Apr 07
dog and cat being smoochy

Fleas, Not A Problem Limited To Summer

It’s commonly thought that fleas are only a problem in the warmer months, and as such many Australian pets are not on flea control all year round. But this is far from true. Whilst flea burdens are generally worse in warm, humid weather, the facts are that in Oz, fleas are a pest to our pets all year round. And this is why.

Your dog or cat gets fleas from the environment (a dirt patch they bask in, the park they play at) or sometimes directly from contact with other infested animals. You can even introduce flea eggs to the home by tracking in dirt on your shoe. Fleas can jump long distances and are prolific breeders. One female adult flea can lay around 50 eggs per day – this means that a couple of fleas feeding on your best bud can turn into scores of them very quickly!

The adult fleas that you see on your pet represent just 5% of the flea problem for your pet. The other 95% are the rest of the flea life cycle stages (eggs, larvae and pupae) and are in the environment. Adult fleas will continue to emerge from these stages in the environment during the year.

The most common cause of itch in dogs and cats is an allergy to the flea bite. Whilst some of our pets tolerate their flea infestation quite well (insert sad face!), many have severe allergies to the flea bite causing them to be very itchy. Even from one flea. They scratch and break the skin which becomes infected and just makes the itch even worse. Fleas can also flare up other skin allergies for your fur kid.

Kill the fleas on your pet through a variety of effective registered topical or oral products. You need to treat all pets in the home. Cautionary note: you must use cat products for cats and dog products for dogs.
Kill the flea stages in the environment by washing all your mates bedding, using the vacuum cleaner for the floors of the house (tip: be sure to empty the vacuum bag as well- eggs can hatch in here!) and possibly using a flea bomb if necessary.

So, getting rid of pesky fleas depend upon killing both the fleas on your pet AND in the environment, as well as preventing further fleas. This means that all year round treatment with an appropriate flea control is needed, not just during the warmer months.

About The Author

Claire is a QLD graduate with 19 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of VetChat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.