Fleas on pets – putting your family at risk all year round
Fleas are often considered to be a seasonal nuisance that is annoying for your pet, and annoying for you when you get nipped by one at home. But can be a more serious problem than this, they are a year-long threat, can cause serious distress to your pet and spread disease.
Our centrally heated homes are the perfect year-round breeding ground for fleas who are attracted to the warm environment, so they aren’t just a spring and summer issue.
Flea eggs can lay dormant in pet beds, carpets, rugs and upholstery for months before finding a host. In fact, much of the life cycle of the flea takes place in the animal’s environment, not on the animal itself.
Protecting your pet and your family requires this life-cycle to be broken by year-round protection.
Ideally, this is achieved by using a treatment that renders the eggs unable to hatch, so any that do transfer to the environment don’t start the cycle all over again.
Why ad-hoc flea treatments just don’t work
By the time you notice fleas on your pet, they have already bitten their host, injected saliva into their bloodstream and started laying eggs. Even if you use a treatment that remains active for a month, it’s possible that some eggs and/or fleas will be lurking for longer than this period and will get to work once the treatment has worn off.
Reactive and one-off treatments are both insufficient in preventing the spread of disease AND do nothing to prevent the initial attack or to break the life cycle.
What are fleas?
Fleas are small wingless insects. They are parasites that live on their hosts. Fleas survive by consuming the blood of their hosts (your cats and dogs). Adult fleas are up to about 3 mm (0.12 in) long and usually brown. They have flattened body that allows movement through their host’s fur. Their mouths are designed for piercing skin and sucking blood and hind legs perfectly designed for jumping.
A word about flea pupae
This is the stage of the lifecycle equivalent to a chrysalis. Nothing kills these so regular control is important.
Castle Vets recommend…
Regular flea treatments with an integrated product which not only kills any fleas that attack your pet but also stops the development of eggs and therefore breaks the life-cycle. This approach will stop any initial infestation and protect your home, your pet and your family throughout the year.
Just discovered your pet has fleas?
- Treat your pet. You will need to treat them with a product that kills the fleas and preferably one that contains a growth regulator to prevent eggs from hatching. Call us and we can let you know which products these are.
- Treat your environment. The house (and car if you’ve transported your pet recently) will need to be treated with an insecticide spray. Indorex is the most effective mild insecticide for this and will kill and live fleas and stop eggs hatching. If your infestation is or becomes more severe, you will need to contact your local pest control agency who will have insecticides not generally available to the general public and will be able to come out and treat your house.
- Vacuum soft furnishings, bedding and carpets thoroughly. This really helps remove any fleas, eggs or larvae that might be lurking or have been transferred around the house by feet or general movement. Daily vacuuming for a week is recommended to remove pupae (see above).
- Wash anything such as pet beds, rugs, blankets and cushions. Fleas and eggs are unlikely to survive a once-round in the washing machine and it is another good way to make sure none have escaped treatment. (It’s still important to treat first to kill as many as possible this way as movement and transfer is likely to make any unwelcome visitors spread around your home).
A monthly application of product involves some organisation – remembering the date to treat, when they were last treated and making sure you have the product to hand.
To make this simpler (and cheaper!) for you, membership of our Castle Care Club ensures you have the product every month without fail. From the day you join you know when each month to treat, and can do so without having to order your treatment and wait for it to arrive which is time-consuming, liable to fail if only through the weight of our busy lives, and can be costly. It also ensures that you and your family are protected year round.
What’s more – it saves you money!
Buying products this way is much cheaper than buying them as a non-member, and you benefit from lots of other discounts throughout the year too. Vaccinations boosters are also included, so it really is the best way to ensure your pet – and your family – remains in excellent health.
Find out more about the Castle Care Club...
As well as providing many routine veterinary services, our healthcare club gives you discounts on a huge range of treatments that can help you save money on most of the vet care you need to give to your pets.