Now that peak flea season is over, we can relax and forget about fleas and ticks until next year, right? Wrong! As temperature drop in the UK and you start to put the central heating on, dormant flea eggs, larvae and pupae lurking in your home will start to come back to life.
These creepy critters can survive inactive for long periods of time lurking in your pet’s bedding, carpets and other soft furnishings. The heat and vibration from the central heating system will then stir them into action, ready to re-infest both your pet and your home.
Pet healthcare expects Bob Martin, have a range of frightful facts, creepy enough to leave your skin crawling.
1. A single flea can lay up to 60 eggs per day.
Fleas can lay up to 60 eggs a day, meaning that even one little monster on your pet could lead to a nasty infestation in no time.
2. A single flea on an untreated pet can lead to an infestation of 200,000 in only 4 weeks!
We all know how frightening it can be to discover a flea on your pet or in your home. The scariest part is that for every flea you see, there are nearly 20 eggs, larvae or pupae that you can’t.
3. Fleas can consume up to 15 times their own body weight in blood.
The best way to keep those blood suckers away isn’t a crucifix over the door or a well-placed bulb of garlic; the best way to prevent fleas and ticks to treat your pet regularly monthly as part of their ongoing healthcare routine. Don’t forget to make a note on your calendar of when treatments are due so that you don’t forget.
4. Fleas can live on your pet for up to 2 months.
To help keep your pet flea and tick free, we recommend using an easy to apply spot-on treatment as part of their regular healthcare routine. Select a product containing S-methoprene to ensure you’re breaking the flea lifecycle by preventing any eggs or larvae from developing. These spot-ons can be found in all major supermarkets and pet specialists, meaning that it couldn’t be easier to pick one up alongside your supply of chocolates and sweets for the trick or treaters.
Make sure you carefully read the instructions and administer the products correctly. One common mistake is applying the spot-on to your pet’s coat, rather than parting their fur and applying it directly to their skin.
Just like humans, all dogs have a unique genetic profile, which means that each one of our four-legged friends will have a different level of tolerance to different ingredients. If you find that spot-ons don’t work for you, perhaps explore different treatment and prevention options such as collars or shampoos.
5. Up to 95% of fleas are in your home, with only 5% actually on your pet.
For many pet owners the most common mistake is not also treating the home, which can lead to a haunted house in no time. Flea eggs fall off your pet’s coat as they move around, lying dormant in your home, often within your soft furnishings such as bedding or blankets. These creepy critters hatch into larvae, hiding away in dark corners and even between floorboards. Flea pupae enclose themselves in a protective cocoon making them harder to kill and will emerge as fully-grown bloodthirsty adult fleas, ready to re-infest your pet.
It’s important to break the flea lifecycle by using a home flea spray to treat your pet’s bedding, carpets and other soft furnishings. Ensure you select a product that contains an ‘insecticide’ such as Permethrin to kill the fleas, alongside an ‘insect growth regulator’ such as S-methoprene. This will stop the remaining eggs hatching and re-infesting your home.
Discovering a flea infestation can be scary stuff, so it’s important to act quickly and treat your pet with a flea tablet. These are easy to administer and are effective within 15 minutes, killing 100% of fleas on your pet within 24 hours.
6. 76% of dogs travelling outside the UK returned with ticks.
Tick numbers in the UK have steadily been on the rise, with an astonishing 76% of dogs travelling abroad returning with one of these unwanted hitch-hikers. So if you’re thinking of taking the dog away for some winter sun, make sure that you’re extra vigilant. Ticks are often picked up on walks particularly in long grass and can be more difficult to spot than fleas and can transmit a range of harmful diseases.
7. Tick saliva contains an anaesthetic, so your pet will not feel them biting.
Check your cat/dog regularly by thoroughly combing through their fur in both directions. Pay particular attention to their armpits, groin, ears and neck areas. Don’t forget to check between their toes and other tricky to reach spots.
The sooner a tick can be removed, the less risk that your pet will get infected. We recommended you buy a tick removal tool, allowing you to twist and lift the tick off entirely, including the head.
8. Ticks commonly carry harmful diseases including Babesiosis and Lyme disease.
Remember, not all flea and tick treatments are the same. To avoid any spooky surprises, it’s important that you carefully read the packaging, some products last longer than others. Some are effective against fleas and ticks, whereas others are not, so it’s important to always check the pack.
Did these facts give you the creeps?
For more helpful advice on caring for your pet’s healthcare needs, and tips to avoid fleas on dogs head over to bobmartin.co.uk. Feeling social? Follow us to flea-dom on Facebook (@BobMartinUK) and Instagram (@bobmartinpets).