Worried your pet has fleas? These tips on treatment can help bring you (and your pet) peace of mind.
Getting rid of fleas can be a frustrating and expensive process, and it can take several months to completely resolve a flea infestation. But don’t panic, there are several things you can do to speed up the process and get your pet and home flea-free again.
- Treat the affected pet. This is essential and will kill the adult fleas and prevent further contamination of the environment with eggs & larvae. 12 weeks of continuous treatment is needed to break the flea life cycle. Ask your vet about the most appropriate treatment for your pet; there are some products available which provide 12 weeks protection with a single dose.
- Treat all the other pets in the household. If any pets are left untreated, the flea life cycle will continue and it will very difficult to get on top of the problem. You may think that the other pets aren’t affected (cats in particular, are very good at hiding the signs of a flea infestation), but it is very important to treat ALL pets with a suitable product.
- Treat the home. Fleas have a complex life cycle, with 4 different stages (eggs, larvae, pupae and adults). Only 5% of this life cycle is spent as adult fleas on a pet, the other 95% is spent as eggs, larvae and pupae in the environment, including your home! Using a suitable home spray will help to eliminate eggs and larvae. But be aware that most environmental treatments have little affect on the flea ppae, as these are protected by their cocoons.
- Wash all your pet’s bedding. Washing bedding, blankets etc. will help to remove any flea eggs and larvae. Ideally, do a hot wash (60C) as this is more effective than cooler washes
- Vacuum regularly. Daily vacuuming in the early stages of treating a flea infestation can help to elimate the problem more quickly. The vibration caused by vacuuming triggers the fleas to emerge from their cocoons, and the fleas then end up in the vacuum bag rather than on your pet or you! You can also use some of the insecticidal environmental spray you’ve used in the house, in the vacuum bag, to ensure that the fleas will be killed.
- Continue to allow your pets access to all the usual places. It can be tempting to lock your pets out of certain rooms in your home when you know they have fleas. But doing this can actually slow down the process. If you continue to allow access to all the usual places, their presence triggers the fleas to emerge, and they will be then be killed as soon as they jump onto the treated pet.
It’s safe to say that prevention is definitely better than cure. Speak to your vet about the most appropriate parasite prevention protocol for your pets.