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Dogs Aren’t the Only Critters That Bite: A Word About Fleas

Florida covered canine policy

It’s flea season, and many dogs are scratching and biting in misery trying to rid themselves of the intense itching and scratching that comes with these pests. Pet owners realize that not only is it a good idea to obtain a Florida covered canine policy to protect themselves, they need to control fleas to protect their pets. This can be difficult when many manufacturers are increasing the potentially toxic chemicals and other ingredients in their products to dangerous levels. As a result, not only are pets being attacked by the parasites themselves, in some cases they can end up at the vet, severely poisoned from a barrage of overly generous applications of flea treatments that their well-intentioned owners applied to their pets’ skin and coat.

Understanding the life cycle of these pests

To eradicate fleas, it takes a bit of knowledge about how their work. These wingless insects are parasitic acrobats, equipped with strong hind legs that allow them to jump incredible distances, as much as five feet sideways and nine inches high. Adults feed on blood, and that’s when they seek out the family pooch. The females can lay eggs on the pet but prefer dark, damp places like basement corners and cracks and crevices in the floor. One female can lay up to 20 eggs at one time, and 400 during her busy little lifetime. When humidity and temperatures rise (like now), it’s the perfect time for egg laying—and just about a week later, small worms hatch which feed on feces, hair, dirt, and vegetation. The growth cycle can last 10 to 200 days, so a single pair of adult fleas and their offspring in their various stages of life—egg, larva and adult—can result in a home having fleas for nearly two years! That’s why a single bomb or can of powder just doesn’t solve the problem.

There are many natural, nontoxic yet effective ways to control fleas without hurting the pooch. Talk to a veterinarian about that, turn to professional experts for home flea control, and talk to a professional insurance agent about ways to protect oneself from liability with a Florida covered canine policy.


photo credit: Patti’s Pet Perfection cc