About Fleas

The cat flea is the most common flea on pets. They are found on cats, dogs, raccoons, and other wildlife. Fleas are common in the Lower Mainland and coastal areas due to the higher humidity. They prefer milder, wetter climates.

Cat fleas have four stages in their life cycle: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Adult fleas feed on the blood of their host animal. If the animal is no longer present or the infestation is severe, they will feed on humans. The eggs are laid on the animal, but soon fall off. They will usually land where the animal spends most of its time. Adult fleas will usually remain on the animal. The adult fleas will excrete large amounts of partly digested blood, which will also fall off the animal.

The larvae will then feed on the partly digested blood and any organic material found on the floor, especially in carpets. The larvae will complete development in 5-24 days. The next stage is the pupae, which is protected inside a cocoon. The pupae will emerge into an adult in 5-24 days. However, some may not emerge for months, which is why control may be difficult. The emergence of the pupae is stimulated by vibration, such as an animal or human walking. Under certain conditions, the fully former adult flea may remain inside the cocoon until the right conditions.

Control Methods

When using an insecticide to control a flea problem, the larvae and adult fleas are killed by the insecticide. The egg and pupae cannot be penetrated by insecticides. So the residual of the insecticide will then kill the new larvae and the new adult flea. As mentioned earlier, some of the pupae may not hatch because control has not been achieved because there is no longer residual from the insecticide remaining when they do hatch. Therefore, a second spray is required.

Because flea pupae need stimulation such as vibration to hatch, the quicker the hatch, the faster control will be achieved. It is therefore necessary to stimulate the pupae by vacuuming. The vibration will provide not only the vibration to the area but will also pick up eggs larvae and adults. Vacuuming should be done just before the home has been sprayed and daily for at least two weeks after.

Flea problems are most severe when the home has become vacant for several weeks, such as going on vacation when the dog is removed from the home. Either the adult fleas have emerged or the pupae are waiting to hatch when the pet or human enters the home. This is the time when you are virtually covered in fleas as soon as someone enters the home. The adult flea finds its host by shadows of pets or humans.

Methods of Flea Control

Control is achieved by thoroughly vacuuming the house, including upholstered furniture and treatment with a residual insecticide to specific areas of the floor, especially where the pet sleeps or spends time. Vacuuming is again recommended daily for two weeks after treatment.

Flea shampooing of your dog should be done during the time of treatment or shortly after. Do not flea shampoo before treatment. Follow-up treatment should be repeated three weeks after first treatment if fleas are still present. Flea treatment for the average home from Gilpins Pest Control carries a one-year warranty. Condos or apartments carry a six-month warranty. Contact us today to learn more about our flea control services.




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