Central heating can speed up flea infestations

As we head into the colder months, people are going to be cranking up their central heating systems to keep out that winter chill. However, dog owners should be extra wary, as this can create a haven for fleas.

Bayer Animal Health, as part of its ‘Home Invaders’ campaign, has undertaken research that found a third of pet owners are unaware that turning the heat up can increase the risk of flea infestations.

Ian Wright, a parasitologist from the European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) UK and Ireland, said: “As long as the humidity remains over 75 per cent and temperatures don’t exceed 30 degrees Celsius, then for fleas, the warmer the better.

“Fleas can complete their life cycle in less than three weeks at 29 degrees Celsius, so the warmer the house is, the faster they will reproduce up to that point. It should also be said, that fleas can still breed at 17 degrees Celsius, just at a slower rate.”

Flea and parasite awareness is incredibly important, and a surprising half of people apparently only realise their dog has fleas when the vet points it out to them. You can look at the dog pests guide for more information.

You should always be on the lookout for the signs that your pet has an infestation or a pest, especially during these winter months, when your heating is on. Fleas can spread quickly, and survive on fabrics and upholstery, so make sure to treat them thoroughly and as quickly as possible.

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