Fleas are small brown insects that jump from pet to pet (or human). The most common flea is the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis, which is not fussy about where it gets its blood meal from.
Unfortunately with more homes having central heating, fleas can be found all year round.
When a flea jumps on a dog, it bites into the skin and releases some saliva to stop the blood from clotting. This enables the flea to feed freely. Unfortunately it is the saliva which can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs, prompting them to itch and scratch.
Once the flea has started feeding it will mate and within 24 to 48 hours will lay eggs. A female flea can lay up to 30 eggs a day, all of which fall from the dog onto the floor. Within 4 to 12 days they hatch into larvae and once have matured will spin its cocoon and become pupae. Once the adult flea emerges it is ready to start the cycle again. An adult flea can produce over 2,000 eggs in its lifetime.
Adult fleas only account for 5% of the entire population that are present in the house. The remaining 95% of the population is found in the environment, as eggs, larvae and pupae.
Treating a flea infestation in your dog
There are three important parts to successfully treating an infestation:
- Kill adult fleas on the dog.
- Kill the life stages present in the environment.
- Prevent re-infestation of the dog and the environment.
We can provide you with a tailored programme to ensure that you achieve optimal flea control, both on your pet and in your home.