C. M.
Date: Nov 14, 2019

Before we had our CoastalMister system, mornings and evenings at our house would find us inside to avoid being eaten alive. Now, my wife and I regularly have our morning coffee and evening meal on the patio, pleasures that were never before possible.

Flea and Tick Control PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 14 March 2009 16:03

Itchy bites are bad enough. But fleas can also cause serious pet health problems such as tapeworm, anemia and flea allergy dermatitis. Add the threat of Lyme disease-carrying ticks, and pet owners have good reason to be vigilant about protecting their pets and homes from flea and tick infestations.

BugFree's inside and outside flea & tick Treatments Start at $129.95 depending on the size of the house.

We also have outside only or Inside only Flea Treatments starting at $89.95 Need Multiple Service and treatments?
General Pest with a Flea treatment? Receive the lowest prices when combining services!

The Life Cycle of the Flea


The Adult Flea


An adult flea can start laying eggs approximately three (3) days after her first blood meal.



The eggs fall off and can be carried anywhere into the environment.They hatch within a few days into larvae.



Larvae feed on organic debris, including skin scale and adult flea droppings. After 9 to 15 days they weave cocoons around themselves and become pupae



Pupae can remain in the cocoon for over a year but they usually hatch after 5 to 9 days. Vibration caused by a passing animal or human stimulates hatching.

Flea Information...

  • Completion of the life cycle from egg to adult varies from two weeks to eight months.

  • Normally the female flea lays about 15 to 20 eggs per day up to 600 in a lifetime.

  • Usual hosts for fleas are dogs, cats, rats, rabbits, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums, foxes, chickens, and humans.

  • Eggs loosely laid in the hair, drop out where the pet rests, sleeps or nests (rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture, cat or dog boxes, kennels, sand boxes, etc.)

  • Eggs hatch in two days to two weeks into larvae found indoors in floor cracks & crevices, along baseboards, under rug edges and in furniture or beds.

  • Outdoor development occurs in sandy gravel soils (moist sand boxes, dirt crawlspace under the house, under shrubs, etc.) where the pet may rest or sleep.

  • Larvae are blind, avoid light, pass through three larval stages and take a week to several months to develop.

  • Their food consists of digested blood from adult flea feces, dead skin, hair, feathers, and other organic debris. (Larvae do not suck blood.)

  • Pupa mature to adulthood within a silken cocoon woven by the larva to which pet hair, carpet fiber, dust, grass cuttings, and other debris adheres.

  • In about five to fourteen days, adult fleas can emerge or may remain resting in the cocoon until the detection of vibration (pet and people movement), pressure (host animal lying down on them), heat, noise, or carbon dioxide (meaning a potential blood source is near).

Most fleas survive the winter in the larval or pupal stage and grow best during warm, moist winters and spring.
  • Adult fleas cannot survive or lay eggs without a blood meal, but may hibernate from two months to one year without feeding.
  • There is often a desperate need for flea control after a family has returned from a long vacation. The house has been empty with no cat or dog around for fleas to feed on. When the family and pets are gone, flea eggs hatch and larvae pupate. The adult fleas fully developed inside the pupal cocoon remains in a kind of "limbo" for a long time until a blood source is near. The family returning from vacation is immediately attacked by waiting hungry hordes of fleas. (In just 30 days, 10 female fleas under ideal conditions can multiply to over a quarter million different life stages.)
Completely developed adult fleas can live for several months without eating, as long as they do not emerge from their cocoons.
  • Newly emerged adult fleas live only about one week if a blood meal is not obtained.
  • Optimum temperatures for the flea's life cycle are 70°F to 85°F and optimum humidity is 70 percent.
  • Americans spend about $9 billion a year controlling fleas - one of the biggest expenses for pet owners.

In Texas, most flea problems are caused by the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. This flea feeds on cats, dogs and wildlife. Other kinds of fleas, such as the dog flea, human flea, and rat flea, are less common on pets and in homes. Fortunately, fleas need not be a serious problem because there are many effective treatments.

Identifying the problem

Adult cat fleas are about 1/8 inch long (1 to 3 mm). They are brownish-black, flattened looking, and without wings. Backward-pointing bristles help fleas move through the hairs or feathers of host animals and make them more difficult to remove by grooming. The six legs, especially the hind pair, are long and adapted for jumping.

Flea larvae are less than 1/4 inch long (6 mm), legless, and dirty white in color. The most likely place to find larvae is in infested pet bedding.

