And You Thought You Knew About Fleas!
Last week, Dr Greer, Dr Beltran and I attended a seminar on fleas. It was given by Dr Michael Dryden, otherwise known as Dr Flea, but recognized, as the leading guru in all things fleas and ticks. You would think that we would pretty much know all there is to know about fleas, by now, but…boy! This was a great and informative talk that really drove it home what a problem these critters can be.
Here are some of the points that struck home for me:
• Did you know that one female flea, can lay 40-50 eggs, per day! Yuck! And believe me, no pet has only one flea.
• The biggest carrier of fleas are feral (stray) cats, raccoons and possums. For all those folks that think their pet never goes in a yard, or mixes with other dogs, I’m afraid that if you ever step in your lawn, you become a carrier too. To emphasize what a problem this can be, Dr. Dryden captured a possum that was sharing the back porch with the homeowners’ cats (on flea control) and a dog (also on flea control); the owners of the pets insisted the product wasn’t working. It was, but with a constant source of reinfestation (the possum) it was a losing battle. This possum was sedated and kept overnight. Some poor medical student was given the task of counting fleas, while another had the job over counting the flea eggs that had been laid in just 24 hours.
The possum had over 1,000 fleas (749 were female) and the count on the eggs was stopped when they reached…..drum roll please……20,000 eggs. Yes. 20,000 eggs in 24 hours!
• Any pet owner that has fleas (and we all do, just in various stages of control) must, must, must use a premise spray. Not a fogger. A premise spray. He did recommend “Knock Out.” But you don’t have to spray the whole house. They found that treating the source points could help dramatically, such as, the pet bed, your sofa, rugs, anywhere the pet spends a lot of time.
There is no reason for any pet to suffer from parasites. Common mistakes are not treated every month. Some common mistakes include: treating the dogs, and not the cat because the cat doesn’t go outside, or not treating the premises.
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