Fleas are a Year-Round Problem

Pet owners assume the colder weather means they don’t need to worry about fleas.

 However, centrally heated homes can be a breeding ground throughout the year and the team at Vets4Pets in Carlisle offer us some advice.

Fleas live on animals but can feed off humans too, there are more than 2,200 species.

They can be picked up through direct contact with animals, from homes where fleas are present and from outdoors. Eggs can be carried from infected animals onto clothing and into your home.

Fleas have a 4-stage life cycle.

Photo Credit Janice Haney Carr

Stage 1

A female flea can produce up to 50 eggs per day (1500 per month). When eggs are laid they drop off into the environment and usually hatch after 2-14 days.

Stage 2

The newly hatched larvae move into dark areas of the home, including carpets, between floorboards and under furniture. After around 7 days the larvae change into pupae.

Stage 3

Pupae are the dormant stage, they live within cocoons which are covered in debris from the environment. They can live like this for up to 1 year. Warmth and vibrations from movement cause them to hatch. The cocoons are nearly indestructible.

Stage 4

Adult fleas feed and live on their host while repeating stage one.

Did you know…?

Only 5% of the total flea population lives on the host.  For every flea you see on your pet, there is likely to be many more eggs, larvae and pupae around your house.

Heavy flea burdens can cause anaemia (lack of iron).

Some pets can be allergic to flea saliva, which can cause excessive scratching and lead to skin infections.

If you suspect your pet has fleas, you will need to treat your pet and your home for at least 6 months to prevent the cycle to restart and re-infest.

Veterinary prescribed flea treatments are proven to be more effective than supermarket and pet shop products as they are regularly tested and improved to actively fight against fleas.

 Vets4Pets Carlisle recently received the RCVS Award for ‘Outstanding Client Service’ which is given to practices who demonstrate high levels of care for their clients. Contact the team on 01228 547956 or visit www.vets4pets.com/practices/vets4pets-carlisle to see how they can help you.

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