==== ====Learn AMAZING Strategies for KILLING Fleas and Controling these pests from hurting your pet!http://tinyurl.com/7r7ss3w==== ====Fleas, those pesky blood sucking pests that make pets lives miserable and humans itch from justa thought, can be impossible to control unless you understand their life cycle and the vulnerabilityof each life stage. Most pet owners do not understand the flea as evidenced by their mostcommonly asked questions:"How can I get rid of fleas once and for all?""Do I use pills, dips, shampoos, powders, topical drops, or a combination?""How can I get the fleas out of my house?""Ive got fleas in my car, how can I get rid of them?""Why do I have to treat my carpets, the fleas are on the dog, right?""Why is my yard infested with fleas? I do not even own a pet?"The answer: there is no single method or insecticide that will completely eradicate or control theflea. Did you get that? No single method will effectively control fleas because of their complex andmulti-faceted life cycle. Preparations that are effective during one stage of the cycle are ineffectiveduring other stages. Therefore, to successfully control fleas, understanding the various life stagesbecomes paramount.Collectively, all of the species of fleas are categorized under the order name of Siphonaptera. Thecat flea, Ctenocephalides felix, is the most commonly found flea in the US and infests cats, dogs,humans, and other mammalian and avian hosts. Did you get that? Fleas can be found on othermammals and birds.This explains how non-pet owning homes and yards can become fleainfested.Fleas thrive in warm, moist environments and climates, and Southeast Texas, especially the GulfCoast area, is better suited for flea development than most other areas of the USA. The main foodsource for the flea is blood from a host animal. 95% of the time, fleas utilize mammalian hosts.But, fleas can also infest avian species (about 5%).Why does the flea bite itch? Flea saliva, like other biting skin parasites, contains an ingredient thatsoftens, or "digests" the hosts skin for easier penetration and feeding. The saliva of fleas isirritating and allergenic -- the cause of all the itching, scratching, and other signs seen with FleaAllergy Dermatitis, or FAD.
Fleas have four main stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The total flea life cyclecan range from a couple weeks to several months, depending on environmental conditions. Thetotal flea population is made up of approximately 50% eggs, 30% larvae, 15% pupae, and only 5%biting adults. This means that the majority of the fleas life is spent off the animal making theenvironment the most logical treatment target rather then the host animal.ADULT: The adult flea is very flat side to side. There are hair-like bristles on the flea body and legsto aid in their navigation through pet hair. Fleas have 3 pairs of legs, the hindmost pair designedfor jumping. The flea is most famous for its jumping abilities.The adult flea prefers to live on the animal and its diet consists of blood meals courtesy of the hostanimal. The female flea is very proliferative and lays white, roundish eggs. She can lay up to 50eggs per day, 1,500-1,600 eggs over several months.Fleas cannot reproduce without a blood meal, but they can survive for up to a year without feedingprovided they do not emerge from the cocoon.EGG: The eggs are not sticky (like some parasites), and they usually fall off of the animal into thecarpet, the pets bedding, floorboards, or on the ground. Remember, a dog carrying just 10producing adult females can spread 15,000 to 16,000 eggs in your house over the course of a fewshort weeks.The point in time when the flea egg hatches will vary -- anywhere from two days to a few weeks,depending on environmental conditions. The larva emerges from the egg using a chitin tooth, ahard spine on the top of the head that disappears as the flea matures.The flea egg is relatively non-susceptible to routine flea treatment programs.LARVA (plural = larvae): The larval stage is actually made up of three developmental stages.Larvae are about 1/4" (6.35 mm) long, and semi-transparent white. They are often mistaken for flymaggots. They have small hairs along their body and actively move. In order to survive, the larvaeeat flea dirt, or the feces of adult fleas (which is mostly dried blood) and other organic debris foundin the carpet, bedding, soil, and even on your pet.Depending on the amount of food present and the environmental conditions, the larval stage lastsabout 5 to 18 days (longer in some cases) then the larva spins a silken cocoon and pupates.PUPA (plural = pupae): The pupa is the last stage before the flea becomes an adult. The adult fleacan emerge from the cocoon as early as 3 to 5 days, or it can stay in the cocoon for a year ormore, waiting for the right time to emerge. Stimuli such as warm ambient temperatures, highhumidity, even the vibrations and carbon dioxide emitted from a passing potential host will causethe flea to emerge from the cocoon faster. And, once he emerges from the cocoon, he has onlyone thing on his mind - a blood meal.This brings us back to the starting point, the adult flea.The entire life cycle is quite variable, as evidenced by the variability in each life stage progression.As mentioned above, the cycle can be as short as two weeks or as long as two years. That is why
it is so important to remain vigilant. Even when a flea problem is thought to be under control, itprobably is not!The Flea Control ProgramRecognizing that during its life cycle, the flea is only on the dog or cat 5% of the time and off 95%,it only makes sense to focus a control program following the same percentages. Invest 5% of yourtime and money in controlling fleas on your pet and 95% on ridding your environment of the eggs,larvae and pupae. Heres what we suggest:Irregardless of whether you do or dont have a flea problem, apply once a month spot on typetreatments for each of your pets. This should be continued year round - each of the 12 months ifyou seriously want to eliminate your flea problem or prevent one from occurring.If you alreadyhave a flea problem:a. Treat the inside of your house with a flea fogger that contains a growth regulator (IGR) and thencomplete follow up applications 7 and 14 days later for a total of 3 treatments. Severe infestationsmay require more treatments.b. Vacuum your floors daily for 21 days.c. Apply boric acid powder to your carpets and floors once weekly for 3 weeks. Leave the powderin place for 2 hours and then vacuum.d. Wash your pets bedding using a good detergent. Continue this step every other week, moreoften if necessary.e. Treat you lawn with an agricultural limestone product. If possible, add some diatomaceous earthto the mix. Water in thoroughly.f. If using broad spectrum spray type insecticides, treat your yard daily for 5 days and then followup with a single application 7 and 14 days later. If you use a granular type, apply once weekly for 4weeks. Pay particular attention to outside pet sleeping areas.If you are pro-actively attempting to prevent flea problems:a. Apply boric acid powder to your carpets and floors once monthly. Leave the powder in place for2 hours and then vacuum.b. Treat your lawn with agricultural limestone and diatomaceous earth in the spring and again inthe fall.c. Apply a granular type broad spectrum insecticide once monthly from March through andincluding October.
Please take note - we have not suggested dips, shampoos, or powders. Although these methodsare quite effective at killing adult fleas, they do nothing to eliminate the egg, larvae, or pupaeinfestation. Topical sprays containing growth regulators are more effective, but again they onlytarget 5% of the fleas life cycle. These preparations each have their place in the overall scheme offlea control and it might be best to consult your local Veterinarian, Pest Control Serviceman, oryour Feed Stores Pet Consultant for further suggestions.Bill Bergfeld is a professional Network Marketer and owner of multiple businesses. As a Farm andRanch Store Pet Consultant, he maintains a website dedicated to flea control and infestationprevention. You can find more information at http://www.profleacontrol.comArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bill_Bergfeld==== ====Learn AMAZING Strategies for KILLING Fleas and Controling these pests from hurting your pet!http://tinyurl.com/7r7ss3w==== ====