Cats Pet

Published on August 23rd, 2012 | by Debbie Martin


Protect Your Pets & Family from Flea Infestation

Fleas can cause a number of problems in the home and the rather wet and humid summer we have been experiencing can cause numbers to rise dramatically. Yet it would appear that there are still a lot of pet owners who don’t know where to check for fleas and ticks and that even more fail to treat their pets on a regular basis as recommended. These nasty pests can transfer parasitic worms and diseases so it is important to protect your animals and your family from them with good flea treatment products.

To check your pets for fleas you can get your animals to sit or lay on a white sheet or piece of paper and then rub their fur vigorously paying particular attention to the lower back and the tail areas (common flea zones), you could also use a flea comb for this. You may not actually see any fleas while you are doing this, but if you see just one you can be sure that there will be many more and don’t take finding a dead flea as being a sign that they are gone.

If you see quite a lot of black debris on the white sheet or paper then this may be flea dirt, which is the fecal debris left behind by fleas feeding and this consists of mainly dry blood. On closer examination it should have a reddish-black appearance and to confirm your suspicions place some of the debris onto a damp paper towel, if it turns into a reddish brown stain on the towel you can be certain your pet has fleas and will need treatment.

Fighting Fleas in the Home

Cats and dogs can really make a house a home and in the UK many of our pets are kept indoors in an artificial environment that makes it possible for the fleas to breed all year round and not just through the summer months as in a normal environment.  Many people consider their pets as part of their families and lavish lots of money and attention on them so it is important that part of this budget should be used for good quality pet flea treatments.

When it comes down to it, with fighting fleas, prevention is better than cure, however if fleas are detected then the swifter the action taken the less likely the infestation will become a major problem. Fortunately for us these days, even a major infestation can be dealt with.

There are a few good pointers that have arisen in some correspondence from Merial one of the manufacturers of Spot On Flea Treatments recently that it is worth emphasising here:-

  • After the Spot On product has been applied keep your pet dry for 48 hours, bathing may reduce the efficacy of the product.
  • These types of product re not repellents, so they won’t stop fleas from jumping onto pets from the environment (indoor or outdoor), however if the pet has been treated the flea will be killed within 24 hours.
  • For the product to work effectively as a preventative to flea infestation these products must be used throughout the year, even over winter.
  • Once an infestation has become established in the home environment, it will take several treatments (sometimes 3-4) of all animals in the household every 4 weeks, alongside
    environmental control before the infestation starts to be eradicated.

Many people who discover fleas on their pets assume that treating the animal will solve the problem, but it isn’t and once your pet has been treated you need to thoroughly clean and treat your home. Hoovering all of your carpets and furniture around the home is important, especially if your animals sleep or climb on sofas and beds as this will pick up eggs and larvae. Make sure you thoroughly clean the main sleeping area of your pet, again hovering all of the bedding and then washing all of the bedding in a washing machine as no stages of the flea will survive this. Make sure that you empty your hoover or dispose of the bag outside immediately after you have cleaned through.

Once you have cleaned and your pet has been treated and you are happy the infestation is clear, don’t forget to treat your pets on a regular basis even throughout the winter, if you are not sure what to use then consult your vet or speak to one of the guys in our pharmacy. We have a great range of products available for both flea treatment and flea prevention for both your pets and your home so don’t let your animals or your family suffer the dangers these critters can cause.

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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.

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