Can fleas live in carpets and furniture?
Pet owners may not realise they should be treating their homes as well as their animals to prevent recurring flea invasions.
Warmer months can be particularly problematic so PDSA vet, Vicki Larkham-Jones, has prepared some handy tips to help us all stay “flea free”.
Vicki said: “An adult flea can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime, each one with the potential to develop into another flea.
This cycle can take as little as two weeks in ideal circumstances and the eggs and immature fleas can live in carpets, beds and furniture for many months.
So even if you treat your pets regularly, they could be getting re-infested with these pesky parasites as quickly as they are being treated.”
Here are Vicki’s top tips for dealing with fleas:
·– Frequent treatments are needed to keep on top of any fleas that may be trying to set up home in your pet’s fur.
Check the label or ask your vet if you’re not sure how often to do this as it’s important to do this correctly.
·– ask your vet which product would be best for your pet.
Some products may not be as effective as others, or those available on prescription.
If you have more than one pet, make sure the product is suited to each one individually.
Always make sure the product is suitable for your pet and follow the instructions to the letter. Never use a dog-specific flea treatment on a cat, as these can contain a higher dosage that can cause fatal poisoning in cats.
– fleas can jump straight from one species to another, so it’s important to treat all the pets in your house regularly at the same time.
– flea eggs and larvae can live in soft furnishings too so it’s important to break the cycle. Wash your pet’s bedding and any blankets they use at the highest temperature possible as often as you can (once a week ideally) and vacuum areas where they frequently lie. Sprays are also available to treat things like sofas and curtains – ask your vet for advice about which products are most effective.
– fleas can lead to other problems such as tapeworm, so a regular worming program is also important.
Remember that even if your pets don’t go outside, flea eggs and larvae can still easily be brought into the home on clothing and shoes.
Regularly grooming your pets, as well as being a great way to keep your pet’s coat in great condition, also gives you the chance to check for any skin problems.
Some pets are allergic to flea saliva, so just one flea bite can cause serious discomfort.
Look out for red inflamed skin and loose hair, and if you spot anything that concerns you then call your vet for advice.
You may not see the fleas themselves as they are very fast movers.