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Owner's guide to flea control

Risk factors for flea infestations

-          Fleas often like dark, warm moist areas and can usually be found in the places your animal frequents most, both outdoor and indoor.  They also favour sandy environments and areas high in organic matter, such as grass cuttings and leaves.  Reduce the risk posed by such areas by raking up the debris.  

-         Pet’s that come in contact with other animals are likely to pick up fleas from them.  If you treat one dog for fleas, it is best to also treat other pets to reduce the spread.  

-         Peak flea infestation period is from end of April to end of November, peaking in autumn period.  During this period would be the best time to treat the surrounding environment, especially your home against fleas.

How to detect a flea infestation

The easiest way to tell if your pet has fleas is by performing the white paper test. Simply comb the animal over a sheet of plain white paper, then mix a few drops of water with the debris that collects on the paper. If the debris is flea dirt the water will turn a dark reddish-brown as mixing occurs – this is due to the blood present in the faeces.

Hair loss, scabbing and increased itching, along with biting and red inflamed lumps are amongst the other common signs of a flea infestation.

What to do if your pet has fleas

Treat the pet

There are many excellent flea control treatments available.  Frontline Spot-on is an excellent option for simple, monthly protection and removal of fleas and ticks on your pet. There is also a wide range of prescription-only flea treatments available. However the choice is entirely up to you and depends on what other parasite control you need. 

Treat the environment

The surrounding environment is often overlooked when trying to control flea populations. To rid your pets of an infestation it is essential that you completely eradicate the fleas in your home.  The following list advices on what action to take and product to use.

-         Use a household flea spray, such as Indorex or Skoosh, to prevent the development of eggs.

-         Wash all soft bedding used by the animal and any removable covers the pet has had contact with.

-         Vacuum the house thoroughly, paying attention to the areas the pet spends most of it’s time.

-         Dispose of vacuum bags regularly as it can lead to a build up of immature fleas in the bag.  

-         Spray some of the household flea spay into the new vacuum bag, as an extra preventative method.