How to get rid of fleas

How to get rid of fleas

 

How to get rid of fleas is a common search term for pet owners dealing with a flea infestation. Luckily there’s a solution for keeping the pesky critters at bay.  It’s all down to understanding where fleas live, how fleas breed and how to effectively treat your pet (and your home) against fleas.

The flea life cycle

Contrary to popular belief, fleas don’t live on your pet. They live in the local environment – i.e – in your home! But, pets can also easily pick up fleas whilst out and about, in parks, gardens, boarding kennels, vet visits and other homes. This means that no matter how clean your house is, you could be dealing with fleas sooner than you think.

After first feeding on a host (your pet), female fleas start laying up to 50 eggs a day. So there’s not much time after your pet first becomes a host and a flea infestation starts to take shape.

Flea eggs hatch into larvae, which live in the environment (usually on pets bedding, in carpets and between floorboards) and feed on organic debris.  Flea larvae will develop into pupae, which, within days to weeks will hatch into adults.

Once adult fleas emerge, they must find a host to feed on within 7 days or they will die. They therefore will not come out of the pupae stage until environmental factors such as heat and carbon dioxide indicate that there is a host in the area. Fleas can stay in the pupae life stage for up to a year if necessary.

Fun Flea Fact- In the vast majority of flea species, the females are bigger than the males. The female can feed on up to 15 times her own body weight in blood (from her host) every day.

Treat adult fleas, eggs & larvae

Regular flea treatment can either kill existing adult fleas or be used as a preventative measure.

If you don’t think you have a current flea problem, then a regular, preventative adult flea treatment (some of these products also kill adult ticks too) could be enough to keep the fleas at bay.

There are Spot on products available that have a dual protection element. These often have “combo” or “plus” in the name. They’re offering a combination of ingredients which do two things:-

  • Kill adult fleas
  • Prevent eggs from hatching/affect larvae development.

The double ingredient formula upsets the life cycle of fleas, stopping the eggs hatching, preventing them from developing into fleas and taking up residence in your home. Their effectiveness ONLY happens when the flea bites the treated pet.

Our top Spot on flea products Advantage | Fipnil Plus  | Frontline Plus | Vectra 3D Vectra Felis | Effipro Duo

If fleas are present in your home, but not biting your treated pet straight away, they will be  happily laying eggs, which are not affected by the treatment, and therefore will develop along nicely. That’s where a household spray comes in.

Treat your home too

Around 95% of the flea population live in the home environment. So it’s a good idea to vacuum your home on a regular basis to reduce the chance of an infestation. However, vacuuming will only pick up eggs and flea dirt, missing the pupae, larvae and adult stages.

Household flea sprays kill adult fleas (and in some instances dust mites too) on contact – usually for up to two months after.

They’re great for an instant cull of live fleas in your home. They also affect/prevent the development of any eggs/larvae laying around too, again, for up to 12 months.

When used along with pet treatments, household sprays complete the tightest circle of flea treatments available.

Our top Household flea sprays Indorex Defence | StayKil | RIP Fleas Extra

If your home or pet continues to be pestered by fleas, talk to your vet for advice and best practice. If your pet seems to be overly scratching despite flea treatments, again, talk to your vets as an allergy may be present and require treatment.

To shop our full range of flea and tick treatments visit animeddirect.co.uk/pesky-parasites