Flea Help

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kegan1811 asked 1 month ago

Hi, 
We noticed our dog had fleas back in August. Since then we have treated the dog, sprayed the house with acclaim flea spray from the vet and vaccumed constantly our wooden floors. At the start of September we also had a pest control company come and spray the house. 
As things stand we are still finding odd fleas (mainly in one room when leaving bowls of soapy water out) and my wife continues to get bite marks. Are these fleas the remaining hatching fleas and can they lay eggs by feeding off human blood? 
Is there anything else we should be doing to help get rid of them like further professional treatment? 

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 1 month ago

kegan1811,

If your dog is properly treated, then the fleas jumping on him/her shouldn’t be able to survive long enough to lay eggs. Also, most flea drops contain an insect growth regulator (IGR), either pyriproxyfen or methoprene, which will sterilize the females even if they survived the adulticide.

The Acclaim you sprayed also contains an IGR. And I am assuming the pest control company also sprayed an IGR. Any eggs and larvae that are exposed won’t be able to reach adulthood.

Since new eggs can’t survive, the current fleas you are seeing should be the last generation. 95-99% of infestations are eggs, larvae, and pupae in the environment. The larvae avoid light and end up in protected micro-habitats where sprays and vacuums can’t reach well. So many of those which were alive at the time of treatment may have survived and continued developing. These fleas need to mature, emerge, and die before the infestation completely ends.

Eggs reach adulthood in 17-26 days in homes. However, cocooned adults can enter into a quiescent state for up to 5 months while they way to detect a host (heat and pressure), though most don’t. Vacuuming is a good way to simulate these host cues and trigger emergence.

In all likelihood your dog either had cat fleas (C. felis) or dog fleas (C. canis). These species account for nearly all domestic infestations. And these species can’t survive or lay eggs on human blood. There is a more rare species, P. irritans (human fleas), that can survive and lay eggs on human blood.

You can identify the species by taking a close look at their heads. See this image. Cat fleas (Img D) and dog fleas (Img E) have combs (rows of dark bristles) on their heads. Human fleas (Img H) don’t have combs, and their heads aren’t as long.

You shouldn’t need to do more than you’re already doing. The most important agent in the environmental treatments is the IGR, and it will remain active for 7 months. The problem sounds like it will be resolving soon. Continue the monthly pet treatments. And continue to vacuum regularly. The flea traps you’ve set up are handy for assessing populations and determining when an infestation is over.

Hope this helps!
Adam

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