Does your dog suffer from fleas in the Autumn? Here's why...
When the temperature cools and the nights start to draw in suddenly dogs, normally fine and protected, are getting fleas. It's like a plague has come to town and all the usual repellents and treatments are no longer working.
While it’s counterintuitive to think fleas could be a problem as autumn gets into its stride it’s actually very common, and pretty easy to fix. You just need to understand how your dog is getting fleas then treat it accordingly.
How does my dog get fleas?
There are two reasons for this:
1. As it gets cooler outside, dogs are spending more time inside where it’s warm, and the heating goes on.
2. Flea pupae, which have been lying in wait in the carpet, sofa, and floorboard cracks are now hatching because their preferred host, your dog, is around to hop on to.
Why do fleas need my dog to survive?
Fleas need your dog to facilitate their lifecycle. A female flea lays up to 50 eggs a day on your dog. Flea eggs are white and a bit smaller than a grain of rice. The eggs are shaken off as your dog goes about his business. Eggs land on the carpet, his bed (or yours), and between the floorboards.
After a few days or weeks (depending on the ambient temperature), the larvae hatch. They move along the floor or rug using tiny hairs on their bodies, finding food (dirt, flea faeces, and dust – which as we know is mostly dead bits of human skin). Speaking of skin, is yours crawling yet?
When the larvae are large enough, they spin themselves into a protective cocoon (pupa) while they develop into adults – just like a moth or butterfly. And there they wait…and wait…and wait... until it’s ‘time’.
The adult flea can stay safely tucked up inside its cocoon for months or even years until the conditions are right for it to hatch for maximum effect; it will only emerge if it’s pretty sure there’s a host close by, which it detects by vibration, changes in temperature or even a change in carbon dioxide levels as your pet breathes close to the carpet.
The pupae hatch, jump onto your dog, lays their eggs and the whole process repeats itself.. and this is why autumn is the perfect time for hatching fleas when your dog spends more time inside the house and the temperature goes up.
Prevention and cure are one and the same.
So how do I get rid of fleas in my house?
* Sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) on the floors and furniture
* Or use a flea fogger
* Or use a spray called 'Indorex'
Give your house an autumn clean and/or use a fogger and your home will be flea-free in no time.
Now all you have to do is treat the dog!
Before you apply any spot-on treatment give him a thorough wash with natural flea shampoo and leave it on for 10 minutes then rinse. This will go a long way to killing all the fleas and eggs on him or her and taking the itch out of any flea bites he’s already incurred.
If you only treat your dog when he has fleas then get down to the vet and get veterinary flea treatment. Anything from the supermarket or pet shop won’t do the job, and you need a one hit wonder right now.
Preventing fleas naturally
To make sure it doesn’t happen again, and to break the flea lifecycle playing out in your home go natural after that and put your dog on Proflax Keep Off Me! Because natural flea repellants take a few weeks to work to their full effect, which is why you need the spot-on in the meantime.
Chemical flea and tick treatments can be highly toxic for your dog; long term use can cause immune, liver, and digestive dysfunction, skin problems, and sensitivities. Natural alternatives are a much healthier option.
Keep Off Me! has been formulated using holistic principles to naturally repel unwanted visitors and minimise the need for chemical treatments. As with all Proflax products, Keep Off Me! provides more health benefits than simply a flea & tick repellent; this fabulous blend keeps the gut & immune system healthy, aids intestinal hygiene, and provides nutritional support.
So, your home, dog, bedding, soft furnishings and floors are now a flea-free zone and you are at liberty to get cosy for the winter, safe in the knowledge your dog will remain unbothered by fleas or mites until Spring.
Author - Kate Bendix
Lover of Proflax products. Author and dog expert on natural pet care, and diet.