How to Win the War Against Fleas!
Although the adult flea spends all of its time on your dog or cat, feeding on it's blood and breeding, the majority of the flea population (95%) exists as eggs, larvae and pupae in the environment; in the dirt, cracks or crevices of your house, in your pet's bedding or in your carpet. In warmer months, the flea lifecycle is as short as 2 - 3 weeks and flea numbers can build up rapidly if preventative measures are not taken, both on and off your pet. A female flea lays approximately 40 eggs per day – no wonder they can become such a problem if left untreated!
On Your Pet
There are numerous products available to control fleas on your dog and cat, but for maximum effectiveness you should ask us to recommend the best one or combination of products for your pet.
- Flea powders need applying once or twice a week
- Flea collars can kill fleas for up to 9 months
- Flea shampoos kill fleas on contact but have no residual effect
- Flea rinses can be used following shampoos or on their own and have a residual effect (usually 7 days)
- Flea sprays provide rapid flea knockdown and some contain insect growth regulators to prevent production of viable flea eggs for up to 6 weeks, while newer ones can treat and prevent fleas for up to 12 weeks
- 'Spot–ons' are monthly treatments and are safe, and very easy to use. Some kill fleas before they lay eggs, minimising reinfestation, and kill larval stages in the pet’s surroundings. A new product also contains an insect growth regulator (IGR) to control all environmental stages as well as adults
- Multipurpose products incorporate flea treatment with heartworm and intestinal worm control
- Tablets (or injections) are available that contain IGRs, which sterilise the flea eggs so they cannot hatch. At the start they need to be used in conjunction with products that kill fleas
Flea Control Off Your Pet
Fleas also need to be removed from your pet's environment. Products you can use include:
- Flea bombs, foggers and mists for your house, which contain insect growth regulators (IGR’s) and can provide up to 12 months protection
- Yard sprays or rinses can be applied to specific areas in the home and outside, including kennels and most contain insect growth regulators
Flea Control Tips
- Some insecticides are poisons and product labels must be strictly adhered to
- Young, sick, pregnant and nursing animals may be more sensitive to the product
- Some flea products for dogs can be toxic to cats (check the label)
- Some products cannot be used in puppies or kittens under 3 - 4 months of age
- Natural alternatives are available –they can still be toxic and may not be as effective
- Remember to treat all pets in the household
- Regular grooming and washing of your pet’s bedding is also important
We can help you plan the best control for your pet. Please remember that although some flea products at the supermarket appear to be cheaper many clients over the years have regretted the larger amount of money spent by experimenting with these various products without gaining the desired result. The key to beating fleas is the advice we can provide on what product is most effective for your situation.