Flea facts, prevention and treatments
Firstly, some interesting ‘flea facts’…
Fleas are more common and reproduce faster in warmer climates and can survive in a heated home during the winter months.
Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day! That’s 1500 for one adult female in its lifespan!
Fleas can jump. Some types of fleas can jump 100 times their own body length!
An estimated 95% of flea infestations live in the environment and not on your pet.
All pets are at risk from flea infestations, including your cat, rabbit, guinea pig etc.
Fleas can cause flea allergies. Some pets and humans can be sensitive to the protein in the saliva of flea bites which can cause skin irritation, welts and painful sores.
Fleas can transmit diseases that can impact humans – such has cat scratch fever and Typhus (rare in the UK).
Fleas can transmit parasites such as tapeworm.
Fleas infestations can cause anaemia in your pet.
How to spot the signs of fleas
scratching and biting
spots and scabs
irritation and redness
loss of fur
tiny black specks on the fur and or a live adult flea
Checking for fleas
Comb your pet using a fine-toothed comb held over something white, like kitchen paper. Any fleas or flea droppings with be deposited onto the surface. Add a few drops of water and if the dropping turn reddish brown its very likely your pet has fleas.
Regularly grooming in general not only helps to prevent mats but is also a great way to spot fleas.
Protecting and treating your pet against fleas
Treat your pet and the environment quickly if you are concerned about a flea burden.
clean bedding on a hot wash and vacuum furniture, floors and skirting boards to help destroy fleas and each stage of the life cycle.
Use an environmental spray recommended by your vet
Use a flea product recommended by your vet, specific for their age, weight and species.
Some over the counter dog flea products contain and ingredient called permethrin. This ingredient is very toxic to cats and can be fatal.
Treat for tapeworm. If your pet has fleas then there is a chance that they also have tapeworm.
Prevention is always the best way to keep your pet free from flea infestations.
A monthly flea product recommended by your vet is the best line of treatment.