Flea Infestations are the most common parasite problem of dogs and cats in our area. It is estimated that American pet owners spend over $500 million dollars each year on flea and tick products - most of which do not work!
Flea eggs are white and about the size of a grain of sand. The eggs are laid while the flea is on the pet and easily roll off the fur into the environment. Eggs usually hatch in 1-10 days, depending on the temperature and humidity. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae move deeper into the carpet to get away from light and searching for food, eventually forming a cocoon and emerging in as little as 12 days or as many as 140 days. Adult fleas are attracted to house pets by the warmth of the pet's body, movement, changes in light intensity, and exhaled carbon dioxide. Fleas have tremendously powerful back legs, which they use for jumping on the pet. It is estimated that if we have the power in our legs as has the flea, we could jump over the Empire State Building. It is reported that fleas can jump as high as 13 feet!
The adult flea species that attacks dogs and cats SPENDS ITS ENTIRE ADULT LIFE ON THE PET. Once the adult flea begins to feed on the pet, it must have almost CONSTANT ACCESS to the blood of the pet for it to survive. Adult fleas cannot live off the pet more than 3-4 days without a blood meal.
Female fleas can produce over 2000 eggs during their life. This is equivalent to producing their body weight in eggs every day of their life. Even with only a fraction of these eggs developing into adults, this high rate of reproduction ensures that there will ALWAYS be fleas!
It is common for people to be attacked by fleas after returning from vacation or being away from home for several days. This is often due to the increased temperature that occurs when the air conditioning is turned back providing a better optimum temperature and humidity (in our area) for fleas to mature.
Fleas consume 15 times their body weight with every blood meal. An infestation of 220 female fleas could consume 10% of a 1 pound kitten's blood volume in one day. The majority of blood consumed is passed out as partially digested feces ("Flea Dirt") that serves as essential food for flea larvae in the carpets and other areas.
Ticks can actually LIVE FOR SEVERAL YEARS!
They attach to your pet to feed. Many times you will not see a tick on your pet until it has become completely engorged with blood.
Many ticks transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis, which can seriously affect your petís health.