Why have the fleas been so bad this season?
This summer we have had perfect conditions for rapid development of fleas. Flea eggs layed into the environment develop rapidly through the cycle to the pupal stage under warm, moist conditions. In order for pupae to hatch and jump onto animals they need three things:
- Vibrations. These allow the flea to know there is an animal around so it needs to hatch and jump on.
The past few seasons have been quite dry so while fleas have occurred conditions have not been optimal so many of the pupae have sat there and not hatched. The perfect flea environment this year has allowed the fleas to finally take off.
What can I do to prevent this from happening again next spring?
Things are about to cool down as we come into autumn and winter. As they do the flea life cycle will slow and we will all see reduced numbers of fleas on our pets. Fleas may not be as visible during the winter months, however, your lounge, rugs and floors could be home to flea pupae that are waiting out the cooler months in comfort before the warmer weather prompts them to emerge as adult fleas. Flea numbers may be reduced but remember that 1 flea can lay up to 600 eggs in their lifetime. Stopping flea control over winter will result in a buildup of pupae that will lay dormant until the weather warms up.
Your home is always at risk of flea contamination from sources that you can’t always control. Other animals (such as neighbourhood cats or wild rabbits) that have access to your garden or home may all be on-going sources of flea egg contamination. This means that if monthly flea treatments are missed, there’s a good chance your pet will pick up an infestation from the environment sooner or later. So it’s important to treat all dogs and cats in your home for fleas, every month, all year round with a recommended flea treatment.