Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fleas Ready to Pounce on Returning Holidaymakers

Returning from your extended summer holiday can have hidden dangers, particularly if you have pets, cats or dogs, that you have taken with you or put in kennels or catteries. You could return home to find ravenous fleas pouncing on you and your pets as soon as you open the door.

If your pets had fleas before you left, their fleas will have been left behind in the house. It is a popular misconception that fleas live on their animals. In fact fleas live in pet bedding and carpet and furniture around the home. They hop onto their animals for a feed and then hop off again. The adults will lay eggs on the animals but these fall off soon after. Larvae that emerge from the eggs feed exclusively on dust and detritus in carpets and bedding and don't bite or feed on the animals or people directly.

While people and pets are away from the house the flea larvae will pupate. The pupae may hatch and adult fleas emerge hungry and seeking a blood feed. Even those flea pupa that do not hatch will be waiting to hatch and pounce on the returning holidaymakers and their pets. The fleas emerge rapidly on sensing vibrations and heat from potential blood feeds.

So take care when you and your pets return home. You may need to tuck your trousers in your socks as I used to do when carrying out professional flea treatments. I would even spray the socks and trousers with a little permethrin to try and stop the fleas biting me through the clothes.

To treat your home and get rid of the fleas you will find useful information and advice here.

An alternative, and perhaps cruel, method of dealing with a ravenous flea ambush as recommended by some is to treat your pets with a flea drops and send them into the home first. The fleas then hop on to the pets, take a feed and seal their doom. It is then safe for the people to enter. I am not sure the pets would approve of this method, but it does work.

What is the difference between someone waiting to go on holiday and a someone returning home to a flea ridden house?
One's itching to go and the other's going to itch.

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