Flea Control: Important Points
- By starting a flea product at the first sign of fleas on a pet, you will kill adult fleas (the pet becomes a "flea vacuum") but eggs in the flea biomass of the pet’s environment are still going to hatch, mature, turn into adults and appear on your pet.
- Flea products stop new flea eggs being added to the flea biomass. Eventually, the biomass gets smaller and smaller until there are no eggs, larvae or pupae present in the pet’s environment.
- This can take up to 6-8 weeks (sometimes longer).
- Fleas you see on your pet today are going to be dead tomorrow.
- New adult fleas will be seen on your pet the next day.
- All flea products take several hours to kill adult fleas.
- Fleas breed all year round.
- All animals in the household must be treated all year.
- Fleas can re-infest the pet from other sources.
- Flea control must be used at the correct dosage and at the correct dosing interval.
- The rate of flea kill slows during the 3rd and 4th week (break point) of applying "spot on" monthly flea treatments.
- Under-dosing and bathing/swimming can reduce the level of "spot on" insecticides.
- A "flea nest" may be a small part of the total environment that the animal lives in:
- A favourite spot in the garden e.g. under a bush or verandah
- Sofas, chairs, beds and/or carpets where the pet rests a lot
- Gaps between wooden floor boards are great flea breeding sites
Managing an Outbreak of Fleas
For pet owners who want the quickest results, BHVG recommends the following...
Feal Control for Dogs: Bravecto, Nexgard or Comfortis
Nexgard or Bravecto
2015 will go down in history as the year we saw the release of some amazing new flea and tick prevention products for dogs.
Firstly, we had the launch of NexGard (Merial) with a great tasting beefy chew that kills fleas and ticks for one whole month. Sales went through the roof and Merial sold a whole year’s supply in just one month. Shortages followed with desperate pet owners wanting to get their dogs protected. NexGard comes in singles, 3 or 6 packs to suit your budget.
In April 2015, MSD launched Bravecto, a beefy chew that kills fleas for 3 months and ticks for 4 months. It comes only in single dose packets with a nice tasty beefy chew.
No more spot-ons, collars or smelly rinses. Collect your Bravecto or NexGard from BHVG and we can setup an automatic SMS reminder to come in and refresh your supply.
- This is a monthly tablet with a powerful knock down effect.
- It’s great for dogs that swim regularly who may otherwise have topical flea products wash off.
- Comfortis does not cover paralysis ticks so additional prevention (e.g. tick collars, Permoxin) needs to used at the same time during tick season
Flea Control for Cats:
- It has 5-6 times better absorption into cat’s skin than in dogs
- Peak blood levels are 64 times greater than dogs.
- It takes 3-4 hours to work in cats compared to 3-4 days for dogs
- Revolution also treats intestinal worms, heartworm and ear mites
- Has peak action and blood levels within 24 hours in cats (several days in dogs)
- Treats intestinal worms, heartworm, lungworm and mites as well as fleas.
- Activyl is a great flea product for cats (and dogs) with some excellent results
- If you can get a tablet down your cat, then this is a very effective flea product for cats. Just one tablet once a month and fleas biting the cat get killed very quickly.
Treating the Environment
Most flea eggs are laid around the pet’s favourite resting spots. Vacuum these areas daily to suck up flea eggs, larvae and pupae. Fleas die quickly inside vacuum cleaners. If you want to be sure they die, leave the cleaner out in the sun as high temperatures are great at killing fleas. The same applies if your car has fleas- just wind up the windows and leave it out in the sun for a few hours.
Flea eggs, larvae and pupa die quickly when treated with steam. Treat the pet’s favourite resting place weekly.
Wash Pet Bedding
A great way to kill flea eggs, larvae and pupae is to wash the bedding in hot water.
Indoor Surface Sprays
Use a surface spray on the areas the pet spends the most time in. Once applied, leave the house for a few hours. Upon returning, blot the spayed areas with a paper towel- if it’s still moist; leave the house for another couple of hours. This is to make sure the spray and its ingredients are dry and less likely to dislodge. Repeat the spraying 7-10 days later.
Outdoor Yard Sprays
Spray areas the pet spends the most time in outside e.g. under a particular bush. Only treat the shaded cool areas I the yard where your pet spends a lot of time. Repeat the sprays every 7-10 days. There are some commercially available yard sprays e.g. Cyfluthrin, Esfenvalerate, Bifenthrin (Slam- Bayer).
Feral cats, possums, wombats, rabbits, kangaroos, foxes, quolls, bandicoots, rats and other wild animals carry the common flea. If these animals come into the pet’s environment, they act like “salt shakers” and deposit hundreds of flea eggs. Good fencing and pest control is essential. Friends bringing their pets over for a visit need to be flea free – approach this one as diplomatically as you can!