Keeping your Pets Flea Free
With Spring upon us, heading into Summer and the warmer months of the year, we start the prime time for fleas! Fleas are a pest not just for dogs but for cats and us as well. That’s right, fleas are not picky, they will also bite a human if they can. So how do we get rid of these pests? To get rid of these pests we need to understand their lifecycle.
The Life of a Flea
The majority of a flea’s life does not occur on an animal and pet-to-pet transmission is extremely rare.
Before adulthood and finding a host, the flea in larvae form lives its life in dark areas around the house. These can include: in carpets, wooden floors, under furniture, in bedding, under the house or in long grass. The larvae feeds on organic debris.
Within a week or two the larvae spin its own pupae (or cocoon) to protect itself as it goes through metamorphosis and emerges as an adult.
Once in adult form the flea now feeds on blood and will look for a host to find its food from. This is when the flea finds its way to our lovable cats and / or dogs. The adult flea will also now look to mate. The female normally lays eggs within 36 hours of emerging from pupae. A single flea can lay 40 – 50 eggs per day!
The lifecycle of the flea is temperature dependant meaning that in the warmer months of the year the life cycle happens faster which is why we suddenly have an influx of flea infection.
As you can see it is important to do two things when dealing with fleas.
- Treat your pet! Fleas can be more than just an irritation for your pet. Fleas can cause tapeworm, dermatitis or other allergic reactions. It is important to continuously treat your pet for fleas, not just when you can see them. Continual grooming of your pet can aid in the prevention of fleas. There are also many flea control products you can use on your pet. Please consult your local vet for the best advice on flea control products.
- Treat your home! As we now know fleas live everywhere! To prevent the infection of your pets we need to cleanse the entire house! There are many ways of doing this. Make sure to start by cleaning everything including dusting, vacuuming and washing carpets, bedding, toys and any mats or bedding for your pet. Continual cleaning of these things is important to prevent reinfestation. There are also many products and sprays that you can safely use around your home to kill any larvae or eggs that are around.
For all products make sure to consult your local Veterinary clinic to ensure you have the right product for your pet.