argeting Fleas infestations effectively –Know the facts?
Fleasare wingless insects , with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals and birds ,the main flea species include:
• Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis)
• Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis)
The dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) is a species of flea that lives as an ectoparasite on a wide variety of mammals, particularly the domestic dog and cat. It closely resembles the cat flea, Ctenophalides felis, which can live on a wider range of animals and is generally more prevalent worldwide. The dog flea is troublesome because it can spread Dipylidium caninum.
Although they feed on the blood of dogs and cats, they sometimes bite humans. They can live without food for several months, but females must have a blood meal before they can produce eggs. They can deliver about 4000 eggs on the host’s fur. The eggs go through four lifecycle stages: embryo, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). This whole life cycle from egg to adult takes from two to three weeks, although this depends on the temperature. It may take longer in cool conditions.
Prevention – A Multi Step Approach:
Treat your pet with an effective medicine while ensuring the dog will not get re-infected by eradicating the fleas from the environment. Every female flea on the pet is likely to have laid eggs in the environment in which the pet lives. Therefore, effective prevention and control of flea infestations implies having removed the fleas from both indoor and outdoor environments, from all pets, and keeping immature forms of fleas from developing.
Treatment should be given as soon as signs of fleas appear, and repeated regularly. Delays in treating the infestation may lead to flea-transmitted diseases. A wide variety of flea treatments are available but make sure the product you use is an approved veterinary medicine. A mistake seen all too often is the “more is better” approach that some people take when using flea products. More is NOT better when it comes to chemicals or medications.
Formulations include collars, powders, sprays, spot on treatment and Oral medications. Powders and sprays have fallen out of favour recently with the newer spot-on and oral treatments that are available. Most flea powders and sprays are only effective for adult fleas, some offer additional flea protection by inhibiting flea egg and larval development. The most common active in spot-on formulations is fipronil.
Once-a-month topical products are the most commonly used products to kill parasite infestations. They are normally applied on the back of the pet, and their advantage is they also provide protection from further infestations.
Recently, a fipronil based spot on Flea and Tick treatment called “Parex™” has been approved as a licensed Merchant drug (LM) making it available over the counter and without prescription in any veterinary practice, pharmacy or licensed merchant outlet, prior to this all products were POM Status .