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Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis) are the most common species found in and around homes.
The size of dog fleas is equal to a pinhead. Thatâ€™s about 1/8 of an inch. Their eggs are about 1/12 the size of a full grown flea. While they are very small.
The dog fleaâ€™s mouthparts are adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Dog fleas are living by hematophagy off the blood of dogs. The dog often experiences severe itching in all areas where the fleas may reside.Fleas do not have wings and their hard body is flattened from side-to-side and has hairs and spines, which makes it easy for them to travel through hair. They have relatively long hind legs for jumping.
The primary sign is itching on the dogâ€™s part. Aside from itching, a dog might suffer from hair loss and various skin infections. Some pets are very sensitive to fleas; a single bite will cause them to itch. Unlike other pests, the fleas can be seen around the dog. Specifically they can be seen around the thighs. They can also be found in the stomach area.
Life Cycle : A flea goes through four stages in its lifetime: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. Adult females lay eggs in batches of 20. These are laid on the host but are usually quick to fall to the ground. Eggs are very small, oval shaped and grey or white in colour.
Once the eggs hatch, larvae emerge which feed mostly on debris such as faeces, dead insects or vegetable matter. Within a week or two the larvae will spin cocoons and pupate for another one to two weeks. Adult fleas emerge and must immediately find a host for a source of blood.
Management :New, safer, and more effective products aimed at controlling adult fleas on pets have made dog flea management without pesticide sprays, shampoos, and dusts feasible in most situations. Management of fleas on pets must occur in conjunction with regular, thorough cleaning of pet resting areas indoors and out. Once fleas infest a home, control will require a vigilant program that includes vacuuming, eliminating fleas on pets, and cleaning up and possibly treating shaded outdoor locations where pets rest.
Flea Treatment Products: New product innovations have made it possible to effectively, conveniently, and safely prevent flea populations from building up on pets. These products are more effective than the traditional insecticide collars, dusts, shampoos, and sprays. The spot-on formulations available from veterinarians or via the Internet are much easier to use than baths or sprays and are more acceptable to the animal and pet owner.
Few drops of the spot-on formula applied to the animalâ€™s shoulder blades move through the animalâ€™s coat or are absorbed into the animalâ€™s skin, providing whole-body treatment. These materials kill adult fleas within hours of the flea jumping on the animal.
Three flea-control products are internal medications administered as a pill or chewable food. The insect development inhibitor lufenuron (Program) can be given as a pill to dogs or as a food additive for cats once a month to suppress flea populations. It also can be administered as an injection every 6 months. While this compound doesnâ€™t kill adult fleas, it does prevent flea reproduction. Administration of nitenpyram (Capstar) provides rapid knockdown of the fleas on the host within 30 minutes. The effects last about 48 hours. A newer product for dogs containing spinosad (Comfortis) also is fast acting, providing protection for 60 days. These oral treatments are especially appropriate for animals that swim or take frequent baths.
House flies â€“ Life Cycle
Traditional Insecticide Products: Until recently, pet owners had to rely on products containing conventional insecticides (pyrethrins, permethrin, d-limonene, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, carbaryl, and naled) to control fleas on their pets. These products were formulated as soaps, shampoos, powders, dusts, spray-on liquids, and dips. Although many of these products still are available, they arenâ€™t as effective to use as the on-animal treatments above. Some products arenâ€™t labeled for cats. Be sure to read all labels carefully.
Non-chemical Measures: Special metal flea combs are available that help effectively remove adult fleas from the coat of pets. Removing fleas can provide comfort to the animal and reduce flea breeding. Combing pets at regular intervals also is a good way to monitor the flea population and help you decide when other control measures might be necessary.
Environmental Treatments: Controlling cat fleas in buildings requires a variety of approaches. Before starting a control program, look through each room to determine areas where larval development occurs. Flea populations are highest in places where dogs or cats regularly sleep. You usually wonâ€™t find flea larvae in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic or locations that receive exposure to sunlight; they are likely to be present in areas where adult fleas have left dried blood and feces.
outdoor flea populations are most prevalent in coastal localities and other places with moderate daytime temperatures and fairly high humidity levels. In Central Valley locations, populations can become very numerous in shaded and protected areas such as sheltered animal enclosures, crawl spaces under buildings where feral animals might sleep, and vegetated areas adjacent to buildings.
Dog flea egg
Infested outdoor locations left untreated can lead to fleas reinfesting your pets. However, treating the pet with any of the preferred pet treatment products listed above normally will prevent reinfestation.Outdoor sprays arenâ€™t necessary unless you detect significant numbers of adult fleas. One way to do this is to walk around pet resting areas wearing white socks pulled up to the knee. If fleas are present, they will jump onto socks and be readily visible.
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