Fleas love warmer weather…and your pet.
Rather unhelpfully, the warm weather brings yet another unexpected challenge and one that will make plenty of pet owners shudder: fleas are well and truly thriving.
What are fleas?
Fleas are one of those pests that pet parents don’t even want to think about. However, it is important to know about these pesky creatures and how to avoid an infestation of your pet, and potentially your home. Fleas are tiny, dark brown parasitic insects that infest the coat and skin of pets. They can jump up to 150 times their own length, making the transfer of fleas between your pets difficult to prevent. Their remarkable jumping skills also allow them to transit easily from surrounding environments to your pet.
Common symptoms your pet might have a flea allergy include:
Biting at skin
Small red or pink bumps on the skin
1. Understand the flea life cycle
The first step is understanding the enemy. Fleas go through four life cycle stages:
- Eggs – Eggs hatch in just 2-3 days and easily drop off pets into the home environment.
- Larvae – Once hatched from eggs, larvae create cocoons.
- Pupae – Live from 5-10 days to 6 months in a cocoon.
- Adults – Adults emerge and live on a host up to 2 months.
The adult fleas live on animals like your dog, where they lay their eggs. These eggs spread throughout your home and yard every time your dog scratches, shakes, or lies down. They then hatch into larvae—preferably for the fleas in the comfort of your carpet, sofa, or bed. The larvae form cocoons during the pupa stage, where they hatch and become adults that infest their animal hosts.
2. Prevention and Treatment
Killing the fleas on your dog is just one part of the problem. You also need to determine how to get rid of a flea infestation. This requires patience. In most cases, it takes 3-4 months to get rid of an infestation, as it takes this long for all of the fleas in your home to go through their life stages. Here are the 6 steps you need to take to eradicate fleas in your home:
Tips for removing & preventing fleas
- Regularly treat all pets in the household with a preventative flea treatment throughout the year.
- Check your pet’s coat for fleas or flea droppings – brown or black spots.
- Wash all pet bedding in hot, soapy water
- Clean furniture to help destroy fleas at each stage of their life cycle.
- Vigorously vacuum carpets, floorboards and skirting boards.
3. Talk to your Fur Life Vet
Remember, it’s not your fault if your dog has fleas, but you’ll want to act fast to make those fleas flee. An itchy dog is a grouchy dog, and that isn’t fun for anyone. Ask your Fur Life Vet about the best and safest treatment option for you and your dog and your environment.
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