As a pet parent, you’re bound to encounter a flea infestation more than once over the course of your pet’s life. But, do you actually know what happens when your pet gets fleas? We’ve pulled together some interesting facts about fleas to help you better understand what’s happening to your cat or dog.
Most pet parents don’t realize that a flea infestation can result in more than just itching for their pet. Fleas are parasites, or more specifically ectoparasites, that live on your pet’s skin by consuming your pet’s blood. They can carry diseases like tapeworms, typhus, and cat scratch fever – all of which can be transmitted to your pet.
A common misconception about fleas is that they fly, and can land on your pet when you’re taking them for a walk. In reality, fleas don’t have wings and jump from one place to another to find their next host. Fleas have been known to make leaps up to 13 inches, about 200 times the length of their own bodies.
For most of us, we’ll see our pet scratching and our mind immediately jumps to one conclusion – fleas. But, do you know why they’re actually scratching? It’s the flea saliva that causes irritation and inflammation on a pet’s skin.
If you find an adult flea on your pet, be aware, there are probably more fleas. In fact, along with adult fleas, you’ll probably find flea larvae on your pet and around your house. Ridding your pet, and your house, of an infestation, can be a lengthy process so be prepared.
It only takes one flea to cause an extensive infestation on your pet. In fact, a single female flea can produce 2,000 eggs in her lifetime – at a rate of 40-50 per day for a period of 50 days. If you think your pet has fleas, you’ll want to take them to get a proper diagnosis and then treat them appropriately for fleas. Consult with your veterinarian at the first sign of fleas, and remember just because your dog or cat is itching, doesn’t mean they have fleas.