First, let’s look at some facts about fleas!
Fact 1: Fleas have been around for 100 million years, and they have been found as fossils dating back to the dinosaur period!
Fact 2: Fleas can live without a blood meal for 100 days
Fact 3: Female fleas consume 15 X their body weight in blood daily
Fact 4: After a meal, eggs are laid within 36 hours
Fact 5: One female flea can lay 2000 eggs in her lifetime (usually 2-3 months)
Fact 6: Fleas can jump 200 X their own body length – that’s equivalent to a human jumping more than 300 meters – see how here
- Understand the different stages of the flea life cycle
- Select products to target the different stages of the life cycle
- If adult fleas are present, use a fast acting knockdown product, such as Capstar or a Flea Shampoo
- Treat all household pets
- Wash and sun dry all bedding, rugs and toys
- Vacuum the house daily
- Spray or treat the rest of the yard and/or kennel with suitable flea control product
- Use a suitable topical or systemic monthly flea control product on your pet every month
- Read and follow instructions, do not miss doses
- Be careful when selecting product for use with or around cats
Now that summer is well and truly with us, bringing with it an increase in fleas. Fleas are the most common pest that bother our pets, and drive us pet owners CRAZY!!!! – So we’d all love to have the magic flea-free bullet, wouldn’t we??
Controlling and eradicating fleas requires persistence and vigilance! Even when you think the fleas are under control, they are actually there in secret spots, breeding away! Only 5% of the flea population is actually visible, with 95% still in egg, larvae and pupae stages. To combat these critters you need to break the life-cycle and treat your pet as well as your pet’s surroundings and environment.
Step 1: Kill the fleas on your pet’s coat. A good flea shampoo will kill and remove the fleas, eggs and larva and pupa that are on the animal. Capstar tablets are another option as they are a fast acting flea killer. But these options are only effective as an immediate flea treatment and will not prevent the fleas from reinfesting your pet.
Step 2: The most successful and necessary treatment method is to use a monthly treatment option that works on breaking the life cycle of fleas. Products like Frontline, Advantage, Advantix, Frontline Plus or Revolution are applied to the skin, or systemic treatment options in the form of tablets like Comfortis, Sentinel or Program. You should use these products on a long term and permanent basis, even once you stop seeing fleas on your pet. This will help with further flea infestations, and help keep your home flea-free.
Step 3: It is important to also wash any bedding used by your pets in hot water and allow to dry in direct sunlight. Vacuum daily if your pet is inside, paying particular attention to the areas where you pet sleeps. There are also products around that can be sprayed directly on bedding and carpet to kill and control fleas.
You can also use a flea bomb in your house, but take care when using them that there are no other animals in the house, for example, fish when you use a flea bomb, and if there are cats around, make sure it’s safe for cats too.