Fleas: Tiny Insect, Big Impact

Fleas are tiny, pesky insects that can drive humans and their pets crazy. Without proper prevention, infestations happen quickly and can run rampant.

Golden Retriever scratch.

Food

Fleas feed on blood. While they prefer dogs and cats as their hosts, fleas also bite and feed on humans.

Environment

Fleas thrive in warm, humid areas. In many areas, Texas included, flea season can last year round. This makes continuous prevention essential. Fleas spread by jumping hosts. Animals leave them behind on blankets, carpet, furniture and clothing.

Life Cycle

The life of a flea begins as an egg, then turns to larva, then pupa, and finally adult. The full transformation takes about a month. However, the pupa can remain dormant in this stage for a full year. Fleas usually live two or three months. Female fleas will lay up to 40-50 eggs per day.

Harm

Biting fleas cause itching and widespread skin irritation. Beyond that, they can cause allergies, diseases such as Lyme disease, and serious skin infections. Animals that are infected can also harm their skin with excessive scratching and nipping. Unlike with animals, fleas don’t live on human beings. However, they can jump on for a quick meal. This leaves red, itchy bumps and causes skin irritation.

Fleas are more than just small nuisances. Left alone, these critters can infest pets, homes, and families. In order to keep this from happening, talk to your veterinarian about prevention measures for your pet(s). It’s also a good idea to treat your home.

For more information about flea elimination and prevention, please contact us.