Flea treatment is year round and prevention is better than cure

 

Fleas. Did you know they can jump 30,000 times without stopping? How about that they can lay up to 1,500 eggs in their lifetime? Pretty incredible! One tiny little flea on your pet can become 1,000 fleas on your pet and in your home in only 3 weeks! Maybe that is more disturbing than interesting…

The flea’s life cycle starts as a tiny egg which hatches into a larva, this pupates (goes into a cocoon like a caterpillar) and then hatches as an adult flea. The only part of the life cycle that is on the animal is the adult flea, this means that most of the flea population is in the environment (i.e your house!).

Contrary to popular belief, not all animals that have fleas are itchy! Some animals are extra sensitive to fleas (something we call flea allergic dermatitis) and they will be itchy. Dogs and cats can show itchiness in different ways: chewing, rubbing, overgrooming (cats) and scratching. Fleas can also bite humans so you may find bites on yourself too.

A common thing people say is “I haven’t seen any fleas on my pet so there isn’t a problem”. If you see a flea on your pet there is a big infestation. Fleas like the dark so will often not be spotted until there are so many they can’t hide on your pet anymore. The only way to be sure your pet hasn’t got fleas is to treat them regularly with a product that works.

 

Tackling a flea infestation:

       Flea treatment – this only kills the adult fleas when they bite your pet. This is essential to remove an infestation. Buy a product you can trust – prescription products are the most effective treatments we have, you can only get these from a vet. Older products can be bought from the supermarkets or pet stores, but unfortunately fleas are unlikely to be killed because these older drugs are less effective. Always check the packet before you put the flea treatment on your pet – only use a flea product designed for the right species (do not use dog products on cats as this can be fatal!)

       Removing fleas from the environment – vacuuming in all the cracks and crevices (this is where the pupae like to hide), wash all bedding on a hot wash and use a house spray that stops the eggs from hatching and the fleas from developing. This house spray needs to be applied every 6 weeks as it will stop working after this – you can buy this from the vets or a pet store.

       Treat all the animals in the household at the same time to make sure that all the fleas are being killed in the house. Otherwise once the flea treatment wears off the fleas will jump right back onto your pet and the problem begins again.

An infestation can be very difficult to get rid of! The pupae are very hardy and are not killed by the spray until they hatch, they can stay in their cocoons for a long time and can hatch up to 4 months later. This means that you must continue to treat the house and your pets for at least 5 months to make sure you have got rid of them all.

 

Prevention is better than cure!

Fleas are only around in the summer though right? Not right! Our houses are warm in the winter so fleas can survive all year round. This means it is important to treat all year round to make sure your pet is fully covered and your home stays flea free.

A flea infestation is not the home accessory that anyone wants! Regular flea treatment is the only way to avoid this. There are lots of options. There are tablets or spot ons, those that last 3 months or one month and even flea collars. Some products give tick protection and some can kill internal worms too. If you want to discuss the options you can book an appointment with one of our vets and they can help you choose the product that is right for your furry friend. To be able to dispense flea treatment for your pet we will need an up to date weight so bring them along. We can also send you reminders when your pet is due another treatment and all you have to do is call in to pick it up.

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