Fleas are a nuisance that continue to irritate an increasing amount of British pet owners, the BBC has learnt via the Radio 4 show, ‘You and Yours’. Animal lovers and pet owners messaged in to report a significant rise in the amount of insects infesting their furry friend’s coats, leading them to believe that a type of ‘super-flea’ has built a resistance to standard flea treatments.
Experts have been keen to reassure pet owners, as this rise in flea cases will be down to warm, wet summers in the UK. This is of course problematic for pet owners who require a number of treatments to rid their pet of the infestation. The NHS is dealing with over 300 extra cases of bites and stings in England, whilst the sale of flea treatments has also gone up 25% in comparison to last year.
Lucy Chadwick – Head Veterinary Surgeon at Pet Drugs Online tells the BBC that although sales do fluctuate year on year, these figures are rather dramatic. Dr Tim Nuttall who is a veterinary dermatologist at the University of Liverpool claims this increase is down to the damp summers and mild winters, allowing fleas to experience prime living conditions throughout the year – also much assisted by improvements in house insulation.
Both Chadwick and Nuttall suggest that pet owners should be applying the flea treatments correctly and also seek advice from specialists to prevent such an increase in infestations.
Cat fleas lead the race in popularity in the UK, as they are happy to live on cats, dogs and humans too, not necessarily having a preference.