Pet care brand Bob Martin has warned dog owners about an influx in fleas due to a series of “mild winters” in recent years.
Research carried out by the company found that fleas “thrive in damp and humid conditions”, but can’t develop below 12°C, meaning winter usually breaks their life-cycle.
However, with many people turning up their central heating in winter months experts are now predicting of a “perfect storm” of infestations, which could prove problematic for pets throughout the year.
Bob Martin is now warning that homes which are most at risk are those with pets who haven’t been treated with flea and tick products.
Although a treatment programme is necessary to kill the flea’s life-cycle, Aurelie Gayraud, senior brand manager at Bob Martin, stated that remedying the problem in autumn is important before the “fleas develop into rock-hard armoured pupae and hibernate over winter. “
She said: “They’re easier to kill off when in the adult stage, but a holistic approach to eradicating fleas at every stage of its life cycle is really important.
“Effective flea prevention and treatment products for your pet and home are key when it comes to totally eradicate an infestation.”
She added: “The increasingly mild winters we’re having have resulted in the problem being a constant one throughout the year. After hatching, a flea will build a cocoon and develop into its pupae stage, which acts as a shield, which they can lie dormant in for months.
Although winter would naturally kill them off, our central heating will keep them cosy until they’re ready to re-emerge in spring. While vacuuming can help remove some of them, it’s not 100% effective – just a few fleas left behind could turn into a full-blown infestation in days.”