Fleas are nuisance! Tiny, quick, and difficult to get rid of once they take up residence. Treating fleas effectively would be a lot easier if we knew the reality and could ignore the myths.
Myth: Fleas live on pets, not in homes - fleas are typically introduced to the home by a pet, but once there, they waste no time in thriving in the warmth of your home. This means by leaving the household untreated, you are missing roughly 80-90% of the developing flea population, which means your pets who can quickly reinfect themselves!
To tackle the problem wash all toys, bedding and fabrics in the home regularly, and administer a topical treatment to your pet every month. Vacuum your carpets and use a household flea spray to treat the environment.
Myth: Beside itching, fleas are harmless - flea bites trigger severe skin allergies such as Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), but fleas are also carriers of tapeworm which can infect dogs and cats if fleas are accidentally swallowed. The flea stage is necessary to the life cycle and reproduction of the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum, which thrives in the small intestines of dogs and cats. If your pet does contract tapeworm, as well as treating the worms, you will also need to manage the flea problem at hand, otherwise your pet will quickly become reinfected.
Myth: Only have treat when you see fleas - just because your dog isn't scratching, doesn't mean he doesn't have fleas or that you shouldn't administer a preventative treatment to keep them at bay. As with many things, prevention is so much easier than cure, so even if you don't see fleas, you should still treat for them. Addressing the problem once it manifests can take weeks or even months to resolve, which is a lot of hassle, discomfort for you and your pets and also expense in the meantime.
These days there's really no such thing as 'flea season' so ideally you should aim to de-flea your pet monthly. While outdoor cats may need treating more regularly.
Myth: Fleas have become resistant to certain topical treatments - there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. If you have any concerns about the effectiveness of your treatment, it is best to speak to your vet as there could be other factors.
Myth: Indoor pets won't get fleas - Unfortunately, even pets that spend most of their time inside are susceptible to fleas, they can be carried in on clothes and other pets. Fleas don’t only live in carpets; in fact, fleas will live in all manner of places, including the cracks of floorboards and along skirting boards.
Good luck in your quest against these pesky little bloodsuckers and keep your pets and homes flea-free!