Good flea control is a daunting task for both owners and veterinarians. The application of collars and adulticide products are palliative but do not solve the problem. The flea survives long enough to lay eggs.
Fleas can lay up to 1000 eggs per day and their life cycle can be complete in 16 days. The climatic conditions in Portugal provide a natural break in this life cycle during the winter months, but in an infested house, the conditions indoors may be favorable for the continuous reproduction of these insects all year round.
Allergic pets require strict control of ectoparasites to avoid any symptoms. Even a limited exposure (in which no adult fleas are found on the animal) is enough to cause intense itching in a hypersensitive patient (one or two bites a week is sufficient!). These symptoms are caused by adult fleas which only visit pets to feed themselves. Hence the need for a control strategy that attacks fleas at different stages of their life cycle (egg, larva, pupa and adult) even when they are not present in the host.
Nowadays there are very effective and long lasting products with few side effects. Provided they are applied regularly, they significantly improve the quality of life of our pets, especially those susceptible to Flea Allergic Dermatitis. The application should be periodical according to the manufacturers' indications, but may need to be as frequent as every 3 weeks at the height of the season.