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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLEA

  Sep 11, 2020

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLEA


  • Fleas are more active in the warmer months, however, due to home heating throughout winter and in warmer parts of Australia, fleas can now be a problem all year round.
  • Fleas can cause significant issues for both you and your pets: bites from fleas irritate your pet, resulting in your pet constantly scratching and biting at the fleas; fleas can also bite members of the household causing irritation and sometimes, severe skin reactions. Cats and dogs can develop on-going allergies to flea bites, known as flea-allergy dermatitis (FAD), one of the causes of the dreaded annual “summer itch” experienced by a huge number of pets especially in spring and summer – usually requiring a visit to the vet for treatment. Heavy flea infestations can cause other serious problems including anaemia in young or sick dogs.

  • It is important to understand the flea life-cycle, so you can plan a successful flea strategy based on the lifestyle of you and your pet.
  • An excellent flea control programme should involve the use of both a flea adulticide ingredient to kill the fleas currently living on your pet AND an insect growth regulator (IGR) ingredient which will kill other stages of the flea, such as the eggs and larvae which are present in your pet’s environment  (pet bedding, carpets, floor boards cracks  lounges, family beds, cars, grass, garden)
  • Using both an adulticide ingredient AND an IGR ingredient provides an excellent Integrated flea control strategy


flea life cycle

As you can see from the above diagram 95% of the flea population actually exists in your pet’s environment (as eggs, larvae and pupae). If you’re treating your pet for fleas but not your pet’s surroundings, young fleas will keep hatching and attacking your pet!

DID YOU KNOW…..

The pupal stage last for a week to ten days under normal conditions of temperature and humidity.

However, a fully developed adult flea, inside the pupa, will not emerge until conditions are right. It can survive, in a type of stasis, for up to several months! If the temperature drops, or if the house is vacant, they will not emerge. Then, when they sense vibrations, shadows or other stimuli, they emerge in large numbers desperate for a blood feed and will attack both your pets and members of the household! At this stage, despite daily vacuuming, bathing/spraying the pets, and spraying the rugs, new fleas constantly emerge from the environment to restart the cycle!

This explains why a flea infestation can develop suddenly when you move to a new house or during the first warm spell in spring, even though you have seen no or few fleas on your pet during the preceding days-weeks.

DON’T FORGET:

  • Your flea control strategy must include an Adulticide and an IGR (insect growth regulator) ingredient to kill all stages of the flea.
  • All pets in the household should be treated for fleas at the same time.
  • Flea-control should continue all year round
  • Some products for dogs are toxic to cats, so always read the label carefully and do not store pet products out of their original box!
  • Beware of visiting pets that may bring fleas into your home or your pets picking up fleas when they are visiting other homes/ kennels!
  • 95% of the flea population actually exists in your pet’s environment, so you must manage the environment too!  Daily or bi-weekly vacuuming of the carpets/ floorboards and washing your pet’s bedding will physically remove many of the non-adult fleas. Flea bombs or foggers contain insecticides and IGR’s (insect growth regulators) that control the eggs, larvae and pupae for up to 12 months. Outside, a yard spray can be applied around kennels, under trees, stairs or other favourite places that your pet lays, sleeps or spends a lot of time.
  • It is also important to note that fleas, like all pests, may develop resistance to a product you have been using for several years. You may notice that the product no longer seems to be as effective as it used to be. If you suspect resistance issues, ask our friendly staff for advice in choosing an alternative product to suit your needs.

We can help you choose the flea products which will best suit you, your pets and their lifestyle and provide an Integrated flea control strategy that will ensure every stage of the flea life-cycle is targeted - from eggs to larvae to pupae and to adult fleas.

We stock a wide range of fleaproducts including flea shampoos and powders, flea collars, sprays, topical spot-ons, oral tablets and products providing protection against a combination of internal and external parasites.

You can ask our friendly staff in store for more information on how to stop those fleas biting!


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