Fleas are pesky little parasites, so let’s make it clear: there’s no shame in having fleas in your home.
They’re sneaky, and they can infiltrate even the cleanest of clean houses.
But we know that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing for you to have to deal with.
And this is why, for pet parents, nothing is quite as rage-inducing as spotting one of the little beasts crawling through their pet’s fur, only mere days after they’ve applied flea treatment.
But fleas are stubborn. They outnumber you a million-to-one.
And once they’ve decided to move in, they’re bloomin’ difficult to get rid of.
This is because they are nifty little breeders. (Never mind ‘breeding like rabbits’, the expression should be ‘breeding like fleas’).
Did you know? Only 5% of fleas live on your pet. The other 95% are in your home.
The extremely fast and furious flea life cycle is why you can sometimes still see fleas even AFTER applying flea treatment.
The flea you saw yesterday is not the flea you saw today. And if you’re dealing with a severe infestation in your home, no flea treatment on Earth will banish the blighters with just one application.
So how do you know that your Itch Flea treatment is working, if you’re still seeing fleas after you’ve used it?
It all comes down to understanding the flea life cycle itself – and how Itch interrupts it.
The Flea Life Cycle: Stage 1
A lady flea can only reproduce once they’ve been fed, but my oh my do they make up for lost time once they’ve tasted that blood!
After eating, and getting jiggy with a mate, lady fleas can start laying eggs – up to 50 a day.
Flea eggs make up around half of the ENTIRE flea population in your home
As your pet moves around your home, the eggs fall out of their fur and land in other places, such as carpets, curtains, bedding, sofas, etc.
When environmental conditions are just right – such as the warmth provided by central heating – the eggs will begin to hatch and the next stage of life begins.
The Flea Life Cycle: Stage 2
Once the eggs start to hatch, out pop flea larvae.
This is the stage where infestations really take hold in your home, because a flea larvae’s natural instinct is to find somewhere warm, dark and fuzzy to hide.
Sheets, your bed, your pet’s bed, carpet, curtains, skirting boards and the nooks between wooden floorboards – these are all prime real estate for flea larvae.
Now here’s a really minging fact for you – flea larvae can’t feed on a host, so instead, they chow down on flea dirt. That’s right – they eat the poo that fully grown adult fleas leave behind, and that you might sometimes see dotted around.
To the naked eye, flea dirt looks like little black specks, but it’s actually dried blood.
Top Tip: If you think you’ve found flea dirt, run a damp cotton wool pad over it. If the dirt turns red, the fleas ain’t dead, and you’re dealing with a live infestation.
Flea larvae will typically make up about 35% of the total flea population in your home – and they’re nowhere near your pet.
The only way to kill them is to wait a week or two for them to become fully grown adults. When they hop onto a pet that’s been treated with Itch Flea and taste a mouthful of Itch-infused blood, they’ll be dead within 24 hours, and any eggs they lay before they die won’t hatch.
The Flea Life Cycle: Stage 3
After a week or so, larvae spin a protective cocoon around themselves – and this stage is the pupae stage.
Flea pupae make up around 10% of the total flea population in your home – and just like with larvae, to kill them you need to wait for them to mature.
The pupae stage is the final stage before becoming an adult flea – a teenage flea, if you will.
Pupae fleas are absolute perfectionists – they need conditions to be just right before they hatch. Flea pupae are also the reason you need to treat your pet for fleas all year round. They can stay wrapped in their cocoons for days, weeks, months, even a year before hatching.
From deep inside their cocoon, flea pupae can pick up on signals that a host (aka, your pet) is nearby. These include subtle vibrations, changes to carbon dioxide levels and warm climates.
Because flea pupae need a warm climate to hatch, Summer time is often referred to as ‘peak’ flea season. But, thanks to central heating, your home is warm all year round – so in reality, there is no ‘peak’ time for fleas.
Flea pupae are so well protected by the sticky, outer layer of their cocoon, they are incredibly difficult to kill. Regular hoovering helps, but they’re sneaky, so you’ll probably still see them hatching and hopping around as young fleas at some point.
But, as long as your pet is protected with regular Itch Flea treatments, they’ll soon be dead. This is why it’s so important not to break the cycle of monthly treatments.
The Flea Life Cycle: Stage 4
Fully grown fleas hop onto your pet and take a little nibble. Lady fleas need to eat before they can reproduce (and ladies, do we blame them, really?)
Once they’ve eaten, found a mate and started laying eggs, the whole cycle starts all over again.
BUT – this is where Itch Flea interrupts it.
Fleas that have drunk blood from a pet treated with Itch will die within 24 hours. They might go a bit hyperactive during this time – but that just means the treatment is working, so don’t be alarmed.
The double-action formula in Itch also means that any eggs the lady flea lays before she dies will not hatch. So voila, the cycle is broken before you can even say ‘infestation’.
If a pet IS NOT treated with Itch Flea, then freshly hatched fleas hopping onto your pet can carry on living their best, flea lives.
They’ll keep on drinking and mating and laying eggs with zero interruptions, and those eggs will hatch, the larvae will eat poo and the pupae will spin cocoons.
In other words, the whole cycle starts all over again – and before you know it you’re knee-deep in a flea infestation. Yikes.
So how long does Itch actually take to break the flea life cycle?
If your pet is flea-free when you start treating them with Itch, the protection Itch offers is immediate. Even if fleas hop onto your pet, Itch will kill them fast and any eggs they lay will stay dormant forever.
If your pet has fleas already, the number of months it’ll take to be flea-free depends on the severity of your infestation.
Fairly early infestations can be eradicated within a month or two, but if you’re dealing with something more extreme it could take three, or even four months to fully get on top of the little blighters.
It will take time and patience – but you will get there. And it’s important to remember that there is no silver bullet that will eradicate them all in just one treatment.
I’m struggling – can Itch give me help and advice?
If fleas are getting you down, we have a dedicated, specially-trained team of flea fanatics on stand-by to help you and give expert advice.
Don’t be embarrassed to tell them all the gory details – they love the icky stuff, and it’s nothing they haven’t heard before.
Our team is available on all the usual channels. So slide into our DMs, give us a call or drop us an instant chat message.