Protect dogs from fleas
Fleas are excellent jumpers, leaping vertically up to 7 inches and horizontally up to 13 inches. At Doggie Paws, we use a nontoxic shampoo that kills fleas yet is safe for pets.
Adult fleas are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length, dark reddish-brown in color, wingless, hardbodied, and difficult to crush between your fingers.
Stages of flea development
Fleas go through 3 stages before they become adults (egg, larva, and pupa). It can take from 30 days to 1 year to complete this cycle. The immature stages are most commonly found in areas where the host animal rests and visits frequently.
Although eggs are laid on the animal, they fall off and land on surfaces like carpets, furniture, pet bedding, car seats, etc. Larvae emerge from the eggs and feed on organic debris and adult flea feces on carpet and other surfaces.
Stages of flea development
The adult flea is the only stage routinely found on the animal. Adult fleas live 7 – 10 days. The average female flea will lay 150 eggs. After mating and feeding, adult female fleas lay oval, white eggs. These smooth eggs easily fall from the host into cracks, crevices, carpet, bedding, or lawn covering. A mature female flea can lay up to 25 eggs per day for 3 weeks.
Small, worm-like larvae (1 / 16 to 3 / 16 inches in length) hatch within 48 hours. The larval body is translucent white with a dark-colored gut that can be seen through the skin. They feed on adult flea feces, consisting of relatively undigested blood, which dries and falls from the host’s fur. They also eat dandruff, skin flakes, and grain particles.
Larvae develop on the ground in areas protected from rainfall, irrigation, and sunlight, where the relative humidity is at least 70% and the temperature is 70° – 90° Fahrenheit. This stage lasts 8 to 24 days, depending on temperature and humidity conditions.
These immature fleas will eventually spin silken cocoons in which they will develop (pupate) into adult fleas. Cocoons are sticky and attract dirt and debris that act as camouflage. Under ideal conditions, new adults are ready to emerge from pupal cocoons within 2 weeks. However, they can remain cocooned up to 12 months in the absence of a host or under unfavorable climatic conditions.
Adult fleas are a nuisance. They cause medical problems like flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), tapeworms, secondary skin irritations and, in extreme cases, anemia. Although bites are rarely felt, the flea’s salivary secretions can cause irritations.
The typical reaction to the bite is the formation of a small, hard, red, swollen, itching spot. There is a single puncture point in the center of each spot. Ants and spiders leave two marks when they bite. Mosquitoes, bees, wasps, and bedbugs cause a large swelling or welt.
Located at W. Sherman and Beach Streets in Muskegon, other park amenities include 2 parking lots, nature trails, a barrier dune, accessible dune walkways, a playground, dune overlooks, picnic shelters, restrooms, and a basketball court.