Flea treatment and prevention is important in both warmer and colder months. In summer the warmer weather is perfect for flea populations to explode. In winter, when we have out heaters turned on, we create the perfect breeding nest for fleas inside. The best way to ensure your pets are free of fleas is to provide continual protection year round.
When we see fleas on our pets, we are looking at the adults. These adults are the ones that bite and cause itching, but unfortunately they only represent 5% of the overall flea population.
The other 95% of the flea population (the eggs and larvae) live in the environment. The eggs and larvae develop in warm dark places such as our carpets and bedding. Once hatched, the fleas start laying eggs within 2 days. Adult fleas lay over 50 eggs per day, so it doesn’t take long for your home to become flea infested!
There is a wide and sometimes baffling range of flea prevention products available; some which work and others that don’t. Flea collars are particularly ineffective – they only repel fleas, rather than killing them, so often fleas will still be found around your pet’s tail and bottom. Flea shampoos are also an ineffective solution - as soon as your pet is dry the fleas will reappear.
The best products for flea prevention are those which not only kill the adult fleas, but also continue to prevent more fleas jumping on for a quick snack. These products (such as Advantage or Frontline Plus) last for one month, so with regular application they will prevent your pet from getting fleas, and also prevent more eggs being laid. Some of these products also attach to the skin cells and fall off into the carpet, killing the larvae in the environment and giving you double the benefit.
Some products worm your pet at the same time as killing fleas. For more information on these see our online chart here.