Although we have discussed flea problems before we thought that it was worthwhile discussing this frustrating problem as it is still one of the more frequently encountered problems we see.

It is important to understand the flea life cycle includes eggs, larvae, pupae and adult stages. Only 5% of the total life forms exist as adults. 95% of flea stages live off the pet and in the environment. Fleas are obligate and permanent parasites of dogs and cats. Fleas can breed all year round with the female laying up to 2000 eggs over a lifetime starting  just 24 hours after starting to feed.

Despite your very best efforts to control fleas on your pets, the main problem leading to uncontrolled flea infestations is usually exposure to contaminated areas or “flea nests” in the environment. These outbreaks can occur weeks to months after prevention has been initiated as the pre-emerged adult flea can remain dormant for long periods of time (up to 184 days). Also, contact with another pet that is not on any flea prevention can cause continued outbreaks. This is why all pets in the household need to be protected against fleas.

A flea control program must target both fleas on the pet as well as immature stages in the environment. There are a variety of products available but not all will target both adult and immature stages. Speak to us for advice about which product will be most suited to your particular situation. It may also be necessary to call in a professional pest controller to help exterminate the environmental component of the infestation.

The most common cause of control breakdown is incorrect use of flea products.  These products require consistent and ongoing use. The correct dosage interval needs to be adhered to, extended intervals of even a few days may be sufficient for adult fleas to emerge and start breeding.  The correct amount of the product needs to be used. You need to know how much your pet weighs. Correct application is essential. For topically applied products also be sure to follow guidelines for bathing and swimming as per the product insert.

If you are experiencing problems then please call us to discuss. Controlling fleas can be a very complex, frustrating problem which may require an ongoing concerted team effort to resolve.