We are currently in the big flea season and I thought it would be nice to give you a 101 course on the flea cycle to better understand this insect in order to get rid of it!!!

First, what is a flea? It is a tiny arthropod; a 6 legged insect that feed on the blood of its host. During its lifetime, the flea passes through 3 stages before becoming an adult flea. The adult flea will lay eggs; it resembles a sticky microscopic ball. It is often in this way that your pet will contract this ugly critter; it will stick to the legs or hairs of the latter. When it hatches it turns into a larva and will remain in this form for about 2 weeks, then it will go into a pupae stage or cocoon which take about 14 days to become a pre-adult; they can stay in this form up to a year depending on the environment. She will soon reach adulthood to become a real and formidable flea. It is at this moment that she feeds on the blood of our poor beasts and causes them much discomfort. “Ouch! It stings! Scratches! Bitting! Scratches! Ow!” It’s never ending! And the well nourished adult flea breeds at the speed of lightning. The cycle begins again and the animal is infested with fleas. They are not only invasive; they also transmit intestinal parasites (commonly referred to as tape worms). In many cases your pet will require deworming in addition to a treatment for fleas.

Unlike the legend, fleas do not jump on people! If you have already been bitten by a flea it is probably because your pet was nearby or you were in contact with the ground or an object (sofa, bed etc.) on which the beast was located. Know that a flea needs blood to feed and stay alive and that its hosts are the animals. If an adult flea falls off your pet, it will not survive for more than 24 hours. There is no need to fear that she will throw herself upon you without warning.

What to do to prevent flea infestation? There is now a wide range of very useful products on the market. Products used for prevention will act in several ways, including sterilizing the flea (to prevent it from breeding) or preventing the eggs from hatching. These products are however ineffective if your pet is already infested. In this second case, what if my pet is already infested? Primarily, a huge cleaning of the household is required. We clean the house in every nook and cranny. (Vacuum cleaner, floor cleaning, sofas and beds). Do not forget the favorite corner of Toutou or Minou. Then get a product that “kills” the fleas on contact. Beware of imitations and learn about their duration of action. Warning! Some products are not suitable for young animals. Follow the instructions to the letter and you will avoid many troubles and you will avoid using the services of an exterminator.

Contrary to common belief, animals are not allergic to fleas; they are allergic to the bites they make when they feed. If this is the case with your pet, a good prevention will prevent it from painful itching.

Once again, prevention is the key. Prevention generally begins in late May or early June and ends when the soil is frozen in the fall. If you need advice or information about fleas or available products, consult your veterinarian or qualified staff.