How to get rid of fleas in New Zealand

Published September 22nd, 2021 in CatsDogsWorm TreatmentFlea Treatment


Fleas are the most common external parasite in New Zealand cats and dogs. If your pets venture outside they are more than likely to catch fleas.

Fleas not only make you and your pets itch but Fleas carry tapeworm, cause allergic skin condition in dogs called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) and can carry other infectious diseases.

Flea-related diseases account for over 50% of skin disease cases reported to veterinarians. The vast majority of these conditions could be prevented by the regular use of a fast, effective flea treatment.

With the advent of modern products it is possible to prevent fleas from becoming a problem in your household. By treating for fleas year round you not only break the lifecycle of the fleas in their environment but also protect your pet from other diseases.

Why is it so difficult to get rid of fleas?

Fleas are small, black insects who lead a complex life away from your pet. Only the adult fleas live on your dog and drink its blood; the early stages live free in the environment, i.e. your home. For every flea that you see running through your pet's fur, there may be hundreds of young fleas waiting to jump aboard a passing pet - or if you are unlucky - onto you. So even if you don’t see a flea on your pet, that doesn’t mean your job is done.

Where do fleas live?

Adult fleas lay eggs in the pet's fur. Each female flea can produce dozens of eggs every day. They are pearly white in colour and about the size of a grain of salt. The eggs do not stick to the fur and soon fall off onto the floor.

After a few days, the eggs hatch into maggot-like larvae which hide in your carpets, cracks in the floor or in your dog's bedding.

After a time, the larva spins a cocoon where they may stay for several months but finally the adult flea breaks out of its cocoon and crawls out of its hiding place to look for food, it will hop on to any warm-blooded animal that passes by, including humans. Centrally heated homes provide ideal conditions for a flea to grow from an egg into an adult. The minimum time for the lifecycle is around 3 weeks but can last up to a year with the adult stage (biting stage) lasting up to 3 months!

How do fleas damage my pet's health?

Fleas are the most common cause of skin disease in cats and dogs. Flea spit contains chemicals which stop blood clotting until the flea has finished feeding and these chemicals may cause an allergic reaction in your pet. Most animals are not affected by this allergy, but those which are, suffer severe itching. Affected animals lick or rub themselves, wearing away their fur and making their skin red and sore. Sometimes a crusty rash will develop.

How can I tell if my pet has fleas?

  • Wet one side of white paper by running it under the tap.

  • Place the sheet on a flat surface, with the wet surface facing up.

  • Sit your pet against the edge of the paper.

  • Rub or brush your pets back towards the wet paper.

  • After 30-20 seconds you may notice reddish brown spots on the wet paper. This is often referred to as 'coal dust' and is the dried blood in the flea droppings.

Sometimes there are no obvious signs of fleas and your vet might suggest testing your pet's skin to see if it is allergic to flea spit.

How can I get rid of fleas?

The secret of successful flea control is to treat both your pet and its environment with effective products which kill the adult and the immature fleas. There are a range of tablets, powders, sprays and shampoos to destroy the fleas in your pet's fur. Not all products are equally effective and those you can get from your veterinary surgeon or trusted veterinarian operated online companies are usually much better than those sold in pet shops or supermarkets. By using trusted brands like, Bravecto, Nexgard Spectra, Advocate and Braodline you know you are doing the best for your pets, and all of these products are all available through Vetty.

What is environmental flea control?

Treating the areas where your pet spends most of its time is also important - particularly the places it lies down to sleep. Washing your pet's bedding in hot water will destroy the young fleas (but not the eggs) and vacuuming your carpets also helps keep the numbers down. Some products kill the flea itself and some prevent immature fleas from developing and reinfecting your pet in the future. Your vet can advise you on which product, or combination of products, to use. You must continue to treat your pet and your home all year round, even if you do not see fleas.

What if I have other pets?

All the cats and dogs (because most fleas on dogs are cat fleas), in a household should be treated even if only one animal appears to be affected by flea bites. If you do not continue treatment, the affected animal may be reinfected with fleas carried by other animals in your home or by fleas it picks up outside.

What is the solution?

Treat your pets all year round with even through the winter months. This will break the flea lifecycle and make sure your home, especially under your house, is free from fleas.

Use a trusted vet backed company like Vetty to have your products delivered to your door every time your pets are due, and never miss a dose again!

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