Fleas

Fleas, of course, are aggravating little insects that carry disease, frequently cause intense skin reactions and allergies in our pets, and can be extremely difficult to control. Fleas are notorious good at becoming resistant to the pesticides people still use to control them, so many of the products available today are nearly useless.

Please discuss with a holistic/homeopathic vet the various natural products/treatments that are best suited for your pet's needs in controlling not only fleas but ticks, mosquitos, heartworms, intestinal worms, ear mites, and mange mites.

Diseases Caused by Fleas:

- Mild to severe skin inflammation
Triggers skin allergies

- Anemia
Tapeworms

- And less commonly:
Bubonic Plague
Typhus,
Prison Fever, & Ship Fever
Haemobartonellosis
Tularemia or "rabbit fever"

Some serious information about fleas:

The most important thing to know about fleas is that for every adult flea you find on your pet, there will be hundreds of larvae, thousands of pupae, and many thousands of eggs lying hidden in your home and/or yard.

That means that killing a few adult fleas with a flea comb or a spray ... no matter how satisfying ... will do little to solve your flea problem.

Each adult female flea can lay hundreds of eggs a day.  Fleas like to lay their eggs on damp ground or in cracks and crevices.

They prefer to lay eggs when the humidity is high and the temperature is 65-80 F which just happens to be typical of most US homes.

Adult fleas can live up to two months off a pet and up to year on a pet.

The eggs hatch in 2-12 days into tiny larvae.  The larvae live in your house and yard and eat microscopic pieces of dead skin, flea poop (dried blood), and dander.  They grow and molt a couple of times over a period of 10-200 days, depending on food supply, humidity, and temperature.  Then they pupate.

The pupa part of the flea life cycle can last from 7 days to 1 year!  They wait until conditions are right and until there's mammalian prey (cats, dogs, and humans).

The take home message here, once again, is that if you see a fair number of fleas on your cat or dog, know that you have hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny flea eggs, larvae, and pupae around.

To solve a serious flea problem you're going to have to go after the eggs, larvae, and pupae as well the adult fleas on your pet.