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Discovering one or two fleas on your pet is not a sign that your monthly flea product is not working. There are a few reasons that this may happen:

  1. It can take up to 24 hours for a topical flea product to kill any fleas that have hopped on to your pet. Fleas that are dying often come to the coat surface and move around excessively – making them more visible. 
  2. There may be a source of hatching flea eggs in your home. In addition to using regular topical flea control on your pet, it is equally important to regularly treat your home. Vacuuming, washing bedding above 60° Celsius and using a vet recommended home flea spray, such as Indorex or RIP Fleas will ensure your home is not a reservoir for fleas. With central heating and improved insulation our warm homes allow fleas to survive all year round. 
  3. They may have come into contact with another pet with fleas. Transfer of fleas from one pet to another is not a common source of flea infestation. However, it is possible that one or two fleas may transfer through close body contact when playing or saying hello.  These fleas should be killed within the next 24hours by your topical parasite control product. 
  4. They may have found an outdoor source of fleas from wildlife. This is particularly common in the spring and summertime, when warmer temperatures stimulate flea pupae to hatch.  The new adult fleas lie in wait for a warm, hairy, breathing mammal to come close enough to jump on. These fleas would multiply rapidly if there were no topical flea product present. However, with your monthly protection these fleas will not live to reproduce, our topical flea products also have an inhibitor effect on the flea lifecycle beyond killing adults.

So when should I be concerned?

As we have said, the presence of a few adult fleas does not mean your topical flea product is not working. You should be concerned your flea product is not working if you find large numbers of fleas, flea dirt and flea eggs on your pet’s coat. We have another blog about how to look for evidence of fleas here.   

Cats can be better at removing the evidence of fleas, but look for signs of overgrooming, such as nibbles stubbly hairs at the tail base. Evidence of flea dirt in areas your cat can not reach, such as the back of their neck, or around their ears. 

If you have any concerns about the efficacy of your Protect My Pet product, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Written by Lindsay Rose MA VetMB CertAVP CertVBM MRCVS.