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Fleas & Their Lifecycle

Being a dog owner it’s inevitable that at some point you canine friend will have fleas. It’s not a sign of having a dirty home or poor hygiene both in your home and your dog, but it’s incredibly common for the healthiest dogs to catch fleas.

Even if you’ve done everything to prevent fleas, they still manage to find their way on to your dog and in to your home. All it takes is 1 to find its way on to your pet, perhaps from another dog, and you have the beginnings of an infestation.

Human transportation can happen too. It’s not just animals that carry fleas but they can travel from human to human, home to home without you even realising. Fleas & also ticks can be found in hiking areas, or areas with long grass, and you’d be surprised just how easy it is for them to hitch a ride on your trousers in search of their next meal.

Here are some common questions on fleas:

What are fleas?

Fleas are a parasite with 6 legsthat feed on blood of their host. They’re unbelievable jumpers, in fact if you find you have a flea infestation, it’s not difficult to see them jump if you look closely enough. There are many species of fleas but the most common one is those found in cats & dogs. The thrive in warm conditions and a single flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day! It doesn’t take long for fleas to spread.

How dangerous are fleas to pets?

Fleas are generally more of a nuisance than a major threat but if left untreated for a large period of time, your pet can develop FAD which is dermatitis caused by flea allergies. The bites of a flea are rarely felt but the resulting irritation can cause issues in both pets and humans.

How do I treat fleas?

The saying “prevention is better than cure” is easily said but the truth is fleas are savvy creatures. They’ll find their way to a host to survive and no matter how well you care for your pet, if they spend any time outside they always have the potential to catch fleas. However, with the right precautions and flea control program from your vet, you can reduce the risks of catching fleas. Your vet can recommend a yearly flea plan, usually made up of bi-yearly flea treatment. 

How do I rid my home of fleas?

Your vacuum cleaner will be your best friend here. If you suspect you have fleas in your home, the first thing you should do is have your pet checked and treated otherwise ridding your home of them will be difficult. Assuming your pet isnow flea free, you should wash all bedding and any textiles that yor pet has come into contact with. Next give your house a thorough vacuum, paying particular attention to gaps in the skirting boards (a common spot for flea larvae) and make sure to discard into a plastic bag otherwise the fleas can get out and re-infest.

Ask your vet for a recommended flea spray and spray all the nooks and crannies where flea larvae can hide. Again, the skirting boards are a good place to start as fleas like cool humid places. 

How does the flea life circle work?

The flea lifecycle is important to know when tackling an infestation. The below infographic from Doggypages.co.uk shows exactly what happens in a typical flea life cycle.

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