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Vitality Vetcare

Phone: 02 6687 0675
4a Ballina Rd Bangalow
NSW 2479 Australia

Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine

There is no separation between conventional and natural therapies.

Our priority is what is going to be of the most benefit to your animal.

Voluntary Wildlife Care

Voluntary Wildlife Care

Pro-bono treatment of Australian wildlife

We collaborate with local wildlife groups to provide excellent care of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife

Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine

We use Western and Chinese herbal medicines for a wide range of acute and chronic problems including skin, digestive, nervous and painful conditions.

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Homeopathy can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of acute and long-term problems for a particular animal or group of animals.


Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Fleas, fleas, fleas.

on Thursday, 17 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Learn how to control fleas effectively

The flea life cycle:

Understanding the flea life cycle is helpful in understanding why it is sometimes difficult to control fleas on our pets. The flea has four main stages in their life cycle; egg, larva, pupa and adult.

The ADULT flea prefers to live on the animal. The female lays her eggs after she feeds on a high protein diet – blood! She can lay up to 50 eggs per day!

The EGGs are found both on your pet and in the environment. The female lays her eggs on your pet and they then fall into the environment as your pet sheds. The eggs hatch in the environment depending on the climate – anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.

The PUPA is the stage before the adult. The adult flea can lie in the cocoon for up to 6 months. The adult will emerge when there is high humidity and warm temperatures. This means that if a single flea treatment is missed, you have the potential for an outbreak in your environment for up to 6 months.

The LARVA emerges from the egg in the environment and then feeds on organic debris including the faeces from adult fleas. The larval stage lasts between 5 and 18 days before which it spins a cocoon and pupates.

 Flea life cycle


When should I be treating for fleas?

Fleas thrive in warm, moist environments and climates like here. As you can see from the discussion on flea life cycle, it is prudent that you treat ALL YEAR ROUND – even as we come into the cooler months. The lapse in treatment for a single month can lead to an outbreak.

Where do fleas live and breed?

Fleas spend most of their time living in the environment and not on your pets. The adult female flea is the flea that feeds on your pet because she needs a high protein meal before she lays eggs. The flea eggs and larvae are then found amongst the hair and skin that your pet naturally sheds. This means that flea eggs and larvae will be found where your pet sleeps and where they spend most of their time.

Do I need to treat all my pets, or just the ones where I can see fleas?

Dogs and cats share fleas. All dogs and cats in the household and regular pet visitors need to be treated. It is very important to treat both the environment in which your pets are living, as well as both the dogs and cats.

How do I control all life stages of the flea?

To control environmental infestations we recommend regular vacuuming, washing your pets’ bedding regularly and using flea sprays/bombs if necessary (choose one that kills all stages of the life cycle). Please don't kill little black ants because they are your friends not foe as they eat flea eggs.

Products for your pets’ include:


 + Oral products: Bravecto every 3 months, Nexgard once per month (both of these products also control ticks), Comfortis monthly, Capstar once per day (not a long term prevention – kills adult fleas only).

+ Topical products: Advantix, Permoxin, Frontline Plus (these products also control ticks), Advantage, Advocate, Revolution.


+ Oral products: Comfortis monthly, Capstar once per day (not a long term prevention – kills adult fleas only).

+ Topical products: Advantage, Revolution, Advocate, Activyl all monthly, Frontline spray (also controls ticks) every 3-4 weeks.


Are there some natural ways we can control fleas?

+ Consider restricting your pets’ access to areas within your home to make cleaning more manageable

+ Steam clean your carpets and rugs at the beginning of the flea season to kill eggs eg Spring.

+ Vacuum and clean all floors, skirting boards, furniture and bedding that your pets’ have access to, thoroughly at least once a week to remove flea eggs, larvae and pupae, especially where your pets’ sleep. Dispose of the contents of the vacuum as soon as possible to prevent re-infestation.

+ Wash your pets’ bedding in hot soapy water at least once a week and dry in the sun or on maximum heat. You can also put the bedding out over a frosty night or in the freezer as freezing and defrosting kills flea eggs and larvae.

+ Bathe your pet with natural flea-control soap free shampoo and leave on for 10 minutes. This will kills fleas on your pet at the time of bathing but will not have a residual effect, so new fleas are unaffected.

+ Use a flea comb on your pet to trap and kill fleas every day or week depending on the time of year and level of infestation. You can kill the fleas in hot soapy water. A few drops of diluted essential oils may be put on the flea comb e.g. lavender, rosemary or cedar.

+ Neat tea tree or pennyroyal oil can be tea tree toxicfatally toxic to cats and dogs if ingested whilst grooming

+ Mow the lawn regularly

+ Encourage ants; don’t discourage them as they eat flea larvae and eggs

+ Apply agriculture lime on grassy or moist areas to dry out the fleas

+ Lemon skin tonic e.g. thinly slice a whole lemon including the peel; add to 500mL of near- boiling water and infuse overnight; sponge the solution onto your pet’s skin and leave to dry. This can be used daily.

+ Feed a more natural diet that includes fresh or dried garlic and nutritional yeast and raw meaty bones. Some cats and dogs don’t tolerate yeast products or garlic. We have a lot of information on natural diets here.

+ If this approach has not worked then treat your carpets with anti-flea mineral salts e.g. sodium polyborate or other boron based compounds or sprinkle natural unrefined diatomaceous earth (not DE for swimming pool filters) along walls, under furniture, in hard to get places and on carpets. Wear a mask and don’t use if you or anyone else in the household has respiratory problems.

+ A spray or powder containing natural pyrethrins or synthetic pyrethroids are the least toxic of the insecticides used on dogs. Do not use on cats as they can be fatally toxic to cats.

+ If you use a chemical spot-on flea product, then only use soap-free shampoo and do not wash your pet more than once a fortnight. Your pet must be dry for 48 hours before and after applying the product i.e. no swimming or washing.

+ Please understand that there may be a time lag for up to 3 months for you to notice success if you do not treat the environment as the larva and eggs in the environment have to develop and diet.

+ If you have a challenge keeping fleas under control please give us a call! 66870675

Opening Hours

10am - 5:45pm Tue - Thur

Consultations by appointment only

Emergencies: please call your local general practice vet or

North Coast Emergency Vets, Ballina 0424 054 056 weekends & PH

Animal Emergency Service, Carrara, Gold Coast 07 5559 1599


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