Why Should My Pet Use Flea Products Year Round?

Adult fleas only make up 5% of the visible population of fleas. The other 95% are the immature stages of fleas, which are practically invisible to our eyes; they infest our pets and our homes.

A flea can begin to reproduce within 24-48 hours of maturing into an adult once they’ve had their first blood meal. A single adult female flea can lay thousands of eggs in their lifetime, and they can live for several weeks to months on your pet. As your pet moves around, eggs fall off and are distributed throughout your home, in your couch, carpet, and other furniture. Eggs make up 50% of the flea population in an average home. Eggs hatch into larvae within 1-6 days, the larvae feed on debris and flea feces in the environment and develop into pupae after 5-11 days. Pupae have a sticky cocoon that makes them resistant to some insecticides. The pupae then develop into adults in 7-14 days or can stay dormant for months until the conditions are right for hatching. Adults immediately seek for a host to get a blood meal and the cycle repeats.

Fleas bites are very uncomfortable, especially in severe infestations and for pets with allergies to flea saliva. Their bites can result in uncontrollable itching and licking, leading to a painful rash. Your pet can also accidentally ingest a flea while grooming, and fleas can contain tapeworm larvae. Tapeworm eggs can then be passed to you through your pet’s feces.

Fleas require a warm and humid environment to thrive, which is why your home is a perfect breeding ground for them. It is extra important to not only treat your pet but to treat your home for fleas when there is an infestation. Some products only are effective on adult fleas and some work on all life stages. There are many options when it comes to preventative medicine for your pet: some are given monthly, or every three months, some are over the counter or require a prescription, and there are also topical or chewable formulations. It is important to have a preventative medicine conversation with your veterinarian to find what works best for you and your pet.

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Written by: Hannah