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Summer Fears of Explosion of Dog Fleas in Homes Come to Life

The British Pest Control Association predicted a Summer 2014 explosion of flea activity in homes, after the mild Winter and Spring and stress that it is vital to treat homes and furnishings as well as pets, to avoid an infestation.

Summer and Autumn 2014 have indeed brought a flea explosion and caused many pet owners tremendous problems, unless a regular effective flea control programme has been carried out. Pet owners must appreciate that just killing the fleas on pets is not enough; 95% of the flea life cycle takes place in pet’s bedding and home surroundings such as carpets, soft furnishings, etc.

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However for the pet owners who didn’t hear the warnings, the issue still seems to be a very real problem.

Even now in the Winter months British veterinary company, Johnson’s Veterinary Products’ customer service department is still receiving an unusually high number of calls from desperate pet owners for advice on how to deal with flea infestations on their pets and in the home, especially now central heating is switched on to cope with the drop in temperature outside.

The veterinary company suggest a combination of products from their award winning Johnson’s 4flea range of Veterinary Strength Flea Control which includes Household Sprays and Room Foggers containing an I.G.R. (Insect Growth Regulator) to kill fleas and prevent hatching eggs developing into adults to avoid re-infestation of pets. These products will deals with household flea problems the pet experts also say pets should also be treated with 4fleas effective quick acting tablets and 4fleas Protectors.

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Johnson’s Veterinary Strength 4fleas range, is available exclusively to Pet Stores, Pet Superstores, Garden Centres, etc. Find out more online here: http://www.johnsons-vet.com

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Flea Problems In Summer

Some pet owners will already have had the unfortunate luck to discover that fleas are a problem throughout all year round, but some may not. Micro-climates in homes, gardens and parks allow them to survive during the coldest winters; however fleas are a bigger issue in summer as warmth and humidity can speed up their life cycle. An abundance of wildlife also contributes to the flea population your pets are exposed to outdoors. These factors increase the risk of developing a flea infestation within your home during warmer months.

It’s important to know the difference between ‘hitch-hiker’ fleas and a home infestation. The adult fleas seen on pets come directly from the environment – such as an infested home, garden or park. They hatch from cocoons hidden in the environment and jump straight onto your pet. If these cocoons are from a source outside the home, then the fleas seen on your pet are known as ‘hitch-hikers’. Provided you are treating all cats and dogs in your home throughout the year with a product like FRONTLINE® Spot On, hitch-hikers will be killed before they lay the eggs that would contaminate your home. However, if the fleas are coming from cocoons hidden within your home, then you have a home infestation and this needs further treatment.

Have you ever wondered what do dog fleas look like? Take a look below.

Because the flea life cycle is sped up during summer, if you’re not treating all pets regularly, hitch-hikers from external infestations will survive on pets and start laying hundreds of eggs. These eggs are not sticky and fall out of the fur wherever your pet wanders. The eggs hatch into tiny larvae that crawl away from light settling deep into carpets, between floorboards and underneath furniture. Larvae then spin cocoons and begin transforming into adult fleas. Cocoons hatch when stimulated by vibration and fleas jump directly onto the new host from the environment.

Home infestations can occur regardless of how clean your home is – the only way to prevent a home infestation is to treat all pets regularly throughout the year.

Did You Know…

If you have a home flea infestation, the fleas that are currently hatching from their cocoons and jumping onto your pets were laid anywhere from 1 to 12 months before you see them. This is why using a flea control product once or twice on a pet will not resolve a home flea infestation overnight. This is also why reapplying a long-acting product in less than 1 month will not solve the problem any faster. You need to keep applying treatment to all the pets every month until all the cocoons have hatched out. Once the home infestation is resolved, you need to continue treatment in order to prevent re-infestation.

Fleas don’t normally jump from one animal onto another. The fleas that you see on your pet have hatched out from cocoons in an infested environment and jumped straight onto your pet.

There is no product that stops fleas from jumping on to a treated animal. This is why you may see fleas on a pet after applying a flea product. The product will kill the adult fleas once they have jumped on but this can take up to 24 hours.

The average flea will live for up to 10 days after it has jumped on to a pet. FRONTLINE kills adult fleas within 24 hours of them jumping on.

Fleas are not the only thing that can cause pets to itch and scratch. If you are not seeing fleas on your pet but it is still scratching, you should speak to your vet about other causes. Regardless of the cause of the scratching, all itchy pets should be treated throughout the year for fleas as fleas may make some other causes of itchiness worse.

