Fleas can invade your home without warning. Even the most sanitary of homes and the cleanest pets can be affected by these pesky parasites. They reproduce so quickly that an infestation can develop without detection and thrive if ignored. Untreated fleas can cause a great deal of discomfort to all inhabitants of an infected house, whether they are on two legs or four! Fleas feed off blood from their hosts and their bites can become very itchy and irritated, leaving brash saliva on the skin, which can cause the skin to become hypersensitive and suffer allergic reaction as a consequence. This condition is known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) and is surprisingly common in the UK.
Similarly, Ticks are very small parasites that feed on the blood of their host. They are a lesser known parasite, but are just as serious and common as fleas. They walk onto blades of grass or plants and wait for a host to pass to attach themselves to using special hooks on their legs. Once attached, they can transmit a variety of pathogens into the bloodstream of the host. Many of these diseases, such as Lyme’s Disease, can be contracted by humans. Ticks can, therefore, potentially very dangerous.
Frontline Spot-On provides a simple and effective solution to unwanted fleas and ticks. Unlike some other brands, Frontline treats both fleas and ticks by affecting their nervous systems. The active ingredient, Fipronil, is a topical insecticide, which kills fleas and ticks on contact and doesn't require the parasite to bite the animal or ingest blood. Parasites are poisoned by the Fipronil immediately upon contact with the treated pet, which causes paralysis and death within 48 hours. These effects can last up to five weeks after treatment. For the best results, Frontline should be used as a preventative after four weeks; however it can also help to bring existing infestations under control if your animal has not been regularly treated for fleas and ticks.
If it has been four weeks or more since your last treatment with a flea and tick solution, ticks should first be teased out with a specified tick-removal tool, such as the O’ Tom Tic Twister, being very careful not to squeeze or leave the mouth part in your pet’s skin (if you are unsure about this, a visit to your vet should leave your pet tick free). Upon successful tick removal, Frontline should then be applied to prevent further ticks from attaching and exposing your pet to risks.
As soon as you suspect that fleas have made their way into your home and onto your pet, it is important to act swiftly. Frontline should be applied to the affected pet and to all of the animals in the home. This will destroy all adult fleas that come into contact with your pets, preventing them from biting and reproducing. In the case of an infestation, eggs and larvae will also be present in the environment. You must also treat these with a household flea spray, such as Indorex or Skoosh. Regular vacuuming will also destroy any eggs, larvae and pupae that are present in the fibres and small crevices of the environment.
You will need to ensure you buy the right size for the weight of your dog or cat. The packaging is very clear so weigh your pet and look for the box which has the weight within its range. Frontline is very easy to use: snap open the pipette at the top of the neck whilst holding it upright; hold apart the hair on your pets back, between the shoulder blades; tip the pipette onto the skin, ensuring all of the contents are on the skin and not the hair; repeat the process every four weeks.
If you would like to find more information on the dangers and preventative strategies for fleas and ticks, visit our Pet Flea File here.