Virbac New Zealand

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How to eliminate fleas in your home

Environment: do not forget house-hold treatment when doing parasite control

Fleas, the #1 enemy of our pets, live part of their lifecycle on the pets and the rest of the time in their immediate environment. This means that effective flea control must take into account both treatment of the individual pets and treatment their living areas.

Studies have shown that flea infestations are rarely linked to a parasitised pet but that the contamination comes from environmental reservoirs.

If the environment is highly contaminated, even continuous treatment of your pet will not prevent re-infestations that may last several months after the start of treatment.

Around 50 eggs per day

This heavy environmental contamination is explained by the flea’s extraordinary life cycle.

Adult fleas arrive in the pet’s coat and feed very quickly. Females lay around 50 eggs per day within 24 to 36 hours of first arriving. These eggs fall to the floor, where the animal sleeps. The eggs develop in 1.5 to 10 days depending on the temperature.    

Larvae hatch from the eggs within a few days. The larvae feed on dirt in the carpet  and after 3 larval stages, they form a cocoon (the pupa), from which adult fleas emerge. Adult fleas can remain dormant and protected in the cocoon for several months.

The lifecycle duration can vary depending on climatic conditions. The optimal conditions for flea development is temperature between 20° and 30°C and relative humidity of 70 to 85%.

Protected in its cocoon, the flea can wait up to 6 months for favourable conditions allowing it to persist in the environment.

Chemical and mechanical measures

To address these environmental sources of fleas, it is necessary to treat the environment in at the same time as treating your pet.

Specific and adapted flea control products exist for this purpose. Some flea control products include agent that are effective against the immature stages of fleas, the eggs and larvae, and therefore are more effective.

In parallel, mechanical measures, such as the regular passing of the vacuum cleaner, are effective.

To remember

The life cycle of a flea takes place mainly on the pet but also in his environment. In houses, this life cycle lasts around 1 month and takes place mostly ‘outside’ the dog.

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