Fleas are a significant problem in dogs and cats in Sydney, particularly in spring, summer and autumn. In order to understand the need to treat your pet for fleas year round, you need to firstly understand the flea life cycle.
Flea Life Cycle
- The adult fleas you see on your pet represent only 10% of the entire flea population in your home. The remaining 90% of the population exist as flea eggs, larvae and pupae in your home environment.
- Fleas breed very rapidly in summer, completing the life cycle in less than 21 days; therefore a small number of fleas can become many thousands very quickly.
- Flea pupae can survive for up to a year in your home environment and are very difficult to kill.
- Fleas breed all year round in Sydney but prefer heat, humidity and vibration. This explains the sudden “hatching” of fleas as the weather starts to warm up.
How do I know if my pet has a flea problem?
- Your pet will start to scratch
- You can see the adult fleas or flea dirt on your pet
How do I control fleas?
- ALL pets in the home must be treated
- The best treatment involves treating your pets either orally or topically every month of the year, including winter
- It is best not to wait until fleas are seen on your pet before commencing treatment
- A combination of treating your pet and treating your home environment (with a “flea bomb” or similar) produces the best results
- Vacuum carpets and rugs regularly
- Clean your pets bedding in HOT water
- Clean the car regularly if the dog travels in the car
- Do not apply flea control products to your pet’s skin 48 hours before or after bathing
Which Flea Control Products should I use?
- There are numerous products available which are both safe and very effective at controlling fleas
- The most effective products are used once a month, either as a spot-on or orally as a chewable tablet.
- Talk to the vet or vet nurse at 4 Paws Vet in order to decide on the best product to suit your needs.
What can happen if I don’t deal with the flea problem on my pet?
- Your pet will intensely itch most of the time
- This intense itching can lead to severe skin infections
- Those pets susceptible to allergies will often get Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD)
- Heavy flea burdens can cause anaemia and cause your pet to become very sick
- Your home and furnishings will also become infested with fleas
Please check with your vet that the product you use on your cat is safe and registered to use in cats. Do not apply dog products to your cat.