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Flea Control

Flea Control

Step 1: Kill the adult fleas on ALL your pets

  • All pets must be treated with an appropriate flea treatment. Read the application instructions and follow them carefully.

  • Canine treatment must NOT be used on cats, unless specifically labeled for them, as it may be toxic to cats.

  • Treatment options:

    • Dogs:

      • Topical (Monthly) – Advantix or Frontline (or other veterinary approved treatment)

        • Many over the counter treatments may be much less effective or have an increased risk of side effects. It's best to consult with your veterinarian about what treatments have been most successful this season.

      • Collar – Seresto – this is the same product as Advantix for fleas/ticks but releases a constant lower dose of medication that lasts 8 months. See your veterinarian for further details.

      • Oral–Bravecto(3 months fleas/ticks), Nexgard (1month fleas/ticks), Comfortis (1 month fleas)

    • Cat:

      • Topical – Advantage (fleas), Advantage multi (fleas, worms, mites), Frontline (fleas,ticks)

      • Collar – Seresto – effective treatment for fleas AND ticks, low non-toxic dose of advantix product for cats that lasts 8 months

      • Oral – Comfortis (1 month fleas) – chewable tablets for dogs that has recently been approved for use in cats, Capstar (1 day rapid flea treatment)

    • There are other veterinary approved products. If you are ever unsure about the safety or effectiveness of a product, please consult your veterinarian.

  • Flea Allergies

    • Pets with flea allergies will have significant skin reaction (itching, hair loss, scabs, etc) to even a small number of fleas. Therefore it may not be easy to see the flea causing the problem. These pets do best on year round flea control due to their sensitivity to a single bite.

    • Usually oral flea control is best to avoid skin irritation. Bravecto for dogs is labeled for this use.

  • No biting or scratching does NOT mean there are no fleas.

    • Those without flea allergies may not itch and may be the culprit for re-infecting the pet with allergies.

    • Treating ALL pets means even INDOOR pets. Since humans and other pets carry the fleas into the house, this exposes even those that never go outside and they may be the persistent source of new fleas.

  • Disease from fleas

    • Anemia due to the blood meals taken by fleas, is a serious and potentially fatal result of a severe flea infestation. This is a reality even for those non allergic animals that weren't scratching.

    • Tapeworms – fleas are the intermediate host for some tapeworms. Animals and humans can become infected with tapeworms due to ingestion of an infected flea.

    • Bartonella – also known as 'cat scratch fever', this is a bacteria carried by fleas and flea feces (flea 'dirt'). It can be transmitted to a cat by ingesting a flea or flea feces while grooming or to a human via cat claws contaminated with flea feces.

Step 2: Remove flea eggs and adult fleas from inside the house

  • Daily vacuuming is the most effective way to reduce immature flea populations in the house.

  • Vacuuming removes 40- 80% of flea eggs and up to 90% of pre-emerged fleas.

  • Focus on areas near and under beds, furniture and base boards.

  • Wash bedding that pets have used.

  • Various sprays are available for use in the house to kill or prevent the development of eggs/larvae

Step 3: Outdoor Environment

  • Some areas outdoors where pets like to lay or investigate, unfortunately may have large numbers of fleas.

  • Fence off or block access to areas that have a lot of ungroomed plants or debris for fleas to hide in.

  • Walk dogs on paths, walkways, groomed yards and avoid woods and gardens. This will also help prevent exposure to ticks.

  • Garden areas and outlying areas should be tidied and organic debris removed

  • If the outside environment (or inside the house) has an uncontrollable flea population, a professional exterminator may need to be consulted, just as with any other pest.

Step 4: Prevent exposure to fleas from other animals

  • Cats or dogs that come visit your house can bring new flea populations or help the current ones thrive

  • If an outside pet must visit, be sure that they too are on a reliable flea medication

  • If your pet must go elsewhere where there may be fleas (other homes, groomer, veterinary clinic, rabies clinics, dog parks, ungroomed outdoors areas like parks and camping, pet store, etc), be sure they are up to date on their flea control. If it is a high risk area you may want to give Capstar (daily rapid flea treatment) before returning home to kill any 'hitchhiker' fleas.

Flea Facts:

  • Average life span is 6-24 months

  • Eggs laid on a host drop off and hatch within 2-12 days

  • Pupae may delay development for up to 1 year awaiting the right conditions

  • New fleas can survive 1-2 weeks before requiring a blood meal

  • Vibration, heat, and CO2 stimulate a pupa to develop

  • An adult flea will jump toward a host in response to movement or shadow