Is my monthly flea treatment not working?
Discovering one or two fleas on your pet is not a sign that your monthly flea treatment is not working. There are a few reasons that you might be finding fleas when you have treated your pet:
1. It may be too soon after treatment
It can take up to 24 hours for a topical monthly flea treatment 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. Eggs may still be hatching in your home
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. Your pet may have encountered new fleas
Your pet 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 24 hours by your topical parasite control product.
4. They may have found an outdoor source of fleas from wildlife
Catching fleas in the outdoors or from other wildlife 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, meaning they also eradicate immature fleas before they reach adulthood.
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. Often it can take time to treat your pet’s environment to eradicate evidence of fleas.
Cats can be better at removing the evidence of fleas, but look for signs of overgrooming, such as stubbly hairs at the tail base. Look for evidence of flea dirt in areas your cat cannot reach, such as the back of their neck, or around their ears.