Fleas

These critters will share your home if they're given the chance.

Video: David Bellamy and Steve Leonard explain how the flea lifecycle works, and how tapeworm can integrate into this cycle and create major problems for our pets.

What do they look like and where do they live?

  • They are small, wingless insects, approximately one-eighth of an inch, with back legs that are modified for jumping
  • The majority of the fleas’ life cycle occurs off the animal
  • Adult fleas feed on blood
  • Eggs are laid on the animal but fall into the environment, for instance pets’ bedding or in the carpet
  • Only 5% of flea population is on the animal – i.e. 95% in the environment

How can my pet contract Fleas?

  • Fleas can pass from one infected animal to another
  • In heavy burdens, you may need to treat environmental stages, or fleas will continue to emerge and be seen to land on pets; this emergence of fleas can occur for several months
  • When treating the environment it is important to treat all areas that the pet goes.

How will this parasite affect my pet?

  • Fleas will bite cats, dogs and rabbits
  • Fleas can cause Flea Bite Dermatitis by irritating the skin of the animal
  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is caused by an allergy to flea saliva
  • A very heavy infestation particularly in small animals i.e. kittens and puppies can lead to anaemia
  • Fleas can also be responsible for the transmission of viral and bacterial disease

Can this parasite affect my health?

Fleas will bite people as well as cats, dogs and rabbits