In the past fleas were mainly associated with spring, which is when the weather started to become warmer; but Since central heating and double-glazing have become popular, fleas have now become an all year round problem. It is recommended that as well as treating your pet it is also a good idea to treat the home, especially in places where your pet sleeps.
The signs to look out for are actual sight of fleas or flea dirt, scratching and over grooming.
Fleas can causes a number of problems for your pet, one being obviously self trauma, others include pruritus, fleas allergic dermatitis and if there are a lot of fleas then they cause anaemia, and in young animals this can lead to death. They are also hosts for other parasites, two of them include the tapeworm and the other is Haemabartonella, which is a blood parasite that destroys the red blood cells.
After about a week the larva spins a cocoon and pupates.
Top tips on fighting fleas
- Make sure you apply the flea product correctly. This means making sure you use the correct size for each animals weight and follow the instructions on the product.
- Vacuum the home thoroughly, moving and vacuuming under all furniture and in all nooks and crannies. Do this even if you have wooden or laminate flooring. This will mechanically remove some, but not all, of the eggs, larvae and pupae in the home environment.
- Wash pets bedding at 60c to kill any of the immature stages.
- Thoroughly spray all floor space in the home with a household insecticidal spray. You need to apply it wherever the pet goes, so remember to spray areas such as your car. Flea eggs, larvae and pupae like shady areas so ensure you move your furniture and spray underneath. However, insecticidal sprays do not kill the flea pupae.
- To encourage pupae to hatch out you can turn up the heating, and also vacuum to generate warmth and vibration.
- Ensure your pets have their usual run of the house. Once your pet has been treated when new adult fleas emerge from the pupae they will jump onto your pet which then will be killed by the applied product.
- Continue to regularly vacuum your home.
- It may take several months to remove the flea infestation from your home. Until the environment is free of healthy eggs, larvae and pupae you will still see fleas on your pet as they emerge from pupae.
- It is essential that you keep up your pets flea treatment.
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