How to fight a cat or dog flea infestation

If your pet has fleas, we know you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. It’s why you rushed out and grabbed the first flea treatment you could find, only to find it didn’t do the job…

Well, don’t panic! Fighting a flea infestation is hard. It can take up to 90 days to completely eradicate these pesky parasites. While this may seem frustrating and daunting, taking the time to learn more about fleas and how flea infestations occur means you’ll be able to banish fleas for good…

To help, we’ve created an easy to follow 5-step plan to help you get rid of fleas in your home and stop them returning.

Step 1: Treat your pet with Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On

The first step is to kill the adult fleas on your pet. This will make your pet feel much more comfortable. Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On is a vet strength spot-on treatment for cats and dogs. It is applied directly to the skin, and one application is effective for up to 5 weeks. You don’t need a prescription, you can just pick it up from your local pet shop or online, whenever you need it.

So, you’ve dealt with the fleas on your pet. That means your flea problem will soon be solved, right?


The adult fleas on your pet are only 5% of the problem. Which leads us onto step 2…

Step 2: Treat your home with Beaphar FLEAtec Household Flea Spray

While 5% of a flea infestation is on your pet, the other 95% is in your home, and comprises flea eggs, larvae and pupae.

⚠️If you only treat your pet for fleas, you will never get on top of an active flea infestation.⚠️

Ignoring the flea eggs, larvae and pupae in your home means your pet will just become re-infested when their on-animal flea treatment stops working, as these fleas mature into adults and jump back onto your pet. These adult fleas lay more eggs and the cycle will just keep going – you can read more about the flea life cycle in our blog .

Beaphar FLEAtec Household Flea Spray contains both an insecticide and an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR).

  • The insecticide kills the adult fleas
  • The IGR targets the flea eggs and flea larvae, preventing them from developing.

By combining an IGR with an insecticide, you can kill adult fleas and also break the flea life cycle. This stops a flea infestation in its tracks.

Helpful hint: Fleas can lay dormant in their pupal stage for 140 days or more, and are completely protected from all insecticides. To be able to kill them, you need to make them hatch into adult fleas. Vacuuming creates vibrations that trigger flea pupae to hatch, so we recommend doing this before using Beaphar FLEAtec Household Flea Spray. Just remember to empty the vacuum and dispose of the contents in an outside bin immediately afterwards. The last thing you want is fleas hatching in your bin or vacuum!

Step 3: Vacuum floors and soft furnishings, and wash bedding at 60°C

When fleas lay eggs, they fall through your pet’s coat and land wherever your pet is. This could be their bed, your sofa or even your bed. Yuck!

As we mentioned, vacuuming encourages flea pupae to hatch into adult fleas so the household flea treatment can kill them. Continue to do this regularly, focusing on your carpets and your soft furnishings, and you will eradicate the fleas in your home. Beaphar FLEAtec Household Flea Spray is suitable for use on both carpets and soft furnishings (just don’t forget to test for colour fast-ness first)

Wash your bedding and your pet’s bedding at the hottest temperature possible (a minimum of 60°C) to kill any fleas or flea eggs. Continue to treat your carpets and soft furnishings until the problem is under control.

Step 4: Reapply Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On, or switch to Beaphar FIPROtec® COMBO

Once your flea infestation is under control, don’t stop there!

If you want to keep fleas away, you need to continue with your flea treatments. Any gaps in treatment give adult fleas jumping onto your pet the chance to multiply. A female flea can produce up to 50 eggs per day, so you could quickly end up back at square one!

Apply Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On once every four weeks to give your pet continuous flea protection. Don’t forget to continue to protect your home. One application of Beaphar FLEAtec Household Flea Spray is effective for up to 6 months.

Once you’ve got the infestation under control, you may wish to consider a combination flea treatment as an alternative. Combination flea treatments target multiple flea life stages using a single product. Beaphar FIPROtec® COMBO is a vet strength, spot-on flea treatment that contains both fipronil and S-methoprene (an IGR). It works on your pet (killing adult fleas) and in your home (preventing flea eggs and flea larvae from developing).

⚠️Whichever method you choose, it’s important to always follow the ‘instructions for use’ on the pack. It’s also essential that you do not use more than one on-animal flea treatment at a time. Doing so could make your pet extremely ill, and in severe cases lead to death. ⚠️

So, if you have used Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On and want to either reapply or switch to Beaphar FIPROtec® COMBO, you need to wait until four weeks after the last treatment before doing so.

Step 5: Worm pets regularly as some fleas carry tapeworm

The last step is to protect your pet from other nasty parasites!

Alongside causing frustrating home infestations, fleas can carry tapeworms. If your cat or dog ingests an infected flea, usually during grooming, they will also ingest the tapeworm. If left untreated this will develop into a worm infestation. Having worked so hard to get rid of your flea problem, the last thing you want is for your beloved pet to end up with worms.

If your pet has fleas but you haven’t wormed them in a while, it’s important to do so now. Thereafter, adult cats and dogs should be wormed at least once every three months. Vet strength wormers, such as Beaphar WORMclear®, are available from your local pet shop and online.

Frequently Asked Questions about flea treatment

How long does it take for fleas to die after treatment?

This will depend on the flea treatment you’re using. Both Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On and Beaphar FIPROtec® COMBO start to kill fleas within 24 hours after application.

Why am I seeing more fleas after treatment?

Again, this will depend on the flea treatment you’re using. If you’ve applied a flea treatment containing fipronil, you may appear to see ‘more fleas’ after use due how fipronil works. Fipronil affects the nervous system of fleas, causing hyperactivity. This means the fleas become more active, and therefore more visible to pet owners, before being killed. Both Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On and Beaphar FIPROtec® COMBO contain fipronil as an active ingredient, so you may notice this after use.

Another consideration is that it could be a ‘hitchhiker flea’ picked up by your pet from outside. While treatments are available to kill fleas, they can’t stop the fleas jumping onto your pet. Seeing fleas on a correctly treated pet is normal and doesn’t mean the product isn’t working. It just means you’ve seen the flea before it’s been killed.

How do I get rid of fleas in my house forever?

The only way to prevent a home flea infestation is to follow and stick to a regular flea treatment routine. Any gaps in treatment will allow the fleas to complete their life cycle. This is when a home flea infestation can develop.

As highlighted in our 5-step plan, there are two ways you can protect your pet and your home from flea infestations:

  • Use an on-animal flea control product that contains an insecticide, such as Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On, and a household flea treatment that contains an insecticide and an IGR, such as Beaphar FLEAtec Household Flea Spray. Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On kills adult fleas and is applied once every four weeks. Beaphar FLEAtec Household Flea Spray targets adult fleas, flea eggs and flea larvae in the home. One application is effective for up to six months.
  • Use a combination on-animal flea control product that contains an insecticide and an IGR, such as Beaphar FIPROtec® COMBO. It is ideal for busy families because it is effective against adult fleas, flea eggs and flea larvae. It allows you to get the job done in one; just apply the spot-on to your pet once every four weeks.

Both methods will protect your pet and your home from fleas when used correctly. It’s about choosing the flea control method that works best for you and your pet

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