidity is 70 %.
Adult fleas cannot survive or lay eggs without a blood meal, but can hibernate from two months to one year without feeding as long as they do not emerge from their cocoons. Breaking the clyle with an Insect Growth Regulator, not just killing the few adults (5%) is the secret to flea control
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For an active flea infestation, you will need to treat all animals with a veterinary adulticide (Feline Advantage Multi, Feline Frontline Plus or Revolution for cats and Vectra for dogs) at least once a month. We also have Comfortis, Capstar, and Sentinel that is given orally. In some cases, we recommend applying some of these products every two to three weeks. Consult your veterinarian first.
If your home becomes infested, vacuum (with beater bar) every three days for four weeks. Spray the house: carpeted areas, door mats, cat-scratch towers, under the sofa cushions, pet bedding, hardwood floors (the cracks can harbor eggs and larva), and automobile with a product that coontains an Insect Growth Regulator, such as Ectokly-IGR Area Spray. Repeat in two weeks, then again in three months. Re-application is necessary because the pupal stage is not affected by the sprays and re-emerges in several weeks. The adulticide component allows a quick knockdown of newly emerging adult fleas from their cocoons.
Another form of control is the use of NEMATODES. Nematodes are natural microscopic parasites (worms), that infest & kill more than 250 different pest larvae. Ninety percent of all insects spend at least part of their life cycle in the soil.
All types of Beneficial Nematodes are very simple to use. Just mix with water and apply to the infested area. It is best to apply it twice per season. The nematodes will infest and kill their prey within 24-48 hours, continuing to reproduce. The young will seek out new hosts to infest. Please go to www.naturalinsectcontrol.com for more information on Nematode products or www.animalarkvet.com for additional informations concerning your pets.