What is flea bite hypersensitivity?

Flea control is now more important than ever as we begin to see the hatching of dormant fleas in the warmer states. The flea population will begin to increase in people’s homes, in and around the garden, and at parks frequented by dogs.

Fleas don’t just bite cats and dogs, but humans as well. They can live all year round in warm, humid homes. You can find their eggs in carpets and bedding just waiting for your pet to walk past. Once a flea jumps on your pet they can start biting and feeding quite quickly. The aim of good flea control is to eliminate the numbers of eggs in the environment and to kill the adult fleas feeding on your pet.

A number of dogs and a smaller percentage of cats are allergic to flea saliva, and a few bites from a flea can cause a reaction resulting in an intense itch and hair loss. This is called flea bite hypersensitivity. The signs are usually observed around the base of the tail and top of the back, but are not limited to these areas. Sensitive animals need to be administered good flea control treatments year-round. I recommend Nexgard chews. For people who want to combine their flea control with worming, or heartworm treatments, Advocate or Revolution are excellent options. In areas where ticks are present, Advantage and Advantix should be used.

Using a flea control treatment will not prevent your animal from picking up a few fleas, but it will stop them breeding and causing a flea infestation in your home. It is important to clean up the environment if you have fleas by vacuuming all carpets and rugs, and washing or steam cleaning bedding. You will need to move your furniture and vacuum all surfaces. Keep pets away from sandy areas and prevent them from going under the house where fleas like to breed.

Ensure all pets in your home are on good quality regular flea control, and if you still have fleas then using a flea bomb, such as Fido’s Flea Bomb, to exterminate them from a specific area. These are often quite strong chemicals you will need to leave the home for a certain number of hours after using.

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