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Why protect against fleas

Fleas can cause severe irritation and infection of the skin (flea allergy dermatitis). They may also carry Bartonella - this is a bacteria that causes the disease Bartonellosis, also known as Cat Scratch Disease. The Big Flea Project results showed that 11.3% of fleas were carrying this disease that can affect both dogs and humans if exposed to infected fleas or flea dirt.

As well as diseases, fleas can carry the flea tapeworm which can cause harm to our pets.   

Map of flea risk 

This interactive flea map, created from The Big Flea Project results, helps to show risk in your local area. Use it to search for the types of diseases that are prevalent in different areas across the UK.

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The flea life cycle

Fleas are the most common parasite problem for UK dogs and cats. It’s vital to understand the flea life cycle to beat an infestation. Take a look at the different stages of the cycle below – and remember that 95% of any infestation is in the home and not on the pet!

The only way to treat a flea infestation and break the cycle is with at least 12 weeks of continuous protection1.

1 Dryden et al. Parasites & Vectors (2015) 8:364

Adult flea

Fleas start to feed in 5 minutes, and mate after 8 to 48 hours. Adult females lay up to 50 eggs a day – that’s up to 2,500 eggs after 50 days!

Eggs

Eggs are not sticky: they fall off onto carpets and furniture – and hatch after 1 to 10 days.  Once in your home, they are difficult to get rid of.

Larva

Larvae feed on ‘flea dirt’ and move downwards, away from light and towards moisture. Larvae moult twice then weave cocoons to protect the pupa stage.

Pupa

Fleas hatch in response to heat, carbon dioxide and movement.

Further information

  • Our studies

    What have the studies shown us?
    Read more
  • Flea life cycle

    Take a look at the different stages of...
    Read more
  • Map of threats

    Fleas and ticks are nasty! Do you...
    Read more

Why protect against ticks

In the UK, ticks can carry various diseases including the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, an infection that affects both dogs and humans: symptoms can include a ‘bull’s-eye rash’ in people, but this doesn’t always occur. Other symptoms include lethargy and flu-like symptoms. It’s important to know how to check for ticks properly, and what precautions you should take to avoid them entering your home.

Map of tick risk 

This interactive tick map, created from The Big Tick Project results1, helps to show risk in your local area. Use it to search for the types of diseases that are prevalent in different areas across the UK.

*Abdullah et al. Parasites & Vectors (2019) 12:71

Further information

  • Our studies

    What have the studies shown us?
    Read more
  • Flea life cycle

    Take a look at the different stages of...
    Read more
  • Map of threats

    Fleas and ticks are nasty! Do you...
    Read more