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Dogs and Fleas

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There’s no getting away from it, if you have a dog then your dog will have fleas! No amount of bathing, powdering or spraying will get rid of them completely, so what can you do as damage limitation?

Its a real problem for us right now, as we’re into the hottest months of the year and with daytime temperatures into the 30s (Celsius), fleas are breeding at an incredible rate. Spraying around the house is not ideal, but really the only way to control their numbers as a good number of them don’t live on the dogs, but hide in furniture, rugs, cracks and crevices and just about anywhere they can.

One pretty good weapon in the war against the little critters is Frontline, which is a spot-on treatment for the dogs. It creates a poison in the dog’s bloodstream so that when a flea bites the dog, it dies. This is essential in breaking the breeding cycle because insecticide sprays only kill live fleas and don’t tend to harm the eggs. But with the fleas being killed as they bite the dogs, it interrupts their breeding ability and stops more eggs being laid. So that when the eggs that are still around hatch out, they don’t get a chance to create more eggs.

The only problem with this kind of treatment is that it must be re-applied every month. We managed to miss out a few days and in that time, the fleas came back with a vengeance, so it meant another bout of house spraying even after re-applying this month’s dose of Frontline. In a few days, the flea population is back under control. But it just never seems to get down to total eradication.

That’s understandable as the dogs go out for their walks, they will pick up new fleas that have been dropped by other dogs in the local waste ground or on the sidewalks. Some will bite the dogs and die, while others will have a ride home and sneak off to a comfy hiding place to wreak havoc if they get the chance.

And don’t think you have a flea-free home if you have a dog and are doing everything to keep him clean and fresh. He’ll pick them up on walks and bring them home, where they’ll happily breed. You may not notice them if numbers are low or if you live in a colder climate. But they’re there all right!

Terry Didcott
For Dogs


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