What came first? The flea or the egg? We are going to begin with the adult flea itself and explore each stage of the flea’s lifecycle, exploring just why these tiny little creatures cause so much stress to our beloved dogs. Fleas are parasites that are a constant source of misery for our pets if we don’t halt them in their tracks. Let’s take a look at the flea and work out just what makes them so tricky to get rid of.
An adult flea is very much a loner with only one thought on her mind: food. She meanders through life forever searching for her next hearty meal. Depending on the flea this meal could be a cat, dog, rabbit or even a human. The dog flea knocks around in gardens, in between patio slabs, hiding in grasses and even lying dormant under the skirting boards of your home. Ever alert, the flea will wait for her unsuspecting host to stroll on by before hopping aboard like a ninja. This unassuming leap onto your dog can be the start of weeks or even months of misery.
Now that the flea has unpacked and made herself at home just underneath your mutt’s hind leg, she can start to feed. Nipping and chomping her way causing irritating bites to your dog, while savoring the goodness of the blood of your pal. At this stage, you can act. The adult flea can be killed, but you must act quickly. Get yourself some effective flea medicine such as a spot-on treatment or tablet. Flea prevention for dogs is possible if you give your pet this medicine monthly. Even if another adult flea leaps aboard your pet and nips away, the flea will perish because of the medicine in your dog’s system. For some dogs, a trip to the vet may be in order if they are allergic to flea saliva.
Sadly, the chances are that you will have spotted the adult flea on your dog too late. This means by the time you have treated your pet, the nasty little parasite may have already laid fifty, a hundred, maybe even two hundred eggs on your dog. Luckily, a lot of the flea medicine out there will prevent the eggs from hatching. For those that do hatch, the larvae can then crawl amongst the fur of your dog. The larva is perhaps the most delightful stage of the life of a flea with the microscopic and transparent maggot-like pest devouring the faeces of the adult fleas. Perhaps most shocking is that they can stay like this for two weeks before forming a cocoon and re-emerging as an adult flea.
When considering protecting your pet from fleas, you should carry out regular treatment for your dog every month throughout the year. Fleas adore warmth and humidity, so the summer months can be particularly problematic. The flea is the bane of the lives of dog owners everywhere. Get treating your dog now and maintain the regimen for the rest of his life to ensure your dog stays happy and flea free.