Fleas can cause a nuisance all year round. Here’s advice from Beaphar UK to keep the minute pests at bay.
The last thing anyone wants is fleas on their cat or in their home. We often think of fleas in the summer months, and while fleas are more active when it’s warmer, to stay flea-free you need to be protecting your cat and your home all year round. Beaphar UK have put together three top tips so you, your cat, and your home can stay flea-free throughout the year:
Flea tip 1: Understand the flea life cycle
A common misconception is that fleas only live on your cat. This is true for adult fleas, but flea eggs, larvae, and pupae all live in your home. To stay flea-free, you need to protect your cat and home so any ‘hitchhiker fleas’ brought in accidentally by you or your cat won’t have the opportunity to multiply. Flea pupae can also lay dormant in your home for months until the most beneficial conditions arise, so a flea infestation can occur long after you think you’ve solved the problem.
Flea tip 2: Treat indoor cats
If your cat doesn’t go outside, they can’t get fleas, right? Well, that’s not strictly true…
Even if your cat lives indoors, other pets or people who go outside have the potential to bring in ‘hitchhiker’ fleas. These fleas can easily infest an unprotected cat and begin multiplying.
An adult female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day, so an infestation can occur very quickly if your cat and home haven’t been treated. So it is important to protect your feline friend, even if they are an indoor only cat.
Flea tip 3: Protect your home and your cat all year round
Fleas don’t like the cold, so it can be tempting to skip your cat or your home’s flea treatment during winter. But remember those troublesome flea pupae? If you have any lurking in your home, they’re likely to hatch into adult fleas when conditions are optimal; this could be when you turn on your central heating and your cat is nearby.
Even in the depths of winter, you could find yourself fighting a flea infestation.
Flea treating all year round is the best way to avoid a flea problem.
If you do find yourself fighting fleas, follow Beaphar’s five-step plan to get on top of the flea infestation as quickly as possible:
1. Treat your pet with a product to kill fleas — choose a licenced medicine with a Vm number on the pack — this means the product has been tested and does what it claims.
2. Vacuum your home and soft furnishings — flea pupae cannot be killed by any insecticides. Vacuuming encourages them to hatch into adult fleas ready for step 3.
3. Treat your home with a household flea spray — choose a product with an insecticide and an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). The insecticide kills adult fleas, while the IGR prevents flea eggs and larvae from developing.
4. Continue treating your pet and home — reapply your cat’s flea treatment as directed on the pack and continue vacuuming and treating your home until you’ve overcome the flea infestation.
5. Once you’ve got rid of fleas, switch to an on-animal combination flea treatment — combination flea treatments work on your cat and in your home, so you just need one flea product rather than two. Again, choose a product with a Vm number on the pack.