As the UK’s temperature remains in the high 20s this week, pet owners are warned that the hot weather could “leave homes at risk of a flea infestation”. The warmer the weather, the faster flea eggs develop into adults – and the flea population has grown in recent years thanks to warm, humid weather.
Dr Karlien Heyrman, Head of Pets for Pets at Home, explains, “As exercise limitations have been lifted and we’re enjoying longer periods of time outdoors with our pets, the risk of flea eggs being carried into our homes from our dogs and cats is high. Couple this with the heatwave and pet owners could have a problem on their hands as hidden eggs can be stimulated into growth by the warm weather.
If left untreated, long term flea infestations can cause real suffering for pets
“In this current climate, our homes have become a sanctuary for both work and play and the last thing pet owners need is a flea infestation in the environment where they are spending the majority of their time.
“If left untreated, long term flea infestations can cause real suffering for pets – including dogs, cats and small furries. Repeated bites can be uncomfortable and itchy for an animal, sometimes resulting in hair loss or a secondary skin infection. Fleas may also bite humans so seeking regular preventative treatment is a sensible precaution for all pet owners.”
To prevent and treat fleas, pet owners are advised to:
• Regularly treat all cats and dogs in the household with a preventative flea treatment throughout the year
• Check pet’s coat for fleas or flea droppings – brown or black spots
• Treat homes, work places and cars with a household flea spray (ideally one that includes an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR)) but be careful using the spray near fish tanks as many are toxic to fish. Follow the on-pack instructions and ensure you cover any fish tanks with a blanket before using
• Check the label of your pet bedding and wash regularly at the temperature shown
• Clean furniture to help destroy fleas at the egg, larval or adult stage of their life cycle
• Vigorously vacuum carpets, floorboards and skirting boards
• Throw away the vacuum cleaner dustbag or empty the canister after each clean