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Those Bloodsucking Fleas - Part 2

Those bloodsucking Fleas Part 2     

Lee S. Yudin, Ph.D.
Pacific Daily News
December 27, 1997

Pet Treatment: If a cat or dog lives either inside and/or outside the house, the homeowner needs to take certain steps to safeguard pets from fleas. Fleas are found on Guam throughout the year. The pet bedding should be washed on a weekly basis along with any other material the pet might sleep on (rugs, rags, etc.). Remember that flea eggs are usually deposited in the pet resting area and need to be disposed of. Pets, especially dogs, should also be given a bath with a flea shampoo at least once every two weeks. Most pet and some hardware stores on Guam sell flea shampoos (liquids), flea dusts (powders), flea sprays (pre-mixed solutions), and flea collars. Some cats and dogs may show a skin sensitivity to the collar. Ideally, a clean pet is less likely to have heavy flea infestations compared to a pet that is not kept clean. A pet is like a child, it needs to be feed and properly cleaned and sheltered. There are a few systemic chemicals (in pill form) that can be administered to either dog or cat that can help reduce flea infestation on the pet. For more information about these products please contact your local veterinarian.

Those Bloodsucking Fleas - Part 1

Those Bloodsucking Fleas

Lee S. Yudin, Ph.D.
Pacific Daily News
November 29, 1997

Fleas are insects that are solely bloodsucking in their adult stage. Control of fleas in and around the household and on pets can be expensive and if not controlled, a recurring problem. However, successful control can be achieved if the homeowner is willing to take the time to understand how an integrated flea control program works. It is important therefore that the homeowner has some understanding of the flea’s life cycle, its preferred environment, hosts, and methods of control.

Fleas go through 4 different stages of development: egg, immature stages, pupa, and adult. Flea eggs a re pearly white, oval and are about the size of a grain of sand. Eggs are usually deposited in the dog’s or cat’s resting area. Places where the pet spends most of its time will have the greatest numbers of eggs deposited. This is where control measures should be concentrated.

Flea larvae (more than one flea larva) are slender, yellow to brown in color, and about 1/8 of an inch in length. Larvae are free living and feed on organic debris found in their surroundings. Larvae do not like direct sunlight and live deep in carpet fibers or under organic debris (such as grass and leaves) or soil, looking for food. After completing development, the mature larva will move to an undisturbed site to produce a silk-like cocoon and pupate.

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