Flea Facts

  • Flea infestations arise from the environment – ever wondered why you get bitten on the lower leg? 5% of the problem will be on the pet and 95% in the environment. One in five cats and one in fifteen dogs will have fleas.
  • Fleas have a life cycle like a butterfly – eggs turn into grub-like larvae which turn into cocoons or pupae where the adult flea develops, then sits waiting for an animal (or human) to pass by, whenit unzips its cocoon and jumps within 3 seconds!
  • The flea will then seek out a meal of blood and lay more eggs in 48 hrs.
  • Fleas can cause flea allergic dermatitis, can carry tapeworm, and can be involved in the transmission of Bartonella henselae or Rickettsia.

 

Hoover the House

simply using a vacuum cleaner will remove most eggs and lots of larvae and cocoons BUT remember to empty out the hoover bag, or they’ll be hatching out from there. Remember as well to clean out the car if your dog goes out with you in it.

 

Use an Effective Insecticide

The best types are Spot-On preparations- such as ADVANTAGE or PRINOVOX

Always buy these from your Vet (shameless plug) as the products you will find there are by far the most effective.

Flea powders and collars are not effective because they either contain drugs which are poorly effective, short acting, or in the case of collars left on too long.

 

Use an Environmental Insecticide
There are sprays and powders (which dehydrate the fleas). Sprays usually combine a short-acting insecticide with a long-acting growth regulator to interfere with the development of the flea. You must treat the house because of the large numbers of developing fleas.

 

Use PROGRAM

Program is a special way to prevent flea problems, given once a month by mouth (or by twice yearly injections in cats). If a flea feeds on the blood of a pet on Program, then the eggs it lays are infertile. This removes the in-house stages of the flea life cycle.

 

Finally…

Flea eggs are very resistant, as are flea pupae (cocoons). It is not enough to treat once then wait until the problem appears to return. Do not only treat for fleas when you see them on your pet as you will usually only see fleas once there are at least 5 ……….. and they lay eggs within 48 hours!

If you still see fleas they may have just arrived and be about to die. They may have hatched from a resistant stage of life cycle (can take 6 months to treat these). Your pet may have found a nest in the garden or neighbour’s house!! Or you may have missed a hot spot in the house.