Fleas are more prevalent during the warmer months but as we keep our homes warm throughout winter, they can be present all year round. Only a small number of adult fleas actually live on your pet.
Fleas will tend to jump onto your pet to feed and then jump off again. The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to treat your animal directly and regularly. It is this environmental contamination that remains a source for ongoing flea bites for your pet. Therefore keep the flea control on your pet up to date so that as new fleas develop in the environment they can also be killed A female flea can lay 30-50 eggs per day. It does not take long for a large environmental burden to develop.
It is difficult to treat fleas eggs and larvae out under the bushes in your garden but there are excellent products to control fleas in your soft furnishings in your home.
Dogs and cats can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD. Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:
•Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
•You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
•It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Simply use a fine comb and comb around the tailbase collecting any hair and debris. Spread the hair and debris out on white paper and moisten the debris with water. If reddish brown areas develop around the debris then this suggests flea dirt and that your pet has fleas.
What to do:
Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets and areas where your pet sleeps. We do not recommend flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation, and do not have good residual control.
Apply a high quality flea control product to your pet following the product's instructions. Mark the date of application on your calendar and calculate when the next application is due.
Treat all animals in the household
Treat the carpets and other soft furnishings with flea foggers or target sprays that will kill eggs, larvae and adults in the environment and continue to control them for 12 months.
If your pet continues to itch, chew or scratch then seek veterinary advice.
Warning: Some non-veterinary brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.