Fleas are usually mostly seen during the warmer months especially after periods of rain. However fleas can be found all year round in heated houses. It is only a small part of the flea life cycle that is spent as an adult on pets.
Flea eggs and larvae live in the environment including in carpets, bedding and soil and can survive dormant for up to a year regardless of the temperature. Adult fleas emerge when conditions are right and a suitable host is available.
Adult fleas cause not only irritation but can also cause an intense allergic response, illness and carry diseases.
Other than seeing fleas in your pet’s coat the other signs to look for are scratching, excessive grooming and hair loss especially around the base of the tail and flea dirt which are black specks that when moistened become reddened.
There are many flea products available; we recommend the use of spot-ons applied to the skin or chews as these are easier for owners to apply/give. Flea shampoos, flea collars and flea powders are generally not effective enough for control in high flea infestations. Some products now available will cover fleas and ticks (and intestinal worms and heartworm).
Environmental flea control may also be needed to treat a flea problem. Washing pet bedding at a high temperature, vacuum cleaning regularly and even flea bombing the house may be needed.