FLEAS + HUMIDITY = MORE FLEAS
Talk Flea Facts by Dr Michael Dryden, James Cook University
Information and facts taken from Webinar – Presented by Merial Animal Health Australia
The fleas we find on our pets and sometimes in our homes are Ctenocephalides felis – Cat Fleas. This is by far the most common flea found living in our environment. They are distributed by the movement of their hosts – foxes, possums, bandicoots, feral cats, wild dogs, rats and of course our domestic pets.
Contrary to some strange beliefs you do need a male and female flea for the female to start laying eggs. In order for them to mate, they must firstly be on the same animal and secondly need to feed on large amounts of blood. The female needs to consume 30x more blood than the male. Within 24 hours she can lay anywhere between 40 and 50 eggs. The eggs hatch into Larvae which they then need to eat the excrement (flea dirt) of the adult fleas, to turn into pupae. They are then able to lie in wait for the right time to emerge as an adult flea, a pre emerged adult flea can go back into his/her cocoon if no food is available and reside for up to 300 days. The right time being a nice juicy host (your pet) and warm humid weather. Fleas love humidity! The warmer the weather the quicker the life cycle. The adult flea has a life span of up to 115 days.
The fleas you notice on your pet today would have come from eggs laid at least 1 to 2 months ago, if not more by one or more of the warm blooded animals mentioned above.
Flea control in the form of one of the reputable brands – Frontline Plus, Advantage, Comfortis etc, is required to combat the problem. These companies use active ingredients in their preparations that are either adulticides (killing adult fleas) or ovacidal (Killing the eggs). Please refer to Flea and Heartworm Chart posted earlier as to which control best suits you and your pet. The most important thing to remember is that when you apply the flea control that you are dealing with the fleas that are present now and not the eggs that they have laid in the last couple of days. Dr Michael Dryden is an independent tester for the big brand companies mentioned above and explained in this lecture that in all tests there was always a resurgence of fleas found both in the home and on the pet around the 58-60 day mark. . In all independent tests there is also no proof that fleas are building up a resistance to the active ingredients used in any reputable flea control. A lot of owners think that if they treat the animal a couple of times it is going to fix the problem and do not keep a regular regime of applying flea control.
This is first and foremost the number 1 reason why people say their flea control does not work.
A penny for every time I’ve had this conversation – “hi, sorry to tell you, but little poochey has fleas.” “Oh really, that’s ok I’ve got some flea control in the cupboard.”
They do work if used correctly and regularly
Written by Ronnie