Understanding Fleas

During their life cycle fleas pass through four stages-egg, larva, pupa and adult. Although they can jump, adult fleas do not usually travel long distances without a host. Fleas prefer to wait and jump onto a passing animal. Once aboard, they remain until they are dislodged or groomed from the animal. Without a host, adult fleas live only a few days to 2 weeks. On short-haired cats and dogs fleas survive an average of 8 days; they live longer on long-haired animals.

The female flea begins laying eggs within 2 days of her first blood meal. Four to 9 days later she produces an average of 27 eggs per day, consuming about 15 times her body weight in blood daily. Much of this blood is excreted as partially digested feces. Flea feces are a fine, reddish-black dust seen in pet fur and bedding.

Flea larvae feed on adult flea excrement. Without it, they cannot survive, although they also may feed on organic matter such as food particles, dead skin or feathers. Larvae develop in 5 to 11 days.

Moist, shaded spots near pet resting areas are the places to find fleas. Indoors, flea larvae are usually found under furniture and in pet bedding.

The pupa is the transition stage between the larva and adult. The pupa forms inside a cocoon spun by the larva. After a week or two the pupa becomes an adult. The adult flea may remain in the cocoon for up to 5 months, but when stimulated by a passing animal the adult can emerge within seconds. Long-vacant homes or apartments can “come alive” with such fleas when new inhabitants move in.

Animal and Human Health

Fleas can be a source of both irritation and disease. Dogs and cats scratch constantly when heavily infested, resulting in soiled and roughened coats and, sometimes, in nervous conditions. The most serious effects occur when a pet develops an allergy to flea bites. As few as one or two bites can cause severe itching and scratching in allergic pets.

fleas do not normally live on humans, but do bite people who handle infested animals. Flea bites cause small, red, itchy bumps, usually on the ankles and lower legs. People with allergies to flea bites suffer from hives, rashes or generalized itching. Allergic reactions usually appear 12 to 24 hours after a bite, and may last a week or more.

Fleas that have fed on rodents may transmit diseases, including plague and murine typhus. For this reason, avoid close contact with wild rodents such as squirrels, rats and prairie dogs. Their fleas can bite you and may transmit disease. Cat fleas, however, do not carry plague.

Cat fleas are the most common fleas on dogs and cats. They also infest raccoons, oppossums and coyotes.

Did you know.....about Tapeworms and Fleas

Fleas sometimes carry an intestinal parasite called dog tapeworm, Diphylidium caninum. The dog tapeworm has an interesting life cycle. It lives in the intestinal tracts of dogs, cats and sometimes humans. These long, flattened worms consist of up to 200 body segments (called proglottids) and may reach a length of 12 inches (30 cm). When mature, these segments detach from the main body of the tapeworm and wriggle from the anus of an infected animal. Fresh tapeworm segments are opaque white or pinkish white, flat, and somewhat rectangular. When newly emerged, they move with a stretching-out and shrinking-back motion. When dry, the segments are yellow or off-white, less than 1/16th inch long, rice-shaped sacs. Each sac contains tapeworm eggs. Tapeworm egg sacs are frequently seen attached to hairs around the pet’s anus, in feces, or in the bedding of infested pets. Flea larvae feed on tapeworm egg sacs. Once inside the flea, the tapeworm eggs hatch and the flea becomes infested. Infested adult fleas carry a stage of the tapeworm that can mature and multiply if the flea is swallowed by a pet. During grooming, pets often ingest such tapeworm-infected fleas. Once released into the pet’s digestive tract, tapeworms mature into adult forms. On rare occasions, small children may ingest fleas and become infested in this way. If you see proglottids in your pet’s feces or bedding, you should have your pet treated. Veterinarians can prescribe pills or injections to safely treat for tapeworms in pets.

Fleas, but no pets?

Buildings sometimes become infested with fleas even when there are no pets around. Other animals such as bats, roof rats, squirrels, raccoons, and wild dogs and cats commonly nest in structures and may be the source of an infestation. BugFree can treat for fleas and seal openings through which wildlife may enter your home.

Don’t wait until fleas get out of hand. Begin your flea control program early for best results. Start a frequent and thorough sanitation program, regularly inspect your pet for fleas, These steps will help you reduce the need for extra pesticide treatments. It is best to have professional help when dealing with fleas. BugFree can treat both indoor and outdoor areas.

BugFree's Tips for Treatments

  • Before having your home professionally treated, vacuum carpets and clear toys and clothing from areas to be sprayed. Vacuuming helps straighten fibers and prepare the carpet to receive treatment. Plan to stay off treated carpets until sprays have thoroughly dried, usually at least 2 hours.

  • BugFree will use insect growth regulators for long-term control.

