Flea Life Cycle
As a pet owner, you will probably find fleas on your pet at some stage in their life. Therefore, it is important for you to understand how fleas’ life cycle works and how best to eliminate them from your household and pet. There are four stages to a flea’s life cycle (eggs, larva, pupa and adult) and depending on the environment and temperature the life cycle can take anywhere between a few weeks to months to complete.
Stage 1: After a blood meal, an adult flea will lay approximately 50 eggs/ day on your pet, which will then fall off all over the household, furniture and backyard. The egg life stage can take anywhere from 2 days to two weeks.
Stage 2: When the right weather conditions are present, the eggs will hatch and the larval stage will begin. The larval stage may go unnoticed as they need darkness and will stay away from the light to spin into cocoons. If the weather conditions are suitable, flea larva will take between 5-20 days to become pupae.
Stage 3: The final stage of the flea cycle before developing into an adult flea is the pupae stage. The pupae can remain protected by the cocoon for months until a host is present to feed on. Vibrations, body heat or rising levels of carbon dioxide may trigger the adult flea to emerge and feed.
Fleas can be extremely irritating to your pet and, without treatment, can cause skin inflammation and stress. Signs that your pet may have fleas include: scratching and shaking the head more than usual, small red bumps on the skin, hair loss, and black spots (flea dirt) on the bedding. If you are unsure, the best way to determine if your pet has fleas is to use a flea comb to brush firmly along the base of the tail. The teeth of the comb are specifically designed to catch any fleas hiding under the coat.
NexGard – NexGard is only available for dogs and provides protection against fleas and ticks for 30 days after administration. Within 24 hours of administering the chewable tablet, 100% of fleas will have fed and died. NexGard can be given to puppies from 8 weeks of age.
Comfortis – Comfortis is available for both cats and dogs and is administered orally once a month. The advantage of tablet form is that it cannot wash off from swimming or bathing. Comfortis will have an effect 30 minutes after administration and within 4 hours 98% of fleas will have fed and died. Comfortis can be used on your pets from 14 weeks of age.
Advantage – Advantage can be used on both cats and dogs and is applied topically once a month. Advantage will begin to kill fleas one hour after being applied to the skin and after 12 hours 98% of fleas would have fed and died. Advantage can be used on puppies and kittens from 7 weeks of age and is safe to use on lactating females.
Revolution – Revolution is an all-in-one treatment that can protect both cats and dogs from fleas, intestinal worms, heartworm and ear mites. By applying the treatment topically every month, you can guarantee your pet is being protected from nearly all parasites. Revolution works by absorbing into the patient’s bloodstream, skin and hair follicles which then remain within the system for 30 days. Puppies and kittens can use Revolution from as early as 6 weeks old and it is also safe to use on lactating females.
Capstar – Capstar can be given to eliminate fleas however this product does not work long-term. Capstar is an oral tablet that can be given once a day to kill fleas. It shows effect within 30 minutes of administration and is registered to use on puppies and kittens from 4 weeks of age.
95% of a flea’s life is spent within the environment and not actually on your pet. Therefore, there are many steps you can take to eliminate fleas from your household and break the fleas’ life cycle.
- Apply treatment to all household pets.
- Vacuum all areas of the house. This includes furniture, under couches, carpets and tiled areas.
- All bedding, cushion covers and blankets around the household should be washed.
- Indorex Spray can be used on all furniture, chairs and carpets to help kill any remaining adult fleas. Note: Cats should not have access to the sprayed areas for at least 24 hours.