Easter is the time of the year for enjoying lots of chocolate eggs and Easter candy and the last thing you need to ruin all your fun is to be faced with a serious flea infestation.
It can be an absolute nightmare to any pet owners that experience this problem. Taking control can be expensive, difficult, time consuming and very frustrating. Each flea on a pet can lay hundreds of eggs making it very easy for the problem to spread out of control in no time at all.
Follow the advice below to take all precautions and avoid fleas being an issue as the warmer months approach.
1. Early preparation
The best way to prevent a flea infestation is to start treating fleas early in the season while flea numbers are low. Treatment for fleas should be a year round event, however if you are yet to begin a flea program then Spring is definitely the time to start as fleas thrive in the warmer weather. By acting early pet owners can prevent a severe flea infestation later in the summer months.
2. Treat fleas on your pet as soon as possible
A single flea is capable of laying hundreds of eggs whilst on your pet. These eggs hatch and can develop into adults in as little as 2 weeks in warm conditions, therefore in a relatively short time, flea numbers can build up to tremendous numbers. Don’t wait until your pet has fleas and allow the problem to increase before you take action, this will cause your pet to become extremely uncomfortable and might end up causing a complete flea infestation. Prevention is the key for beating fleas and is achieved by continual use of the recommended flea products even throughout the colder months of the year.
3. Don’t forget to treat fleas off your pet
Thousand of eggs are laid in the fur of your pet, then fall off into the carpet, into cracks and crevices around the house, in your pet’s bedding and wherever else the pet lays, sleeps or spends a lot of time. Flea eggs are not sticky so they will fall to the ground everywhere your pet travels. It is here they hatch and develop into larvae, pupae and eventually grow to adulthood. The adults then jump onto the closest animal and the flea lifecycle starts over. Take action by washing all your pet’s bedding and vacuuming the floors, taking more precaution to the areas your pet’s spend the most of their time.
4. Good products are essential
Many cheaper supermarket brands are nowhere near as effective as the vet products and will end up costing more in the long run. It is much more worthwhile to look at buying one of the following products for a better chance of beating your flea problem. For treatment on your pets try one of the better monthly ‘spot on’ type products such as Revolution, Advantage, Advocate (Advantage Multi), k9 Advantix or Frontline Plus. They are safe and easy to use and some have the added advantage of also treating the non-adult life stages, by stopping flea eggs from hatching or killing the flea larvae. Revolution and Advocate (Advantage Multi) also prevent another serious disease – heartworm.
If fleas are in very large numbers, I recommend a flea rinse called Permoxin for use in dogs which comes as a concentrate. After mixing with water, spray or rinse the dog daily for two weeks until the flea numbers are depleted and then weekly or twice weekly as required. The active ingredient in Permoxin is very toxic to cats, so it cannot be used on cats.
5. Check your pet
Another way to get on top of a flea problem before it gets out of control is to regularly check your pet for any sign of fleas. Frequently grooming your pet with a flea comb is a great way to be sure there is no fleas living on your pet and will also help you spot them if there are any. It’s a good idea to brush your pet outside just in case they do have fleas to avoid any eggs being brushed off and into the carpet or couches.
6. Treat all pets at the same time
It is very important to treat all animals in your house at the same time. Dogs and cats can give fleas to each other so treating each pet will avoid fleas going back and forth between pets. Even if some pets in the household don’t have fleas you should take all precautions and treat them anyway in order to avoid any chance of the problem resurfacing.
So don’t wait to start your flea program, now is the time to act before any fleas have the chance to pay you and your pet a visit.