Breaks in protection (even during winter, a time pet owners may have thought flea problems didn’t occur) allow hitch-hikers to survive on pets and contaminate your home with eggs. During winter the life cycle is slower and cocoons in the home are not hatching frequently – you won’t realise an infestation is developing. By the time summer comes around, the flea population hidden in your home will be extensive and your pets will consistently be covered in fleas. You may even find that you’re being bitten around the ankles.

Prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to flea treatment. For more information on how to protect your pet from fleas throughout the year and to sign up receive free email or SMS flea treatment reminders, please visit www.hugyourpet.co.uk. Plus, for your chance to win a personalised Emma Bridgewater pet bowl simply upload a picture of your cat or dog into our monthly competition at www.hugyourpet.co.uk

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Be Aware of Dog Fleas This Summer

A pet healthcare organisation in the United States is warning dog owners to be on the look out for flea and tick infestations on pets this Summer.

"Ticks are active much earlier this year compared to last year," said entomologist Ron Harrison, Ph.D. and Orkin technical services director. "I don't know that we're necessarily seeing any more ticks than in previous years, but because of the mild winter, we are seeing them earlier than normal. The flea increase could be because of any number of reasons.

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Some studies have shown they are becoming resistant to on-pet treatment methods; it could also be because fleas are associated with rodents and other wildlife, which did not die off this year, thanks to the mild temperatures. Another reason could be the changing treatment methods. Before, pet owners had to take their pets to their veterinarians for flea treatment, but now over-the-counter products leave more room for pet owners to make improper applications."

"Fleas don't transmit any serious diseases, but they are the only source of tapeworm," said entomologist and University of Georgia professor Nancy C. Hinkle, Ph. D. "An infected flea can pass on tapeworm if a dog or cat happens to swallow a flea while using its teeth to scratch, but the tapeworm is not transmitted if the flea only bites the dog. Some animals are also highly sensitive to flea saliva, which can lead to secondary infections and dermatitis from incessant itching."

Fleas commonly attach themselves to dogs and cats, but they can also be found on chickens, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice and other domesticated or wild animals.

"Flea infestations require several treatment plans at once," said Harrison. "Addressing only a pet's infestation or individual flea bites will not rid your home of fleas. Your pet's treatment must be done at the same time your pest control professional treats your home, but be sure to consult a veterinarian before starting any flea treatment."

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Ticks & Dogs Important Info

Reports that the prevalence of ticks in dogs in Great Britain is higher than expected is a timely reminder of the vital importance of tick treatment in pets, according to the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
 
Research carried out by the University of Bristol’s Veterinary Parasitology Group and published in the journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology found that at any one time 14.9% of dogs were infested with ticks. It also found samples of a tick species previously only found in continental Europe – the European meadow tick (Dermacentor reticulates) – adding to evidence that this tick is becoming established in Britain.

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New Flea Study Findings

New Publication From International Experts Demonstrates Fleas Worldwide Continue to be Highly Susceptible to Imidacloprid

In a study published online last week in Medical and Veterinary Entomology, international experts reported the latest data on flea susceptibility to imidacloprid, revealing that after more than a decade of widespread use around the world, there is no evidence of resistance to this invaluable treatment.

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How to Get Rid of Dog Fleas

Here are some really useful resources you will find useful in the battle against the dreaded dog flea!

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How to Check Your Dog For Fleas

Checking your dog for fleas can and should form a regular part of your canine maintenance rituals. It's worthwhile to bear in mind that not all dogs will visibly show the presence of fleas through a scratching display and detecting or spotting an early infestation is a far better management technique than allowing a dog to become over run with the little bloodsuckers.

It is quite easy to check your dog for any flea infestation. Do so whenever you are brushing or even petting your dog. Always take note of the animal's skin condition, checking his fur as well.

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Home Flea Treatments Do They Work?

If you've been thinking about the recent controversial exchanges between those who believe some commercial flea treatments are potential harmful to dogs and weighing up whether to go for a home dog flea treatment remedy, hopefully this article can give you some much needed, balanced insight.

Flea Prevention: Chemicals & Natural Remedies – Which Work Best?

What are the best flea medications out there and are there any natural remedies that work? What natural ways can you use to prevent them altogether; before they spread throughout your dog's environment and your home?

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