Fleas Springfield Mo On the Rise
It’s that time again and it came sooner than expected.
Mostly due to a mild winter,never the less your dog is
biting and scratching and no doubt he has fleas.
How could this be happening?
There are many ways that your pet may come in contact with fleas. City parks, the neighbor’s yard, a visitor, stray dogs and cats, rabbits, squirrels , rats, opossum’s. The list goes on and on. So you can see that it is very easy for your pet to come in contact with fleas.
How do you get rid of fleas? Shampooing hasn’t worked. The spot treatment no longer works and the pill isn’t working either. What now?
The reason some products seem to work then just stop is because fleas can become resistant or immune to chemicals just like we can become immune to certain chemicals or medications. Once you become immune the chemical no longer works, period. For instance if you took a pain pill for several months or in some cases years, eventually that dosage or chemical itself would no longer be working to ease your pain. At first the medication took the pain away very quickly. Eventually it would take longer for the medication to even take the edge “off”, finally it doesn’t help at all. The medication needs to be changed or the dosage will need to be increased to get the desired result, which is no pain.
How many times have you used an aerosol bomb to treat you house for fleas only to find that three days later you still have fleas? So you bomb again. You still have fleas. So you bomb again. You still have fleas. So you bomb again. Guess what? Your flea infestation has become chemically resistant. Chemically resistant fleas can be difficult even for a professional to treat.
Understanding the life cycle of the flea will help. The adult female flea is capable of laying 20-50 eggs per day. She can live up to one year, in some cases longer. The female flea is mostly asexual and can only begin to lay eggs after her first blood meal. The female flea lays its eggs on your pet, but the egg rarely remains there to hatch. The host (dog, cat, squirrel, etc.) scratches, moves around and the egg falls off. There it will remain for the next 2-5 days. The flea egg will hatch into larva stage which is worm like and will feed off of available organic matter and flea feces (dried blood). This stage can last for 8-15 days before cocooning itself for the next stage which is the pupa stage. Under normal conditions the pupa stage can last for 3-5 days. The pupa stage has been observed to last up to a year waiting for conditions to become favorable for feeding. The pupa emerges from the cocoon and begins to feed on the host.
The life cycle of the flea is where all your problems arise. Since the female lays eggs daily then her offspring lays their eggs daily, it’s clear how a flea infestation can get quite large if not treated properly and in the beginning stages.
Identifying that you have a flea infestation can be as simple as checking your pet. If your pet has fleas there is a problem somewhere whether it be your yard or your home. Here is a checklist of places to look for fleas and how to identify a problem.
1. Check your pet.
2. Check the areas that your pet frequents (pet beds, furniture ect.)
3. Walk across your floors in white socks, especially those areas your pet frequents. If you see fleas on your socks you have a flea infestation.
4. Check around pet food dishes.
5. Check around baseboard areas.
6. If your pet sleeps with you check your bed and bedding.
7. Check for flea bites on you and your family. Ankles and legs are the most popular areas for fleas to bite and the torso is the next place.
8. Take a walk around your yard paying attention to those areas that your pet frequents.
Once you have identified that you have a flea infestation call a professional. Make sure you use a reputable company, one with a proven track record for treating flea infestations. Choose a company that uses chemicals with a growth regulator. Growth regulators prevent the fleas from laying eggs and can (depending on the stage of fleas’ development when treated), render them unable to bite or feed. You will have a hatching phase even after treatment. This is normal. Your professional should schedule your home for a follow up treatment. The follow up should be done 10 to 14 days from the original treatment. This treatment will give you some relief from the hatching phase. It is important to remember that it can take a full 21 days for your flea infestation to be gone.
Here is a check list for flea treatment preparation:
1. Identify the areas that seem to be worse so that you can let the technician know when he is there to treat. A post-it note placed in those areas works great. You can do this several days in advance so that if a new area is discovered you won’t forget.
2. If your pet is not on a treatment for fleas you will need to do that as well. Frequent shampooing during the treatment phase is essential especially if you will not be using prescription treatment. I like Comfortis. My dogs have been on it for years and it still works great. You will need to get a prescription through your vet for this.
3. The day before your flea treatment thoroughly vacuum your floors, even your hard surfaces. This will suck up live fleas and their eggs and larva. Also the vacuum vibration can encourage pupa to emerge from the cocooned state. Don’t forget to vacuum furniture and along the base boards. Get rid of the contents of your vacuum. Double bag it and take it to the dumpster immediately. Fleas can live in the vacuum and eggs can hatch. These fleas are untreated. Continue frequent vacuuming throughout the entire treatment phase.
4. Wash your pets bedding.
5. Pick up your floors. Make sure toys clothing and other items are up off of the floor so as much of the floor can be treated as possible. That includes under beds.
6. The day of treatment make sure all food items are put away in cabinets or refrigerators. That includes pet food dishes.
7. Be prepared to vacate the house for 2-4 hour. (This will vary from professional to professional since not all companies use the same chemical brand.) Your pet will need to be gone as well. This would be a great time to get your pet groomed. If you have a fish tank you will need to cover it with a towel and turn off the aerator just before the treatment.
If you find that you have a flea infestation and are looking for a knowledgeable professional and are in the Springfield Missouri or surrounding area Call the Antman. We don’t just specialize in ants. We treat fleas too! 417-880-2687