How to avoid flea infestations in your home
Keeping your home flea free can be a challenge, but by acting quickly and spotting the signs you could prevent infestations and take control before these pesky pests make a meal out of you and your moggy.
Picking up fleas
The well-known, well-hated flea is a greedy parasite that loves to feed on warm-blooded animals. The cat flea, also known by its scientific name Ctenocephalides felis, can be found on rabbits, rodents, hedgehogs and birds. Fleas use these animals to move from one blood source to the next, laying eggs as they go.
Cats can also pick up fleas from these eggs. Once a flea has laid its eggs on a host’s body, the eggs can fall off, landing in places where your cat likes to play, such as plants and grass, in bedding and on carpets and furniture. The eggs can still hatch in these environments, spreading new hosts which start the cycle all over again.
Know the signs
The most common and visible flea grievance your cat may show is an allergic reaction to flea saliva. This is released when a flea bites your animal and can cause painful, itchy bumps for both you and your pet. Fleas can also transmit bacterial infections, tapeworms and sometimes fatal diseases to your cat. If your pet is showing signs of infection, speak to your vet about the right petmeds for your animal.
Top flea-busting tips
If you’re itching to avoid cat fleas in your home, follow these top tips to keep infestations at bay:
- If you have a cat, cleaning and vacuuming your house should be a priority. This will help reduce the chances of flea eggs hatching around the home. Wash your cats bedding frequently as well as this is a popular place for fleas to live.
- Mow your lawn regularly to keep it groomed and short. Unattended lawns can offer hiding places and food sources for rodents where fleas breed.
- Check your feline frequently. Use a flea comb and some hot soapy water and brush through your cat’s fur concentrating on the legs and neck area. Dip the comb in the soapy water to immediately kill off any fleas caught in the teeth of the comb.
- Apply cat flea treatments as part of your pet’s grooming routine. Spot on treatments should be applied directly to areas of your cat’s body they can’t reach and lick off.
- Leave your shoes at the door. You may have unknowingly walked in flea infested areas, such as public parks or even a friend’s house. Walking around inside in shoes you’ve worn outside could spread flea eggs around your home.
Freaky flea fact
If your cat brings home just one female and one male flea they can populate and produce 250,000 descendants in just one month!