As we head towards summer and the warmer weather, there may be things other than barbecues and the beach on your mind – yes, the invasion of the dreaded flea!
It’s every pet owners’ nightmare. The endless cycle of treating your pet and spraying every nook and cranny of your house to get rid of the persistent menace of the mite.
It’s a misery for your pet who can fall foul of the little beasties that cause scratching and irritation to cats, dogs and even rabbits. And it’s just as annoying for owners.
Fleas thrive in warm, humid environments, and feed on the blood of their hosts. They are incredibly nimble too and are able to jump 10,000 times in a row – the equivalent of three football pitches.
Fleas and worms
Telltale signs in your pet will be excessive scratching, licking or biting, flea dirt in their coat and possibly hair loss. Some animals may have severe reactions to just one flea bite.
There is a range of products on the market that can be used to treat your pet. It is always best to get veterinary advice as there may be other factors to take into account with your individual animal.
Don’t forget that to prevent a re-infestation, you need to treat your home, not just your pet! Pet bedding, carpets, and soft furnishings can all harbour the hundreds of eggs that flea lay in each cycle. You need to tackle all areas of your home with specialist products if you want to stop them coming back.
Worms are the other bane of the pet owner’s life. Because pets carrying worms can appear to be healthy, it is important to have a regular worming programme for your animal alongside any flea treatment.
As they say, prevention is better than cure!
Here are our five top tips for dealing with fleas
1. Cleanliness is next to… Limiting the flea invasion! Harder for cats we know, but a doggy bath every so often is recommended – and start at his head and work down. Fleas don’t jump upwards.
2. If you’re combing for fleas, some petroleum jelly on the comb can help fleas stick to the teeth.
3. Treat the source first. Treat your pet and then clean your home to prevent re-invasion.
4. Only treat your pet with recommended products. Something which is safe for dogs might be toxic to a cat.
5. Fleas can also carry and infect pets with tapeworm – so treating for worms at the same time helps to break the cycle.