How do fleas enter my house and should I be worried?

Flea infestation in houses can rise to very high levels in a short amount of time. Typically, a few fleas or ticks are brought into a house often on cats and dogs which have been recently outside. This is particularly worrying as fleas can be carriers for worms and various diseases as well as many humans and pets may be allergic to flea-bites, therefore keeping your pet flea-free is of upmost importance.


How can I tell if my pet has fleas?

To check if your pet has fleas, part its hair and look for:

- Small bits of brown 'dust' attached directly to the fur. The fleas excrete digested blood hence the brown 'dust' like appearance. See if the 'dust' dissolves into a red liquid upon contact with a wet paper towel.

- Skin irritation: Flea bites or scratching and biting may leave red, irritated skin and in some cases leave bald patches in bad cases.

- Small, fast moving brown shapes in the animals fur is often fleas.

- Use a flea comb and see if you find anything. You may also see fleas, evidence of where you animal has had fleas or even larvae on your pet's bedding.

- Dried blood in its ears may indicate ear mites. You should consult your vet immediately to inspect further if you suspect this.


What preventive measures can I take?

Older studies suggest that rat fleas only spend part of their time on your pet however this is untrue and therefore it is not something that will simply go away, therefore it is important to keep protecting your cat/s and/or dog/s from fleas and tics by using products such as Catandogs tags. 

Since there are many different varieties of fleas, and the primary flea infesting cats and dogs in North America and large areas of Europe is the cat flea, however they can affect both cats and dogs. This flea is not as well studied as the rat flea, it is believed it spends the majority of it's adult life on the host (on an animal or human) under normal conditions. Eggs are laid on the host and drop off into the environment, thus meaning you can often find eggs wherever your pets spend a lot of time, for example on their bedding, throughout the house, in the backyard/garden and in furniture. A good preventative method is to put down towels everywhere your pet normally lies or sits and then wash those towels once per week. Deposited flea eggs are therefore cleaned out regularly. Regular vacuuming and emptying of vacuum bags also may help. However properly protecting your pets using a flea control product such as Catandogs tags is optimal in prevention.