Trouble-Shooting Guide To Fleas

The price we pay for living in such a beautiful part of the coast, is a predisposition to fleas and paralysis ticks. Here are some tips for getting rid of those pesky fleas!

Treat your pet

1. Flea treatments ain’t flea treatments, so make sure your pet is using a top-quality medication. Our recommendation is to use either Bravecto (every 3 months) or Nexgard (monthly) in our canine friends. These can be used from 8 weeks of age and begin to work within 8 hours of administration. For dogs and cats with flea allergy dermatitis, we recommend Comfortis. Comfortis is a monthly chewable tablet which starts to kill fleas within 30 minutes and completely kills all fleas on the pet after 4 hours. These products are ideal for dogs that are bathed or swim regularly as it cannot be washed off. We recommend Revolution or Comfortis for cats. These top-spots are tubes of liquid which are applied to the skin on the back of the neck once monthly. Most importantly, they kill fleas before they can bite your pet and before they can lay eggs. Flea washes, powders and collars have a poor ability to prevent flea infestation due to the fact they have no residual properties. Some flea products routinely found in supermarkets can prove to be quite harmful to cats also.

2. Treat all the pets in a household – including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and mice.

3. Are you using a conditioner? Topspots spread on the oil that covers each piece of fur. If your dog or cat doesn’t have adequate oil coverage, then your topspot might not be working properly. It is recommended that ALL dogs are bathed with a soap and detergent free shampoo followed by a conditioner, to optimise oil coverage. And to top it off, it makes them smell nice!

4. Leave 48 hours either side of a bath, when applying topspots. This is because you wash the oil off the fur with each bath. It needs time to be replaced, in order for your topspot to work. Nexgard, Bravecto and Comfortis are given orally so there are no waiting times before and after bathing.

Treat the Environment

This is the step that most people miss. A female flea lays 50 eggs per day. If your pet has fleas, you have eggs – and fleas – in your environment.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t been bitten, it’s because humans are like cabbage to fleas – we are higher off the ground, have a lower body temperature and less hair. Your pets, on the other hand, are like Belgian chocolate.

It is a myth that fleas will only live in carpet. Flea eggs can lie inactive for 3-6 months, hatching only when the time is right. They can land under furniture, in between floor boards, on the couch, and/or in soil outdoors. Born and bred in Africa, fleas are designed to last!

1. Treat your pets bedding – and yes, that means your bedding if you share! Soak bedding in hot water (60 degrees) for 10 minutes before putting it through the machine once a week. Before an adult flea hatches, it is a pupa – a cocooned life-stage, which will not die in cold water. Hot washing ensures you’re killing all flea life-stages.

2. Consider flea-bombing – Letting off a flea bomb kills any adult fleas, and usually larvae, that are hanging around inside the house. You may need to do this twice in a 6 month period if you have been having a big problem, because flea eggs can lie inactive for 3-6 months.

3. Spraying outside – A lot of clients try spraying outdoor areas, and whilst using products such as Coopex to kill fleas outdoors can be useful, it may not
control the entire problem. Fleas can burrow up to 10cm deep into soil areas. The best idea is blocking them off.

In times of high flea burden, outdoor areas must be treated. We stock Coopex, a make-up spray product to kill fleas in the yard and garden.

Alternatively, hiring a professional pest control company may also be warranted in treating the environment. Ensure that the company does use a product registered against treating fleas.