Eradicating Flea

How to deal with fleas on outdoor dogs.

How do I know my pet has fleas?

The most common signs are:

  • Your dog starts to scratch frequently appears to be itching by the biting or scratching it’s doing.
  • you notice life fleas, flea eggs or flea dirt on your pet or in its surrounding.

To eradicate fleas on your pet, it is no use just spraying the dog. You need to deal with the entire lifecycle of the pest. The lifecycle of fleas can last a few days but can as well take years depending on the environmental conditions throughout the life stages. Kill the pest at all stages adult, eggs, larva, pupa.

The life cycle of flea
The lifecycle of fleas

Adult:

This is the stage when fleas are most vulnerable. It is also when they are most destructive. Adult fleas are ready to emerge from pupa in about four days, but will not emerge from the cocoon until there is a clear presence of a host.  They can stay in this state for months. They detect the presence of a host by sensing movement, breathing or body heat.  Within a few hours of emerging from the cocoon, they start feeding and within a day will mate and begin laying eggs.

Therefore the day you spray or wash the dog with acaricide, also spray the kennel or liar. In fact, spray the entire compound especially dusty areas. This way you have killed the adults and larvae.

Repeat the process three to five days later. Why?

Eggs:

The eggs are not affected by acaricides or insecticides. Adult fleas will mate and lay eggs in the fur of the host, the dusty surroundings and cracks. These eggs will hatch in one to ten days depending on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Therefore re-treating the dog(pet) within this period will kill new larvae and adults before they mate and reproduce.

Larvae:

As seen above eggs will hatch into larvae in one to ten days. The larvae feed and take in air. As such they are susceptible to acaricide.  They live on blood and flea faeces (poop; also called “flea dirt”). They can be killed by both acaricide and insecticide.

Therefore it is important to respray the dog’s liars, kennels and compound 3 to five days after the first round in order to kill the new larvae that were not affected by the first round.

Pupa

Within 5-20 days of feeding on flea dirt, the larvae will spin a cocoon, and enter the pupa stage. The cocoon protects pupa from environmental conditions, insecticides and acaricides. The pupae remain immobile for several days or weeks until adult fleas are ready to emerge. The pupa cacoon is not affected by acaricides and insecticides.

Repeating the five-day spraying cycle three to four times will rid your pets of fleas. In other words, treat the dog twice a week for three weeks.

How to deal with Acute flee manifestation

In case your dog’s fur is already falling off due to a flea manifestation, speed is of the essence in stopping the progress of the malady.  Ironically, you need time in months of resilient multi-attack treatment to restore your dog’s health.  Some of the actions will require your vet’s input but some you must do yourself.
Here are the attack points to rid your dog of fleas.
  1. Give medicine oral or injection. As recommended by a vet, give your pet some oral medicine such bravecto or an injection to repel the fleas off the dog’s skin and to cure dermatitis.
  2. Deworm the dog every two weeks. Fleas carry tapeworm eggs. When the dog itches and scratches using its teeth, it ingests the eggs. These eggs incubate in the belly of the dog and become tapeworms.
  3. Spray compound and dog house every 3 days. As explained above, it is imperative that you break the life cycle of the flea by killing any flea before they lay eggs.
  4. Encourage healing by applying on the dog skin healing oil, sheep oil, hydrocortisone or any other ointment as advised by a vet.
  5. Wash/spray/dip the dog in a mild acaricide.
  6. Keep the dog in the shade. Keep the dog away from the hot sun. The hot sun will cause the dogs to dry and feel itchy. When the dog scratches this aggregates dermatitis.

 

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