Indoor pets get fleas too!

Fleas: Indoor Pets Get Them Too!

Your pet doesn't have to go outside to get fleas. The fleas will come to you, and they prefer to live out their entire life on one pet, not jump from one furry friend to another.

So how do we get fleas?

To answer this question, a better understanding of the flea life cycle is needed. The adult flea makes up a very small percentage of the population. Before the flea becomes an adult, there are eggs, larva and pupae. An adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. These eggs fall off our pet and sprinkle the floor and surrounding areas much like we sprinkle salt on our food.

Flea eggs need three things to hatch:

  1. Vibrations.
  2. Increase in temperature.
  3. Increase in carbon dioxide.

In other words, they need you or your pet to enter the room where they currently rest, dormant. Without these three ingredients, flea eggs can remain unhatched and stay viable in the environment for up to 2 years. The egg then hatches into its larvae stage, where it will feed off dead skin cells in the environment. After the larvae has eaten, it pupates for two weeks. An adult emerges and the circle of life begins again. So, in short, we pick up the flea eggs from an infested area (the subway, your friends house, a hotel or cottage) in the soles of our shoes (ahem, "Sole Stickers") and bring them home with us. The eggs can also come in with items like potting soil, or adults can hitch a ride in on your clothing as well. So even if you have an indoor cat or dog, they are still at risk. Remember to keep your pet protected this fall. Contact us to book an appointment or to discuss any questions you may have with one of our highly trained staff members.  

This article was written by our sister clinic, Front Street Animal Hospital.