  • Throw Vacuum bag away in plastic tied garbage bag and take outside. Fleas can continue to develop inside vacuum cleaner bags and re-infest the house.

  • Have animals dipped by professional groomer, Treating Pets. Your pet’s first line of defense against fleas is a good bath. Soap acts as a gentle insecticide and helps control light infestations on your pet. Pay special attention to the face and neck, and the area in front of the tail. Use soapy water or an alcohol solution to kill fleas removed from the pet.

  • Vacuum again in 5 to 7 days and throw away vacuum bag.

Please call 281-373-0086 to get Flea & Tick pricing for your home

Texas and TICKS.....

Three things distinguish ticks from insects:
(1) The head, thorax, and abdomen are fused into one body segment; (2) They do not have antennae; and (3) In the nymph and adult stages they have four pairs of legs.

Developmental Stages of Ticks
Anatomy of Hard and Soft Ticks
Developmental Stages of Ticks
The life cycle of ticks includes four stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult.

The Egg
Mating of hard ticks usually occurs while they are on the host animal. Afterwards the female drops to the ground and, after a brief pre-oviposition period of three to 10 days, begins to deposit eggs on or near the earth. The female hard tick feeds once, lays one large batch of eggs sometimes numbering in the thousands, and dies. Most of the soft ticks engorge with blood several times and deposit about 20 to 50 eggs in a batch after each blood meal. Eggs hatch in two weeks to several months, depending upon temperature, humidity and other environmental factors.

The Larva
The larvae, or "seed ticks," have only six legs, and the sexes are indistinguishable. Their chances of attaching to a host are precarious, sometimes resulting in prolonged fasts.

Despite tolerance to starvation, a very high percentage die. Some individuals climb on vegetation, waiting for a small rodent to pass within reach. Some actively seek a vertebrate host, being guided by the sent of the animal. After a blood meal, the engorged larvae usually drop to the soil and molt to the eight-legged nymph stage. The larvae of one-host ticks remain on the host to molt.

The Nymph
The nymph has eight legs like the adult but has no genital opening. This stage also must undergo a critical waiting period for a suitable host. After engorgement, the nymph drops from the host, molts, and becomes an adult. Nymphs may rest for long periods before becoming adults. Some species of hard ticks live less than one year while others live three yearsor more. Each time a tick leaves its host it risks its survival on on finding another host. Some species have the advantage of molting on the host. For example, the cattle tick is a one-host tick. Multiple-host tick species are able to exist because of their great reproductive capacity and their ability to survive for a long time without food.

Hard ticks have only one nymphal instar, the nymph becoming an adult after molting. Soft ticks may have several nymphal instars.

The Adult
Typically, the nymph molts after engorgement and becomes an adult. Sex then is distinguishable for the first time as the female hard tick differs from the male in having a small scutum. The sex of soft ticks may be determined by the shape of the genital opening located between the second pair of legs. In male soft ticks the genital opening is almost circular, while it is oval and definitely broader than long in female specimens. Unlike mosquitoes, both male and female hard ticks are blood suckers, and both require several days feeding before copulation. After the male hard tick becomes engorged, he usually copulates with one or more females and then dies. Following copulation, the female tick drops to the ground. The eggs require several days to develop. Then she begins oviposition. After a few more days, her life's mission accomplished, the spent female hard tick also dies. The female soft tick may lay several small batches of eggs but she requires another blood meal before each episode of oviposition.

For more information, contact your local health department

Protective Measures:

  • Wear light-colored clothing so that crawling ticks can easily be seen. Tuck pant legs into boots or socks so ticks do not have access to skin.
  • Use insect repellents according to package instructions.
  • To reduce the risk of disease transmission, inspect yourself for ticks frequently and properly remove any attached ticks promptly.
To remove an attached tick:
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick at the skin surface. If tweezers are not available, use a tissue or paper towel to protect your fingers from possible exposure to the tick's body fluids. With a steady motion, gently pull the tick straight out. Do not twist, jerk or crush the tick's body. After removal, clean site and hands with soap and water.
Each year Texans contract Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Relapsing Fever. All of these diseases are transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. If caught early, these diseases can almost always be cured. If left untreated, they can be serious or even fatal.
Early symptoms of these diseases mimic the "flu", and include fever, headache, tiredness, stiff neck or neck pain, muscle aches, and joint pain.

Sometimes a rash is present at the site of the tick bite.

If you develop flu-like symptoms (with or without a rash) after a tick bite, you should see a physician right away.

*Pricing based on square footage of home & yard or Lot
*subject to change

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 15:21


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