Fleas are a common problem for pet owners, research has shown that 10% of the UK dog population and 20% of cats will be harboring fleas as you read this – that’s about 890,000 dogs and 2.2 million cats! The ability of fleas to thrive and persist is due to their biology and incorrect use of flea treatments.
This post aims to provide owners with some useful practical tips and information to help and successfully treat and prevent flea infestations.
The flea life cycle shows how fleas proliferate in the environment.
When a flea jumps onto a pet, it will begin to feed soon afterwards by penetrating the skin and sucking the animal’s blood. This can cause intense itchiness and inflammation of the skin in those pets that are hypersensitive to flea saliva. Scratching can lead to hair loss and self-trauma, leading to bacterial infection in some cases. Such animals should be referred to a vet because not only will they need flea treatment, they will also need medication to treat the itchy, inflamed and possibly infected skin. Thankfully most pets will not be so badly affected and will just require a flea treatment however it is also important to treat the environment.
24 hours after feeding, the female flea will lay eggs in the animal’s coat – up to 50 eggs per day! These will fall off the pet as it moves through its environment, scattering flea eggs everywhere. When the eggs hatch, larvae emerge and will migrate to seek darkness, such as deep within carpets, between floor boards and within bedding. Eventually the larvae will create a cocoon called a pupae in which they will develop to become a flea. The pupal stage can be regarded as a state of hibernation because the pupae are resistant to chemicals, in fact all flea products and can remain viable for up to 12 months. From the scale of egg production and the prevalence of pupae, it can be seen how flea numbers can increase so quickly and persist in the home environment.
Once developed, the immature (and hungry) fleas will emerge from their protective cocoons in response to increases in temperature, humidity and nearby vibrations ready to jump onto the next animal or human that passes by.
Treating for fleas
The strategy for flea control requires breaking the flea life cycle by using a product that kills fleas on the pet. Due to the environmental burden of flea eggs, larvae and pupae, a flea infestation will not resolve shortly after administering the treatment because new fleas will continue to emerge from any existing viable pupae. The time taken to fully eradicate the infestation will depend upon the numbers of these life cycle stages in the pet’s environment however, the process can be accelerated by following the key steps below:
- Administer the flea treatment according to the manufacturer’s instructions and repeat at the recommended intervals.
- Ensure that all household pets are treated with a suitable product.
- Check the animal’s body weight to avoid under dosing.
- Use a household spray that kills eggs and larvae.
- Thoroughly clean all pets’ bedding – wash above 60°C to kill eggs and larvae.
- Vacuum all areas where the pet has access (including the car) to remove eggs, larvae and pupae. The vibrations will also stimulate pupation and emergence of new fleas which will jump onto the treated animal.
- Turning on the central heating and placing damp towels over the radiators will increase room temperature and humidity and stimulate pupation.
The Fleascreen Combo contains an adulticide which kills fleas on the pet plus an insect growth regulator which stops flea eggs from hatching and the larvae developing, therefore, providing additional control of the flea life cycle takes in the environment. Both Frontline and Fiprotec contain an adulticide which only kills fleas on the infected pet.
Chien Chic Ltd are please to announce, that we are one of the groomers in Hereford chosen to sell this licensed veterinary combo flea screan. It has been tried and tested on our own dogs and it works a treat.
Good news to you is its much more affordable than other brands whilst doing exactly the same job.This is a combo flea treatment so will kill fleas,ticks and will stop eggs developing, for up to 8 weeks.
In each pack there are three applications supplied as a spot on.
We can supply for Small, Medium, Large Dogs and Cats.