Fleas can make life miserable for pets and their owners with a vicious cycle of biting and scratching. They can carry tapeworms and cat scratch disease, which can affect your family as well as you pet.
Before you can prevent and treat fleas effectively you need to understand their lifecycle.
The Flea Lifecycle
Adult Fleas – these hatch from pupae in the environment and jump onto your pet. They live on your animal and lay up to 50 eggs per day.
Eggs – These fall off of your animal after they have been laid and fall onto your carpets, wood floors, sofas and pet beds.
Larvae – The eggs hatch into larvae which move away from the light, deep into your furnishings, carpets and floor boards.
Pupae – The larvae spin a sticky cocoon and become pupae. These cannot be killed by home insecticidal treatments. They hatch when they sense warmth, carbon dioxide and vibrations.
Therefore the fleas that you see on your pet are only 5% of the total flea problem in your house.
Do not feel ashamed if your pet has a flea problem, it is very common. Your pet has to just pick up one sticky egg on its coat and bring it into your home to cause a problem.
Treating For Fleas
By the time you see fleas on your pet your house is probably already infested.
To get rid of an infestation:
- Treat with a suitable ‘spot-on’ treatment as advised by one of our vets, nurses or qualified staff.
- To treat the environment either use a ‘spot-on’ treatment that includes an active ingredient to prevent any eggs laid by the fleas from hatching. Alternatively use a household insecticide that comes in a spray form.
- Vacuum regularly and wash all your pets bedding above 600C to help remove some of the eggs, larvae and pupae.
- Treat all pets in your household.
Treating an infested house can take 3 – 4 months to control the flea problem.
Preventing an Infestation
We recommend that you treat your pet with a spot-on flea treatment that contains an ingredient to kill adult fleas and an ingredient to prevent any eggs produced from hatching.
You must treat for fleas all year round and not just the summer months.