ims itty orner
A im urley
A long time ago, fleas were a part of everyday life for most
illions died from diseases spread y fleas like the uonic
plague. As time passed, some progress was made with chemical
dips and oms. either was successful. t wasnt until
that a significant reakthrough in the attle occurred
arasitologists eperts that study parasites such as fleas figured
out that fleas dont live in the environment they live on the pet
n , the first symposium discussing this great war on the
pesky parasites was held. n , ufenuron rogram was
introduced and y , midacloprid used in many insecticides
and ipronil rontline oined the fight. his was the first time we
had products that worked against fleas
osta ica is the perfect warm and humid environment for fleas
to thrive. leas are hitchhikers. our flip flop, pants leg, each
towel, etc. provide easy access into your house. ince many of us
have open-air homes, fleas have an open invitation to come right
Adult fleas are dark reddish-rown insects that measure less than of
an inch. hey have strong legs that permit them to ump up to times
their ody length, close to feet o move through your pets fur and
keep from eing dislodged, they have ackward-directed ristles on
their legs and thin, laterally flattened odies.
nce on your pet, a flea egins to feed immediately y ingesting
your pets lood, usually within minutes gg production starts
within twenty twenty-four hours of female fleas taking this first
leas have a life cycle that has four stages
. upae like a cocoon
. Adult flea
nder most household conditions, dog and cat fleas will
complete their life cycle in - weeks. owever, depending on
temperature and humidity, the entire cycle can e completed in
lea eggs are pearly white ovals with rounded ends. hey are not
visile, measuring aout of an inch. Although laid in the hair
coat of the host pet, the eggs are not sticky. hey readily fall off
into the environment in areas freuented y your pet. A female
flea will lay eggs to hours after she has a lood meal from
your pet and mates. hen, she can lay from - eggs a day and
more than , over a lifetime ggs usually hatch in - days.
ewly hatched flea larvae are slender, white, segmented
creatures sparsely covered with short hairs. hey, too, are not
visile, measuring of an inch. he larvae feed on the
environments organic deris, including an adult fleas feces. he
larval stage usually lasts - days. lea larvae avoid light, and
they move downward in response to gravity. As a result, you can
find them in carpet fiers, cracks in wooden floors and concrete,
ature larvae change into pupae inside a whitish, loosely spun,
silk-like cocoon. Within - days, the pupae usually develop.
he length of this stage varies from - days. owever, a fully
developed flea can stay inside the cocoon for several days to
several weeks up to days until stimulated to emerge.
hysical pressure, caron dioide, viration, and heat can all
stimulate emergence. o fleas, these stimuli signal the possile
arrival of a suitale host.
As soon as an adult flea emerges from its cocoon, it immediately
egins searching for a host for a lood meal. n contrast to the
larvae, adults orient toward the light and move upward, looking
for your pets warm furry ody.
When you see your pet scratching, fleas are a strong possiility.
ook for thinning hair on their stomachs and rear end area,
especially near the tail. o determine if your pet has fleas, it is
helpful to ru through their fur, looking for signs such as feces
we like to call flea dirt which looks like pepper. Also, look
where they sleep
for similar signs.
emember, if liuid hits "flea dirt," it will turn reddish brown
because it contains your pet's blood.
Your local veterinarian can provide different topical and oral
products to kill fleas and help keep them off your pet. It may
be wise to also seek a groomer for a flea bath to wash all the
"flea dirt" down the drain.
Natural products are also available. If you need help, please
feel free to contact me for advice.
Ballena Tales Free Digital Magazine #87