Fleas, what are they good for?

While itty bitty in nature, they are parasitic and recently in the news they show they pack a big bite. Click here to view the Washington Post Article Referencing Fleas Carrying the Plague. They feed on their hosts, typically animals, but humans will do if they are in a pinch. Newly hatched fleas need blood meal pretty quickly, adults can go up to a couple of months without having a meal, and flea pupae can stay in their cocoons for up to a year waiting for signs of potential hosts. The good news is that females can only lay eggs if they've had a meal; however, once she has eaten she can lay up to 20 eggs at a time.

They tend to be a hard pest to knock down due to their lifecycle. When females lay the eggs they need warmer temperatures and humidity  to help them develop. The window of hatching is around 12 days and the eggs go through different life cycles called instars. It’s important to find products that will combat flea's at their multiple stages to ensure elimination.

So what products will do the trick on eliminating fleas? Cindy Sagerty, a sales representative for WinField United in Wichita, KS, responded that her top 3 products are the following:

  1. Alpine Flea and Bedbug Aerosol (indoor)
  2. Onslaught Fastcap (indoor/outdoor)
  3. Talstar Xtra Verge (outdoor)
It's also important to remember that combating fleas is a multi-modal approach. One will want to consider treating for rodents and other pest to ensure that fleas aren't coming from rats, prairie dogs, deer etc. Also, always treat indoor pets for fleas with appropriate products that are labeled for such.

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