It’s strange how something that is practically invisible to the naked eye can be such a cause of irritation for pets, but fleas can make homes on our cats and dogs if the correct measures are not taken to protect them from the parasites. A study by Bayer Animal Health found that one in five pet owners have found fleas in their carpets and seven percent of pet owners have found the microscopic parasites on their clothes.
Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, which can amount to over a billion fleas hatching over the course of two months. However, by taking appropriate preventative measures, the risk of fleas can be minimised. This article will look at how best to keep your home flea-free at all times.
- Make sure to vacuum your home thoroughly on a regular basis, particular behind and below curtains, near the edges of furniture and pet beds or anywhere that your pets may sleep. Vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs, so vacuuming daily in areas that are used a lot and weekly in other areas can help greatly reduce the possibility of fleas.
- Invest in a specialised flea-exterminating product to get rid of any remaining fleas. These products will kill adult fleas and also prevent larvae and eggs from hatching and developing.
- Wash all pet bedding weekly.
- Perhaps the most commons method for treating and preventing fleas on your pet are the flea collar, or flea shampoos, powders and tablets.
- By using the shampoo thoroughly, you can ensure that the fleas on your pet are killed. It is important that the usage is thorough, as the fleas are only exterminated when they come into contact with the shampoo or powder itself.
- These products are very effective when used properly and consistently – it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the infestation.
- Inspect your pet thoroughly after walks or outdoor play sessions, and apply any of the aforementioned products if necessary.
If you discover fleas
- Wash all pet bedding at 60C, and wash your own bedding if your pet often sleeps or lies on it.
- Let your newly treated pet roam around the home – this essentially works as a way to spread the flea shampoo or exterminator throughout your house, which will kill newly hatched fleas.
- Use a flea killing spray that contains adulticide and insect growth regulator – this will reduce the number of eggs that hatch and develop, meaning you can eliminate the infestation quicker.
Flea infestations are more common around the warmer months, so by taking these steps listed above, you can greatly reduce the chance of fleas setting up shop on your pets and in your home.