Tips for controlling fleas

A few summers ago it was pretty wet and we saw an explosion in the flea population in Canberra. So here are some simple common sense tips for getting the most out of your flea control products. NB There are lots of flea control products on the market.

  • Fleas love humid conditions even more than they love warm weather. A centrally heated home in the middle of winter is the perfect environment for fleas. This means flea control needs to be continued over the winter months.
  • Fleas only spend a short time on your pet to feed then jump off to lay their eggs and one flea can lay 5000 eggs over 100 days. So although you can’t see any fleas it doesn’t mean that they are not there. Flea droppings (otherwise known as flea dirt) gets trapped in your pets coat and this is the best way to spot a flea infestation. A flea comb helps.
  • Not all animals scratch with fleas. Some don’t seem to mind at all, whereas some animals are very allergic to the flea’s saliva left behind after a flea bites. They will scratch for 2 weeks after a single bite. These pets usually require medication to control severe itchiness.
  • Flea eggs, larvae and pupae stages can lie dormant for up to 200 days. Humid condition and ground vibrations can stimulate them to hatch. This means that all dogs and cats in a household need to be treated for at least 1-2 years to eliminate fleas from a household. Flea bombing a house may speed up this process but fleas can still be in outside areas and reinfest the house, so treating the fleas food source (i.e. your pets) stands the best chance of eliminating the problem.

New Monthly Flea Tablet for Dogs

Comfortis® (spinosad) is now available at Tuggeranong Vet Hospital. It starts killing fleas before they lay eggs and provides a full month of flea protection. The tablet is flavoured and administered orally and very effective.

Australian Cattle dog