Flea Control & Treatment

Did you know?
•  Fleas have been around for over 100 million years
•  Some fleas can jump more than 150 times their own body    length – a distance of about 33cm – the same as you jumping    over a sky-scraper
•  The female flea can lay 2000 eggs in her lifetime – that’s about 30-40 eggs every day
•  The female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily – the same as you eating the equivalent of a whole cow every day
•  Adult fleas can bite your pet up to 400 times a day
•  A flea can hatch from its cocoon, jump onto your passing pet (or you) and start feeding in as little as 7 seconds

If you see a single flea on your pet – your pet has a flea problem! The flea population is typically made up of 50% eggs, 30% larvae, 15% pupae and only 5% biting adult fleas. So even one flea can represent a small infestation.

Fleas are laid loosely in the fur of your pet and drop out where the animal rests, sleeps or nests (such as in carpets, rugs, furniture, beds, kennels). The eggs hatch in 2-14 days into larvae. The larvae feed on dried adult flea faeces (which consist of dried blood sucked from your pet or yourself!), dead skin, hair feathers and other organic debris. The larvae pass through three stages before pupating within a cocoon.

The adult flea is able to hatch after about 5-14 days, or can stay resting in the cocoon until it detects vibration (pet and/or people movement), pressure (pet or person sitting/lying on them), heat, noise or carbon dioxide (from your breath) which stimulates the flea to hatch. This is why sometimes if you go away on holiday and come back into the house there is a plague of fleas as they all hatch as you re-enter the house! (in just 30 days, 10 female fleas under ideal conditions can multiply to over a ¼ million in different stages of the lifecycle).

Adult fleas cannot survive or lay eggs without a meal of blood, but may hibernate from two months to one year without feeding, before they emerge from their cocoons. Once they have hatched, they must feed within a week.  An adult flea’s primary goal is a blood meal and to reproduce.

Fleas are a nuisance, causing skin itching and irritation leading to scratching and biting of your pet to try to resolve the itch, however some pets are allergic to flea saliva which results in severe skin irritation and rashes on your pet.

Dogs and cats can also get tapeworms by swallowing a flea infected with a tapeworm larvae. A dog or cat may swallow a flea while self-grooming. Once the flea is digested inside the dog or cat, the larval tapeworm is free to develop into an adult tapeworm. By controlling the flea population you can help prevent your pet from getting tapeworm. 

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Ask at your local VetEnt clinic which flea product they recommend.

Always use a veterinary grade product to ensure not only are the adult fleas being killed but you can also treat the environment by killing the flea eggs in your home.

More is NOT better when it comes to treating fleas, by using the correct product on your pet, the risks of overdosing will be eliminated.

The best protocol if your pet has fleas is – treat all pets at the house, vacuum all areas well, especially where the pets spend most of their time, and wash their bedding in a hot wash weekly for 4 weeks.  Your flea problem will soon a thing of the past. 

Click here to downlaod a printable version of this factsheet.

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