Fleas seem to be a problem that many people encounter with their pets all year round. It is a myth that fleas are only seen in the warmer months! While prevention is better than treatment, we can sometimes find ourselves struggling in the home as they’re often a persistent pest, so we’ve put together a guide to help!
Just one flea can lay up to as many as 50 eggs a day. If your pet has fleas, these eggs will be laid in multiple sites in your house. If conditions are right, these eggs then hatch and go on to find their host (your pet). These fleas will continue to lay eggs on your pet and in your house and the cycle will continue unless they are stopped. It doesn’t take long for an infestation to occur but it can take a long time to remove the infestation from your house once it does occur…
When treating fleas, a multi-pronged attack is the best. Only 5% of them are living on the pet on the pet as adults, meaning that the other 95% of the population are living in the home environment in their immature stages, which are the eggs, larvae and pupae. A household spray, normally containing an insecticide, is strongly recommended to treat the eggs and larvae. When spraying the household, care should be taken to spray all floor spaces in all rooms. Make sure to move furniture/spray underneath, as flea larvae like to retreat to dark places. All bedding/blankets should be washed in a 60°C or above wash, and this will kill any fleas, eggs or larvae living within them.
The pupae in the environment are resistant to the insecticide sprays. Frequent hoovering encourages the pupae to hatch through the vibrations caused which will then be treated. Warmer months are often thought to be the worst for flea problems, but winter can be troublesome as well, as any flea eggs in the environment will hatch in response to the central heating being turned on, so be vigilant all year round.
Making sure we stay on top of our pets flea treatment is paramount, as missing just one dose means your pet isn’t covered anymore. Fleas also carry the potential to pass worms onto your pet, so by protecting your dog from fleas it can also somewhat prevent worms. However, de-worming treatment must also been given to ensure your pet is free of all types of worms. All cats and dogs in the house should be treated, and allowed to roam the house if fleas have become a problem. They will act as a magnet for any fleas in the environment, and while it can be irritating for them to be bitten, fleas that jump on a treated pet will die.
The final step is… waiting. It can sometimes take up to three months to clear a flea infestation in the house. However, by following the steps above, you should see a gradual decline in numbers once the flea life cycle is broken & eventually a flea free home!