All about external parasites
The irritation that fleas, ticks and lice can cause your pet may be only part of the problem. And possibly the least serious part too. Fleas and ticks have the potential to pass on diseases that can affect your pet and, rarely, you too. That’s why it’s important to know what you’re up against and the best way to prevent problems.
All about fleas
Fleas are a very common problem. They’re all around and jump onto your pet from infested environments such as homes, gardens and parks – but not usually from other infested pets as is often thought. Once a flea has found a suitable host it will tend to stay there.
If you have a cat or dog, the chances are they’ll experience a flea infestation at some time in their life.
A 2005 survey shows that nearly 1 in 10 dogs and over 1 in 5 cats may be suffering from fleas at any one time 1.
A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs in 1 day or up to 1,000 in a month.
All about ticks
Wherever you live in the UK, your pet can pick up ticks – from your garden, urban parks or rural areas.
Ticks are a member of the spider family.
Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that pierce your pet’s skin with their mouthparts and cement themselves into position to prevent easy removal.
Due to the method of attachment and their blood-feeding process, ticks can cause several different problems for your pet – including potentially life-threatening diseases.
The low-down on lice
Lice are wingless insects that live their whole lives on pets.
Cats and dogs have their own species of lice, neither of which infect humans.
Lice live on your pet’s skin and feed on their skin debris.
Female lice lay their eggs in the pet’s coat and these become glued to the hairs.
Lice are not a common problem in healthy pets – unwell, very young and debilitated pets are more likely to suffer from an infestation.
Infestations will cause your pet a lot of irritation.
Checking your pet for lice
Part your pet’s coat and look for the white eggs (nits) glued to hair shafts, also you may see off-white lice moving around, all are just visible to the naked eye.
Lice are highly contagious from cat to cat or dog to dog. When you are treating a lice infestation, you must treat all cats or dogs that the affected pet is in contact with at the same time. It’s also a good idea to wash any grooming equipment and bedding too.
FRONTLINE® Spot On controls lice within 48 hours.
All year round
Some people think that fleas, ticks and lice are just a problem in the summer. They’re wrong. Your pet needs to be protected regularly whatever the season or it will be susceptible to the irritation – and more serious problems – that these bugs can bring.
As the weather warms up, fleas and ticks start to breed quicker and quicker.
The summer months are when your pet is at the most risk. The temperature and humidity can quickly lead to huge flea infestations and massive problems for your pet and your family.
This is the time of year when it’s particularly important to guard against tick infestations and the re-emergence of fleas – especially when you turn on the central heating.
It might be cold outside but your warm home makes an ideal breeding ground for fleas – the risk to your pet never goes away.
That’s why it’s so important to keep up regular treatment, whatever the time of year.