An adult in the flea lifecycle quickly produces 450-2,000 eggs. Learn how to have your very own flea infestation including dog tapeworms - or find the one lifelong natural cure for dog fleas.
Let's start at the beginning. First we'll identify the flea. We all know what those pesky critters look like right?
If you're not sure, and you want more than the drawing below, go back to What do Fleas Look Like for an actual picture of one on a finger for size relativity.
And we all know they suck the blood of mammals and make most of us itch.
That reminds me, if you ever wondered why it causes itching I'm quite sure, like mosquitoes, they inject their saliva into you to thin your blood so they can obtain their meal easier.
Enough of fun facts (eeek).
There are four flea stages and the flea lifecycle takes two weeks to several months,15 depending on the environment. There's the egg, larva, pupa (which has more than one form) and adult.
Once the female has her meal from Fido, she lays 15-50 eggs per day. Once the eggs dry, they fall off the dog. In two days to two weeks the eggs hatch and feed on... adult flea feces and any tapeworm eggs that may be around. Yummy huh?
Here's a magnified view of these tiny parasites in each stage.
Even though a flea measures only 1/16” to 1/8” long and has three pairs of legs, their back legs make them excellent jumpers. Fleas can jump thirteen feet horizontally and seven feet vertically. I itch just thinking about it!
There are several types of fleas. (I really thought a flea was a flea until I researched it.) Basically, there is a cat flea, a dog flea, a human flea, a few kinds of rat fleas and a Sticktight flea that is found near poultry and is found attached at the eyes and ears.
The most frequently found flea in the world is the cat flea, but they don't limit themselves to cats and chances are, our dogs fleas (and fleas on humans) are actually cat fleas. Enough of this fun.
Here's how tapeworms and fleas go together.
The tapeworm eggs passed out through a dog's feces, or in the soil, are eaten by the larval stage in the flea lifecycle. The immature tapeworm stays alive within the flea through its metamorphosis to the blood-sucking adult.
A dog, in his frustration to stop the itching may swallow the flea while chewing at his itchy skin. Once the flea is ingested, the flea dies and the tapeworm egg lives and thrives in the dog's gut.
Honestly, a tapeworm or two isn't a terrible thing. I know, that's not what you heard and you're shaking your head at me. But, everything has its purpose.
The job of any type of intestinal worm is to eat the debris, toxins and other worm eggs ingested by the dog. In a healthy dog, it's a good relationship.
The problem with both tapeworms and fleas isn't their existence, it is their proliferation.
Ready to shake your head at me one more time? An abundance of fleas on dogs or tapeworms in dogs, are a warning signal that our dogs health is not up to par since both parasites prey far more on weak animals.
You will read elsewhere on this website how I got rid of fleas and haven't seen a tapeworm in years.
The best, most natural flea control in the world is real nutritious food. Do you honestly believe a bag of little dried brown chunks that have been sitting for months in warehouses, followed by store shelves actually have enough nutritional value for our canines?
If you do, try eating only McDonald's food for the rest of your life. How would you feel? Yuck.
There are lots of natural flea repellants. Here are a few I wrote about. First, we have garlic. I love fresh garlic as a natural flea repellent and my dogs have no problem eating it. If you think garlic is poisonous to dogs you are mistaken, but don't let it bother you. Lots of people are. The truth is dogs would have to eat an incredible amount for it to cause any harm so please be informed. This is definitely a case where MORE IS NOT BETTER.
Organic apple cider vinegar is good as well. It helps on both the inside and outside, but click on the link to it so I don't have to repeat myself.
And again, the very best flea repellent is totally natural.
food. Why? Fleas are simply not drawn to healthy dogs.
Nature usually has the right answer if we but listen.
You can find easy to follow raw dog food recipes on this site.
Perhaps you too will share my joy. I haven't experienced the flea life cycle in years!