The Itch-Hiking Guide to the Galax-Flea
Posted on November 02 2020
The Flea Lifecycle
Firstly it’s best to understand the flea life cycle to better understand how we can keep these rascals off of our pets and out of our lives.
Your pet only needs one flea for it for it to then lay up to 50 eggs a day in an ideal environment. The eggs laid onto your companion animal will then shed throughout your house resulting in larvae and pupae spreading anywhere and anywhere they can. As the flea larvae emerge from the eggs they will then moves into the dark spots of your house, like down the side of the couch or in the corner spaces of the carpet where they start to feed on blood rich feaces, animal waster and matter.
The final larval stage is the pupae which are like a cocoon in nature. The pupae can easily survive for 6 months to a year, developing into the adult flea when the humidity, heat, or vibration is an optimal condition. Such conditions such as summer or spring they then develop in 8 - 12 days. It's important to note the adult flea only makes 5% of the fleas in the home while the eggs, larvae and pupae make up the other 95%. If that wasn’t enough make you puke in your mouth then know ten adult fleas can grow to a population of 250,000 in just 30 days
Minimising Ankle Biting this Summer
1) Treat Your Pets - Get a vet recommended product and make sure your pets are regularly treated. Even if you suspect your cat and dog to be fine because you don’t notice them scratching, it only takes one flea to ruin your summer holidays
2) Take extra caution - When washing and grooming your dog invest in a good quality flea shampoo or rinse. Give your dog a good once over with a flea comb. If your pup becomes a flea salt shaker dropping eggs as it moves around the house, flea combs and washes can help minimise this.
3) Vacuum - Not only does Vacuuming get rid of the eggs and pupae living between skirting board and in the dark hard to reach places of the carpet, regular vacuuming can help minimise the dander, dust or organic matter that the larvae like to feed on.
4) Fight Infestation - Remember that only 5% of fleas actually live on your dog. Invest in a flogger or flea bomb to treat the whole house targeting spots that your pup spends most time in. Sprays can be used to treat your car and regularly wash bedding with hot water to kill eggs, pupa and larvae.
5) Treat Fleas - Invest in a flea treatment that works for you, some are monthly while others work for up to three months, and keep a note on your calendar. Don’t stop treating your pets during winter because it doesn’t seem like a problem anymore. Remember the flea life cycle and stick to your flea treatment re-application time.
Types of Treatments - Oral
Oral treatments are so easy to use and are usually super effective, they work by being absorbed into your pets blood stream and kill the flea during their blood meal.
Nexguard - The active ingredient in NexGard is afoxolaner, which absorbs rapidly into your dog's bloodstream and over-stimulates the central nervous system of fleas and ticks, causing 100% of fleas to die within 24 hours. Also treats worms. Treatments every Month.
Bravecto - The active ingredient in Bravecto is fluralaner, an ectoparasiticide belonging to the isoxazoline group, and works against fleas and ticks.
Types of Treatments - Spot on & Pipettes
A pipette is squeezed onto the skin on the back of your dog or cats neck. This then spreads over your pet, remaining in the oily layer of the skin, where it is effective against fleas.
Advantage - Advantage contains an active ingredient, imidacloprid, that works fast and is able to kill fleas on contact, as it is not absorbed into the bloodstream. It also kills flea larvae in the home.
Advocate - Advocate, a patented combination of Imidacloprid and Moxidectinm. The same as Advantage but with added worm treatment.
Revolution - Controls whole infestations by killing adult fleas, eggs, and larvae in the environment. Treats Flea allergy dermatitis, mites, hook and round worms.
Sprays are applied to your pet's hair when damp to thoroughly wet, completely covering to skin level. Massage the coat all over to make sure the spray gets right down to the skin.
Frontline Spray - Apply Frontline Spray once every 30 days to control existing flea and tick infestations. The spray remains effective even after bathing, water immersion or exposure to sunlight. The Active ingredient is Fipronil which kills insects when they eat it or come in contact with it.
While some say the flea collar is a bit of an outdated technology, they are a convenient and way to control fleas and ticks on your cat or dog.
Seresto - Prevents both flea and tick infestations via simple contact with your cat or dog’s skin. The Seresto collar remains effective for eight months. It kills parasites without them needing to bite your pet. It works by releasing its active ingredients in controlled, low doses via the innovative polymer matrix of the collar. Active Ingredients are imidacloprid and flumethrin. Flumethrin repels fleas while imidacloprid kills them by way of disctrupting nerve cell function.