By the time you realise you have a problem it's usually too late!
Most times this means $$, toxic chemicals and endless cleaning and who has the time?
Can you imagine spring and summer without the hassle?
The good news is - it is possible to enjoy the warm weather without fleas with a bit of preparation. Here's a few of our tips to help you along the way.
Did you know?
Just one female flea can lay approx. 40-50 eggs per day!
Firstly, fleas need a host aka your pets.
Once a flea has emerged from the cocoon, it will need to begin feeding from a host within a few hours. They are attracted by body heat, movement and exhaled carbon dioxide. Female fleas are not able to lay eggs until they obtain a blood meal.
If you can never seem to get through a season without fleas, we suggest a good bath and grooming and a flea treatment plan for the first few months. Starting in August gives you a good head start and will increase your chances of success.
Remember FLEAS are parasites that have evolved over their existence to become resistant to many of the chemical treatments available and whilst we'd all love to do away with these methods - reducing their use in the first instance is a good place to start.
2. YOUR HOME & YARD
These days our pets are as much our family members then ever before and welcomed inside the home.
When fleas are found on your pet, then you can guarantee they're in your home and yard. Think of your pet like one big salt and pepper shaker and fleas and the eggs - the salt and pepper.
The good news is you don't need to reach for the chemicals just yet or call in the pest control experts.
WHEN PLANNING YOUR ATTACK ITS ESSENTIAL TO UNDERSTAND
THE LIFE CYCLE OF FLEAS
The are 4 stages in the flea lifecycle EGG - LARVAE - PUPAE - ADULT
Various modern treatments and prevention products work on different parts of this life cycle
Only 5-10% of any flea infestation is found on your pet (host) - remember salt & pepper shakers
Pupae have a sticky outer coating that allows them to hide deep in the carpeting and not be easily removed by light vacuuming or sweeping. The cocoon also serves to protect the developing adults from chemicals.If environmental conditions are not right for emergence, the cocoon can protect the developing flea for up to 12 months, and in some cases, years.
The adult flea will not emerge until the presence of a potential host is made obvious - by vibrations, rising levels of carbon dioxide, and body heat. This may be triggered by your pet walking by, or people moving in the house, alerting the flea to emerge from its cocoon to feed.
Adult fleas can survive up to 12 hours submerged in water - yes really!
When chemical control is necessary, choose a safer treatment and avoid the most toxic chemicals.All pesticides should be used with caution and in consultation with a veterinarian if you have any doubts.
ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND LET'S GET CLEANING
Fleas can be prevented, your best strategy is to try to be prepared.
Start early! Prevention is better then cure as the old saying goes. Once Spring gets here, flea eggs are starting to hatch and in a few weeks - you could have a flea explosion to deal with!
Vacuuming is really the best way to address fleas inside your home. Focus on skirting boards, underneath lounges and any other nook and cranny that you may have.
Vacuuming daily for 7-10 days and dispose of the bag contents each time. If you have a flea collar - throw it in and it can help with any emerging eggs or larvae left behind.
Spreading Diatomaceous Earth over your lawn, gardens and anywhere your pet frequents just before Spring will address any dormant eggs it comes into contact with plus your lawn will love the extra minerals DE contains (depending on size of yard but 10-20 kg is required).
Always make sure your pet is treated or protected (regardless of your preferred method) - eliminate the host and break the cycle.
Avoid flea powders and collars, flea bombs and spot on treatments - all proven to be toxic to your pets and families and lack ongoing effectiveness.
Bravecto is a relatively new product in tablet form and provides protection for your pet from fleas for 3 months and ticks 4 months. Most times it will work out cheaper then most monthly flea treatments like Comfortis, which would be the next best option if traditional treatments are your choice. Both available from your local pet and produce store or local veterinarian.
Below: we all feel a little (or a lot!) like Ripley sometimes when fleas become a problem