Do They Cause Damage?
Fleas are known vectors of diseases such as plague, murine typhus and serve as intermediate hosts for parasites like tapeworm. Heavy infestations or a lack of the primary host can result in them biting/feeding on people. They can also cause anemia and other health complications in pets.
Do I Have An Infestation?
Often the first indication of a problem is finding live fleas on your pet. You may also find flea excrement (small, black, comma shaped specs) in your pet’s fur. Fleas are typically found where pets sleep and frequent. Preferring their host over people, many don’t realize a flea problem exists until the host is removed from the premises. At that point fleas will seek any host on which to feed. Many find this situation most disturbing when returning from vacation!
What Can Masters Touch Do?
Applications of residual insecticides and insect growth regulators (IGR) are made to the premises. Attention to detail is critical when making these applications to ensure complete coverage. Controlling/eliminating a flea infestation is a team effort with the pet owner, pest professional and veterinarian all playing important roles.
How Can You Help?
Consult your Veterinarian for options regarding ongoing flea control for your pet. Follow label directions precisely. Over-bathing pets and stretching out treatment intervals can reduce the effectiveness of these treatments resulting in a re-infestation. Frequent inspection of pets, laundering pet bedding and, of course, vacuuming can help prevent a new flea problem.
Females lay up to 8 eggs on the host after each blood meal. The eggs are not attached to the host so they can drop off wherever the host travels or sleeps. Eggs are white and about the same size as a grain of salt.
The eggs hatch into larva which feed on organic debris and adult flea fecal blood. In 1-2 weeks the larva spins a cocoon and enters the pupal stage. This stage of development can last as little as 4 days to more than a year depending on conditions.