Pet Fleas 

We are those small parasites that live in your home biting you and your pets.

We are rather impressive but not everyone knows what we are capable of. Let me tell you a bit about our abilities.

We lay our eggs on your pet knowing they will fall off somewhere warm and comfortable like your carpets and pet beds. Thank you for heating your homes so well as this allows us to hatch quickly.

Our larvae are very small (2-5mm in length) they feed on organic debris and even our adult flea faeces in the environment.  We prefer dark areas so we dig deep into your carpets or find shady areas outside. Centrally heated homes remain our favourite spot as thanks to them it is summertime all year round.

The next stage is our pupal stage where we produce a sticky silk-like cocoon. Here we develop into adult fleas in 5-10 days if conditions are right .We can survive as adults in our cocoons for 3-4 months, even recorded up to 9 months as we are resistant to most insecticides at this time.

We don’t emerge until we are stimulated by physical pressure (eg. Walking across carpets), carbon dioxide or heat i.e. potential hosts. This ensures there is a tasty meal when we emerge as if we don’t  eat within a few days we would die.

When we find a passing host we try to remain on them as long as possible. Our females start producing eggs two days after their first blood meal and can go on to survive for up to three weeks laying 50 eggs per day.

When you consider how many of these will result in adult females you can get an idea of just how impressive we are!

The Fightback

Flea bites cause your pets skin to become inflamed, which is itchy. They also transmit tapeworms to cats and dogs. This happens when your pet swallows fleas when grooming. Some cats and dogs are allergic to flea bites. These pets become extremely itchy if bitten by just one flea.
Control of fleas must be aimed at eliminating fleas from your pet and strict environmental control.

Here at Weardale Vets we recommend that you use Frontline Combo Spot-On for dogs and cats. This long acting liquid preparation is applied to the back of the neck where it spreads over the surface of the skin within 24 hours.

Frontline Combo contains an insecticide that kills adult fleas and a compound that prevents the development of the eggs, larvae and pupae, targeting the whole lifecycle.

In severe cases of flea infestation in the home we also recommend an environmental spray.


Ticks are blood sucking parasites that attach themselves firmly onto a pet. They grow in size over several days as they suck blood, then drop of to complete their lifecycle. Ticks are usually picked up when your pet walks through long grass.

Ticks can cause anaemia and can transmit Lyme disease.

Removing Ticks

It is best to contact your vet before attempting to remove a tick. It needs to be removed very carefully to ensure no part of it is left behind as this can cause a skin reaction or an abscess.

Your vet may use a special device for removing ticks or may apply a spray to kill the tick after which it will drop off.

Tick tweezers are available to buy but advice on proper use should be obtained.

Safety Tips on the use of Parasite Treatments

Always follow treatment instructions carefully.
NEVER use Dog Treatments on Cats.
NEVER go over the recommended dose.

Every year, vets see pets that have been accidentally poisoned by their owners using the wrong type of parasite treatment. Sadly, in some cases, this is fatal. Your vet is the best person to advise you about which treatment is best for your pet.

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