Dogs And Flea's
Flea's Flea's Flea's
Artest redition of a flea
Dog Flea
Dog Flea biting the skin
black and white still photo of a dog flea
Flea Allergy Dermatitis on a dog from fleas
Scratching does not always mean flea's so check your animal!
K9 Training
"The Dog Training
Professionals"

The Flea
(Siphonaptera)
There are many hundreds of species of fleas. Collectively,
all of the species of fleas are categorized under this name.
(Ctenocephalides felix)
This is the cat flea, it is the most commonly found flea
that infests cats and dogs.
In order to combat this common problem
it's important to understand the fleas life cycle
Then follow the preventative measures below.

Fleas thrive in warm, moist environments.
The fleas survives on blood from the host animal.
Host animals include many species
- cats, dogs, humans, etc.
Fleas primarily utilize mammal hosts,
but can also infest bird species.
Flea saliva, contains an ingredient that "digests"
the host's skin for feeding.
The saliva of fleas is irritating and allergenic to most
This in turn causes itching, scratching (Flea Allergy Dermatitis).
Many people call us and ask:
"How do i know if I have a flea problem in my house?
"The vet found some on my dog, but we have not seen any in the house"
Will first of all if you own a cat that travels outside
and is not on a preventative then probably.
If you don't own a cat or are just unsure here's
a old fashion way that still works today:

Take a nice hot shower and get all toasty warm so your feet are pink.
Step out of the shower and with out allowing yourself to cool off
to much go bare foot everywhere you have carpeting or places
where a flea may hide. If you have a fleas
problem they will hop onto your feet instantly.
Remember: A dogs body temperature is 102*F and with your feet
warmed up it will attract them like a
magnet thinking your a perfect host.
Try not to allow them enough time to bite though.
Some people have an allergic response,
but at the very least it itches like heck afterwards.

Life Cycle
Fleas have four stages:
Egg,
Larva,
Pupa,
Adult.
The total flea life cycle ranges
from a few weeks to months,
This is dependant on environmental conditions.

ADULT
The adult flea is very flat, bristles on the flea body and legs  
aid in moving through pet hair. Fleas have 3 pairs
of legs, the rear pair engineered for jumping.
Most people know about the fleas jumping abilities.
Adult fleas live on the animal that they are feeding on.
The female flea lays up to 50 eggs per day

EGG
The eggs  usually fall off of the animal into the carpet,
bedding, floorboards, and soil. When the flea egg hatches
in about two days to several weeks, depending on
environmental/temperature conditions.
The larva emerges from the egg.


LARVAE
The larvae goes through three changes during this period.
They eat the feces of adult fleas (which is dried blood)
and other organic debris found in the carpet, bedding, and soil.
Depending on the amount of food present and
the environmental conditions, the larval
stage lasts about 5 to 18 days and longer in cold weather.
They then spin a cocoon and prepares for the pupa stage.

PUPA
The pupa is the last stage before adulthood.
The flea can emerge from the cocoon in
3 to 5 days, or it can stay in the cocoon for a year or more, waiting.
Some of the theories as to what brings the flea out of it's cocoon are:
Warm Ambient Temperatures,
High Humidity,
Vibrations of passing host's
Carbon Dioxide Emitted from a passing animal
No one as of yet knows for sure.

Prevention
Most people focus on the pets, not understanding that in order
to rid themselves and their animals of this pest you have
to attack the flee where it resides as it develops from egg to adult.
This means your carpet bedding etc if they are in your house,
and your yard if the infestation is occurring outside with your pets.
Check your animal often as part of their routine care.

House Invasion
In your house there is a stage of development for the fleas
that it is practically immune to all insecticides that you may apply.
This is why your best weapon is your Vacuum cleaner,
washing infested bedding in a quality flea shampoo.
Remembering that even though you seem to have eliminated
the problem you must be diligent and begin the process
over in about a week to attempt to catch the ones
that eluded the previous cleaning as they hatch.
Long lasting insecticides work to some extent to help curb this
hatching but must be used carefully, especially indoors around
your pets and your self. Many products inhibit the life
cycle of the flea and prevent it from becoming an adult.
At the same time that you have declared war on these pests
you must also then attack the ones on your pets.
This is accomplished with the multitude of over the
counter preventatives used wisely of course or go to your
Veterinarian for a product which will aid in the elimination
of these resilient creatures. They have not survived eons on this
earth with out being tough. Remember all pets will have to be
treated, dogs, cats especially, and any fur mammals you may own.
But remember, You can not use a dog product on the cat or visa versa.

Yard Invasion
In your yard you have a wide range of sprays and powders
available at most hardware stores, lawn care places and
even at large lumber stores like Home depot, Menards, etc.
Just remember to understand the directions fully in
order to apply safely and that reapplication will be necessary.

John A Sampson I
K9 Training
K9Intl@K9Training.us
989-662-6230
00 + 1 + 989-662-6230 International