Flea Treatment Guide

About Fleas

There are 2 common species of Flea in Australia that infest our homes and pets. They are the Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis) and Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis). Despite their names both the Dog Flea and Cat Flea attack a variety of mammals including humans, dog cats, rabbits and rats.

Adult Fleas feed solely on the blood of Humans and Animals. The adult Flea will live most of its life on a host animal on which it will feed from. This host animal could be your family dog, cat or even rabbit. However, Fleas may also live within the host animals bedding, carpets and in soils/sand in the environment of the host animal.

get rid of fleas

Fleas go through 3 life cycle stages before they emerge as an adult flea- Egg, Larva and Pupa. Flea eggs are oval shaped and pearly white in colour with a smooth non-sticky shell. They vary in length from 0.1mm to 0.5mm in length. Flea Larvae are white and elongated, they do not have eyes nor legs. The larva progress through 3 in stars at the first instar they are 1.5mm in length getting up to 5mm in length by the third instar. The Pupae begin as an off-white colour that darkens into brown as they mature. It has a sticky outer coating allowing the pupae to hide deep within surfaces such as carpet.

Flea Eggs once laid fall from the host animal onto the surrounding environment, for example bedding, carpet and crevices within wooden floors. Here the eggs will hatch into larvae which will live deep within carpets and soft furnishings as they spin a cocoon and enter the pupal stage until ready to emerge as an adult Flea. This process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months depending on conditions.

Why are Fleas a problem?

Apart from being a nuisance through biting both your pets and family/occupants in your home, Fleas can cause conditions on your pet such as flea allergy dermatitis and anaemia as well as causing itching, irritation and discomfort for your pet.

Aside from causing skin irritation and itching to occupants within your home who they bite, Fleas also have potential to spread various diseases to humans – one of the most well-known flea transmitted diseases being the Bubonic Plague.

Inspecting for Fleas

Check your pet for fleas. If your pet has fleas you will notice them excessively scratching. For Dogs, focus on their groin, legs and base of tail as this is where fleas will usually target. For Cats, check their head and neck. A comb can be used to run through your pet’s fur, comb slowly and after each comb look for live fleas or flea debris (this looks like black specks of dirt).

Examine carpets, upholstered furniture and your pets bedding looking for live fleas, flea larvae, eggs and flea dirt.

Pre-Treatment Measures

  • Thoroughly vacuum all carpet, floors (focusing on any crevices in floorboards) and soft furnishings within the home. Pay attention to areas that are often undisturbed such as under furniture and behind doors. Prior to disposing of the contents of the vacuum cleaner ensure it is treated with an insecticide or placed in a freezer for 24 hours to kill any Flea Eggs/Larvae.
  • Wash all pet bedding. This may also include your families bedding if your pet regularly shares the bed.
  • Wash pet and treat with an appropriate Flea treatment (consult with your Vet)

How to Get Rid of Fleas

Step 1 – Treat Pet 

The best Flea treatment for your pet will depend on the circumstances. 

Flea Bath – For immediate relief it is best to bath your pet with a medicated shampoo. This shampoo will control any fleas living on your pet. It is important to remember that medicated shampoos will not protect your pet from re-infestation and are best used in combination with a spot on/tablet flea treatment to control re-infestation. Always refer to the product label before use, check with your vet for advice on whether the product is suitable for your pet.

Flea Chews for Dogs

Spot On Treatment for Cats

Step 2 – Treat Dog Bedding/Environment

Once your pet has been treated with an appropriate flea control product wash or treat your pets bedding. If your pet regularly visits or sleeps on your or a family members bed it is also important to wash this bedding.

Apply Coopex Residual Insecticide to pet bedding and kennels at 25gm/2.5L of water, providing up to 4 months of control against fleas.*

Step 3 – Treat Inside

Mix Fury with Tekko Pro Insect Growth Regulator in a tank mix and apply to skirting boards, floors and carpets for residual control of fleas for up to 7 months.

For Heavy Infestations – Big Smoke Smoke generator can be used as a “clear out” of fleas. After spraying, apply Smoke generator to infested areas at a rate of 1 generator per 220m3.  

  • If pest populations are heavy, a second smoke release 2 to 3 days later may be required to reduce the insect population to an acceptable level.
  • Keep area airtight for at least 3 hours after lighting.

Step 4 – Treat Outside

To control Fleas outside mix Webzone Termiticide and Insecticide with Tekko Pro Insect Growth Regulator in a tank mix and apply prepared emulsion to outside surfaces of buildings and surrounds including but not limited to foundations, verandahs, window frames, eaves, patios, garages, pet housing, soil, turf, trunks of woody ornamentals or other areas where fleas congregate or have been seen.

Always read product label prior to use.
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