This month’s column, dear readers, is a kind of public service announcement for the pet owners amongst you – and while it’s not a pleasant topic, I feel duty bound to share my experience. With autumn fast approaching and the heating going on (once it gets cold enough, that is!) it might be wise for you to check up on your animal and make sure the flea treatment you use is still working. Apparently, some of the spot-on medications we put on the backs of our pets’ necks are becoming less effective, especially if we’ve been using the same brands over a long period of time. I am not sure how widespread the issue is, none of my pet owning friends have said anything, but my house has just had a flea infestation that required a council intervention. It wasn’t nice at all and I’d not recommend it; if you can avoid it then take steps now (you’ll probably be fine but it’s better to be safe than sorry). After having the same outdoor and very territorial cat for fifteen years, treating him regularly for insects and never having any issues at all, this has been a real wake up call to make sure things are as they should be. I don’t want to start a mass panic, and it may be that I have just been unlucky, but as we’re so vigilant with our cat's wellbeing, I am interested in why this has happened now. Of course, the boiling hot weather hasn’t helped; I should imagine there’s a lot more of our little friends (I don’t even like typing the word fleaat the moment) around this year after such an amazing summer, but I wish I’d known sooner that my cat’s treatment wasn’t working. I would have changed to another one immediately. So, if you have a pet yourself check them over now, or if you know a pet owner tell them about my experience and get them to make sure their spot-on treatments are working. Hopefully by next month I’ll have stopped shrieking at every bit of dirt I see and normal service can be resumed!