Adult fleas feed on a blood source, whether the source is animal or human. They reproduce very quickly and lay their eggs throughout the home. An adult female can lay 20-50 eggs per day. Only 5% of fleas live on the pet, 95% live in the environment, carpets, bedding. Adult fleas can live for up to 2 months.
The eggs will hatch when the temperature and humidity is right. Larvae emerge, taking 1-2 weeks to develop. Pupae is the final stage of the cycle before it turns into an adult flea, which can take several days or weeks. They can easily lay dormant for months or even a year when undisturbed. Stimuli for pupae to hatch include warmth, vibration and carbon dioxide, indicating an animal food source.
Fleas can cause severe skin irritation, allergic dermatitis and anaemia if not controlled. Fleas can also carry tapeworm larvae, which could infect your pet if ingested.
Signs your pet has fleas:
Keep a look out for the following flea early warning signs:
- your pet itching, scratching or chewing at themselves, possibly leading to hair loss and red or irritated skin
- visible fleas or flea dirt (flea faecal matter) on your pet
Although many pets are very itchy and uncomfortable, some pets may show no signs at all and fleas can sometimes be difficult to see.
How can I prevent or get rid of fleas:
There are several easy-to-use spot-on treatments available, used to prevent or treat flea infestations. Please give us a call for advice on the best product for your pet as almost all products are species and weight specific. Cats are especially sensitive to some ingredients used in some dog treatments and it can be poisonous to them.
It is always very important to read the label carefully and seek advice before use as some products are poisonous to certain animals.
Treating your pets regularly is vitally important. It helps reduce the potentially harmful effects of parasites, not just for the health of your pet, but in order to help protect you and your family. There are a variety of preventative treatment options available for your pets, we will be happy to advise you.
- An environmental treatment for your home is advised when treating for fleas, as they live mainly in carpets and bedding.
- We would always recommend that you give us a call for a chat about special home flea sprays that stop the development of flea eggs and larvae and kill adult fleas.
- Vacuum your house frequently for a number of weeks to ensure you capture as many eggs and larvae as possible.
- Empty your vacuum cleaner after every clean so they don’t have a chance to re-infest your house.
- Wash your bedding, curtains, pet’s bedding and toys in hot soapy water to remove and kill eggs, larvae and pupae.