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Watch Out, fleas & ticks are about

Spring opens the door to many marvelous opportunities, new life, growth, and beauty.

The downside is it also opens the door to fleas and ticks when they hitch a ride on your beloved furry friends. So, what can we do to stop these parasites from taking over your life?

Fleas

Fleas are a tiny insect that feed on the blood of other animals. They travel by jumping, and can jump remarkably high for their size, making it easy to move between hosts.

They live for approximately 100 days so usually they will stay with a viable host until they die. The mature female flea will lay between 20-30 eggs a day, until she dies, which could result in hundreds of eggs, per female flea.

They prefer warmer climates, so your pet’s fur and your cosy house are their ideal habitat and breeding grounds.

When they feed, they cause itching to their hosts and in some cases can cause severe reactions, which can lead to inflammation, hair loss and skin infections.

Ticks

Ticks are a parasite that bite into their hosts and feed off their blood. These guys are unbiased when it comes to finding a host and have been known to latch onto humans, snakes, lizards as well as our furry pets.

They live from anywhere between 3 months to 3 years and will change hosts many times during their life cycle.

There are 3 main types of ticks found here in Australia, bush tick, brown dog tick, and the one you especially want to look out for, the Australian Paralysis Tick. They are the most dangerous of the three as they produce a toxin that causes paralysis.

Prevention

Frequent vacuuming of high-traffic areas and regular washing of your pet’s bedding can help reduce the chances of an outbreak in your home.

One of the easiest ways to protect your furry friends from ticks & fleas is the use of a protective oral preventative such as NexGard Spectra or Simparica. With continual use, these are a great way to control fleas, ticks, and worms before they have a chance to cause a problem.

Tick collars are a great way to help reduce your pet’s chances of getting them if they spend a lot of time outdoors, especially cats who tend to find their way into areas of high risk.

Regularly checking your pet for pests is a must to keep them and your home safe this spring. Fleas can be hard to see, a quick eagle eye look through your pet’s fur, can save you much hassle and ticks tend to favour the ears, face, and neck, although can be found anywhere on your pet.

Cure

If you find that your pet has either of these, it is important to act fast to prevent spread and minimise damage.

Use a shampoo, ointment and manually remove them. You can buy a comb to make this process easier.

Wash your pet’s bedding, vacuum, and clean any other areas they may have spent time in. Fleas can easily spread to furniture, especially if your pet sheds fur regularly.

Manually remove ticks them from your pet with tweezers, make sure to avoid squeezing their body, grab them at the closest part to the skin of the host (their head) twist and pull.

We know your pets & love them almost as much as you do, we can give advice on the right product for your pet on flea and tick prevention. If you have discovered a parasite on your pet we highly recommend talking to your vet as it can be a life-and-death situation.

The best thing you can do to protect your pets is to be vigilant and consistent. Mark it in your calander for your friends to have the oral prevention, be consistent with your cleaning schedule, and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. But most of all, don’t forget to get out there and have fun with your fluffy friends. Have a play, enjoy the beautiful weather we have at the moment.

Happy pet parenting from all of us at Capalaba Produce!

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