Austin Vet Care is happy to provide flea & tick control as well as control of other parasites such as Heartworms. If you think your pet may be suffering from a parasite infestation, call our hospital today at 512-961-3059 or contact us online. Read below to learn more about one of the most common parasites – fleas – and what you can do to prevent them.

Essential Facts About Fleas

Once on an animal, an adult flea will remain on the pet for the remainder of the flea’s life. What pet owner observes on their pet is only about 5% of the entire flea infestation.

Female fleas lay up to 50 eggs a day in the hair coat of the pet. The eggs fall off into the carpet, furniture, and bedding. Anywhere that your pet spends time may contain eggs. A female flea consumes 15 times its body weight in blood daily and deposits a significant amount of feces—that appear as small black specks, called flea dirt—on your pet.

Flea larvae are maggot-like in appearance when they hatch from the egg. They avoid light and will remain hidden in carpet fibers, bedding, and other dark places, indoors and outside where your pet spends time.

The flea larvae develops into a cocoon-like pupa, then into an adult. The adult may emerge immediately from its cocoon or remain dormant for many months before emerging to feed on a host. This prolonged life cycle and delayed emergence is the main reason why you may still see adult fleas on your pet and in your home for several weeks after the administration of a flea treatment. This can occur even when using products that are recommended by your veterinarian.

Once fleas emerge from the cocoon, they will immediately seek a host. This can be your dog, your cat, or even you. Within seconds to minutes after jumping on your pet, fleas feed on the pet, taking a blood meal and mate. Female fleas begin to lay eggs within 48 hours of acquiring a host, such as your dog or cat.

Pets acquire fleas from and environment infested with developing immature eggs, larvae, and pupae.