Last year was the first time in my 15 years of working in Canberra and Queanbeyan that I have seen a real problem with fleas. These pesky parasites are normally killed off in our harsh winters and don’t breed well in our dry summers as the eggs need 70% humidity to hatch. With all the welcome rain however, fleas have decided that Canberra is now a great place to live and taken up residence in the millions!

Fleas are blood suckers and the irritation from the flea saliva causes our pets to itch. They can also carry a couple of diseases such as “spotted fever” and “cat scratch fever” and even the plague (not in Australia fortunately!)

Only the adult flea lives on your pet and 95% of the life stages are in the environment. That is why spot-ons such as Revolution and Frontline are great at prevention as they last a whole month and there is now a great tablet for dogs as well (Comfortis).

Vacuuming the carpet and pets bedding is a great start to remove any flea eggs and larvae, but make sure you dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag so they don’t hatch in the machine and escape!

Prevention is better than cure, and this season will be the worst for some years. Best to start prevention now and drop in to chat about the best products to suit your specific household and environmental control.

This post was originally written in late 2011