Fleas are a huge problem in Geraldton; they seem to love our climate and sandy soil and as such are active throughout the entire year. Not only do these parasites use our pets for a blood meal but their saliva can also cause flea allergy dermatitis in some cats and dogs which means a single flea bite can cause an incredible itch lasting up to a week or longer.
Fleas are resilient, complex creatures and it is important to break the flea lifecycle in order to fully eradicate a flea burden or problem. Remember only 5% of the flea population is seen on your pet, meaning that the other 95% of fleas live in the environment in the form of eggs and larvae.
That being said I want to talk about different types of prevention to keep these critters away. There are hundreds of different products out there and they can be categorised into 2 groups;
Repellents include natural remedies like citronella, lavender or tea tree oils, garlic and also products like flea wash/shampoos, powders and supermarket brand flea collars. While we know products like garlic and tea tree oil can seriously harm your pets and should not be used as flea control, other products do work to repel fleas. Flea collars for example will repel adult fleas from the head and neck area; they do not repel fleas from the base of the tail or from other parts of the body. Similarly flea shampoos will kill adult fleas on your pet but leaves no lasting effect, meaning a flea can jump straight back onto your pet once they are dry and continue feeding. Aromatics like citronella sprays create an unfavourable environment for fleas and may be effective at repelling fleas for a few hours or until the smell leaves your pet, but they jump off into your home or yard and then jump back onto your pet once the scent is gone.
Prevention products actually kill the fleas and break the lifecycle. Oral chews like Nexgard and Bravecto work after the flea has taken its first blood meal, the flea bites the pet and dies shortly after, this breaks the lifecycle by killing the flea before she has a chance to reproduce. Active ingredients in these products only affect the parasite and are extremely safe when used as directed. Bravecto is the only prevention that gives 3 months protection.
Topical spot on preventions also kill fleas and stops the lifecycle as well as having a repellent component. Topical products like Advantage or Revolution are usually placed on the back of the neck and spread over the entire body via sweat glands killing the parasites and leaving a residue to repel fleas from jumping on.
For more information on which products are right for you and your fur babies please call us on 99642828 and speak to one of our friendly nurses 🙂