Cat Flea - Ctenocephalides Felis

Fleas are a problem which most cat and dog owners have had to contend with at least once in the life of their beloved pet.  The solution for successful flea control is treatment of the pet and the pet's environment (which may mean inside as well as outside the home) at the same time and carrying out of a few simple tips which I shall list below. 


1.  In preparation for the treatment, remove all toys, clothes etc from the floor.  If you have any fish, cover the tanks and turn off the filter prior to treatment.  Remove pets from the area to be treated.  Pets may be brought back once the treatment has dried.
2.  Treat the pets with a proven flea product such as Frontline, Advantage or Advocate.  Do not wash your pet for two days prior to application of the treatment as the use of soaps or shampoos may reduce the residual action of the treatment.
3.  OK So you've treated the pet and had a professional flea treatment but you are still continuing to see fleas.  This is perfectly normal.  Over the next several weeks, you will still see newly hatched fleas.  Do not leave the flea infested areas undisturbed as movement hatches fleas.
Do not vacuum for at least 1 week after treatment.  Place the vacuumings in a bag and dispose of in the bin.
4.  Make sure to leave your pet in the flea infested areas as this will attract the fleas.  If you remove the pet, the problem may appear to be worse as you have become the only potential host.  Fleas will continue to hatch for about 6 weeks with normal human activity.  
Retreat you pet regularly according to the label instructions of the chosen flea product.

Fleas will be seen when an area is newly disturbed - such as when people get up in the morning or go outside - but not later in the day in that area.  If the treatments are working, fleas will hatch, contact the treated surface (floor, soil - treated by Frontline Pest Management, or pet - treated with approved flea product) and die within a few hours.


                              LIFE CYCLE OF THE FLEA

Fleas Breed on the Host Animal
Frontline Pest Management - Cat Fleas

The female usually lays 4 to 8 eggs after each blood meal.  Eggs are laid on the host animal.  It is important to treat the animal on the same day as treatment is applied to the home and surrounds.

Adult Fleas
Frontline Pest Management - Cat Fleas

Adult Fleas:  Fully grown adult fleas can detect heat, vibrations and exhaled carbon dioxide from inside their cocoons.  This tells them that a host is nearby so the fleas know when to leave their cocoon and jump onto the host where they’ll find a mate and behind the life cycle all over again.  Adults can live up to 4 months without a blood meal.

Eggs Stage
Frontline Pest Management - Cat Flea Eggs

Eggs:  The eggs fall off the host animal and are distributed to areas visited by that host animal.  Flea eggs will usually hatch within 2-14 days.

Larvae Stage
Frontline Pest Management - Cat Flea Larvae

Larvae:  After hatching from eggs, larvae hide in dark places around your home.  They burrow deep into carpets, down cracks in floorboards, under furniture and in sub-floor soil.  The larvae feed on flea dirt (flea faeces containing partially digested blood from your pest) as well as any other available organic material such as:  crumbs and human skin scales.

Pupal Stage
Frontline Pest Management - Cat Flea Pupae

Pupal stage:  Immature fleas spend around 8-9 days in cocoons, growing and waiting for the right signals that it’s time to emerge.  Pupae are very well protected and are virtually indestructible.  Unemerged mature pupae may live up to 4 months without a blood meal.  If the lava has been very well fed, pupae may survive up to a year.

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