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Parasite Risks in the UK

Find out more about how to stop a flea infestation in your home.

How to spot signs of fleas

  1. You may see adult fleas hop on your soft furnishings and carpet
  2. Keep an eye out for several dot like insects on your pet’s fur
  3. Your pet is likely to scratch, lick or bite their fur excessively
  4. Specific areas of your pet’s body that you need to check include the Check carefully for signs of scratching, redness, blood, or dirt. These can all be signs of fleas.
  5. The skin on the belly, groin, or base of the tail may appear red and bumpy, especially if your dog is doing a lot of scratching.
  6. The best way to check for fleas is using a flea comb, which you can get from your vet or local pet store.
  7. Comb the hair on your pet’s back and legs; the flea comb’s teeth are designed to lift fleas out of your pet’s hair.
  8. You may not always see an adult flea when you comb, but combing also dislodges ‘flea dirt’ which are little bits of digested blood.
  9. If you then tap the comb onto a piece of white paper and add a few drops of water to the debris collected, the flea dirt will show up on the paper as little reddy-brown dots, while actual dirt just remains dark
  10. Bringing in parasites such as worm eggs, which may have been picked up from outside

Tips to help prevent flea infestations

Wherever your pet dog or cat goes, the parasites will unfortunately go with them and they particularly thrive in soft furnishings. More than 1 in 10 people surveyed found fleas on their sofas and it is estimated 95 per cent of the flea population in a home is found within carpets and soft furnishings1. Furthermore, 14 per cent of pet owners admit to throwing away cushions and sofa covers following a flea infestation.

  1. Hoover your carpets and soft furnishings regularly to help remove any flea eggs that have dropped off your pet and dust or debris that parasites can hide amongst
  2. Apply an effective spot-on flea treatment to all dogs and cats on a monthly basis
  3. Advantage spot-on kills fleas on dogs, cats and rabbits and also kills flea larvae in the home  wherever the treated pet goes.

1.    British Pest Control Association