What are Fleas?

Fleas are small, dark brown wingless insects and are more common than most people believe. They affect cats, dogs, rabbits and humans!

Why can fleas be a problem?

When fleas bite they suck the blood of their host. This causes irritation and itchyness, and can lead to Flea Allergy Dermatitis. This is where the animal (cat, dog, rabbit or human!) has an allergic reaction to flea saliva, resulting in a severe reaction with red skin, scabs and severe itching. Fleas are also an intermediate host for some tapeworms.

What is flea lifecycle?

In 36 hours a female flea can suck blood and lay about 50 eggs. The eggs usually fall off the animal and hatch into larvae in the environment. The lifecycle of a flea lasts between 2 and 3 weeks. About 95% of the total population of fleas, eggs and larvae exist in the environment surrounding the animal, not on the animal. This is why products like flea collars and shampoos do not have more than marginal benefits to controlling fleas.

What can be done to address this problem?

Warm, humid weather can lead to a rapid increase in the flea population outside, but with animals that are kept indoors fleas are a year-round problem. Safe, effective, easy to administer flea treatments are available for from vets.  for more information regarding specific products see the antiparasitic preperations in the new puppy or kitten section on this website or ask our staff which quality product is best suited for your pet.