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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Our Favourite Pest - The Flea

Last year was a particularly troublesome one for fleas. A mild winter and warm wet summer resulted in an explosion of flea populations and many pet owners have struggled to keep their pets and homes free of these irritating pests.

Consequently, there has been a lot of media coverage about the issue and you may even have heard rumours of some flea products no longer working or the development of a resistant ‘super flea’.

Don’t worry we would like to reassure you, according to veterinary parasitology experts, there is no scientific evidence of a ‘super flea’ or of resistance developing to any of the established flea products currently on the market, including those used and recommended by our practice.

There are many reasons why a flea problem may appear difficult to control, especially at times of high flea challenge such as we have experienced this summer. To eradicate a home infestation can take 3 months or more, so prevention is always the best policy. If you have a problem, pop in and talk to one of our nurses. They offer ‘flea consultations’ free of charge. Our practice’s first line recommendation for flea control kills adult fleas fast and also contains an ‘insect growth regulator’ that prevents any eggs laid after treatment from hatching, thus helping protect your home from infestation.

Prevention is better than cure

The following Top Tips will help you protect your pets and home from the threat of a flea infestation:

• For prevention, apply a veterinary recommended flea treatment regularly: This can be as infrequent as every 8 weeks for dogs and 6 weeks for cats.

• Continue treatment regularly throughout the year – centrally heated homes are perfect environments for fleas to survive the winter!

• Increase applications to monthly during periods of high challenge e.g. summer to provide optimum control.

• Treat all dogs, cats, and ferrets in your household.

Having problems? Call us!

If your pet currently has fleas or you are struggling with a persistent flea problem despite treatment, please call us on 02476 464789 for advice. We don’t want to scare you but the fleas you see on your pet are just the tip of the iceberg. 95% of the problem is living in your pet’s environment as eggs, larvae and pupae just waiting to re-infest your pet again. That means not only the carpets and furnishings of your home but everywhere your pet goes e.g. cars, caravans, gardens, parks and other houses. We realise that managing fleas can be complex at times and we would be happy to help you resolve the issue as quickly and effectively as possible.

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