Summertime Flea and Tick Prevention

Did you know that a flea’s life span is six to twelve months? During its lifetime, two fleas can produce millions of offspring. What does this mean for your beloved pet and your home? Misery on you and your pet! Disruption of your whole household.

Discomfort, itching, scratching, flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). These tiny creatures can cause mild to severe reactions in your pet.

Since they feed on blood, a severe infestation can cause your pet to become anemic which can cause death. All mammals are susceptible to fleas. The exceptions would be for some that live in high elevations or extremely dry weather.

Remember that just because you do not see fleas on your pet does not mean your pet has not fallen prey to these pests. Flea dirt found on the skin, scabs, dark specs, and scratching can all be symptoms of having fleas. In extreme cases, your dog’s gums and lips may become pale and he may become lethargic.

Fleas can also carry tapeworms. If your dog gets diagnosed with tapeworms this can also mean he has fleas.

Now for some good news!

There are many fleas treatments and preventions available over the counter and from your veterinarian. To treat both your home and you does require some patience by you.

The fleas life cycle is three to four weeks. Which means you can expect it to take at least that long to rid your pet and environment of all fleas.

There are many flea control products on the market available from your vet and also pet stores. The best flea control product is one that will not only kill the adult fleas, but will kill the eggs and larvae. Sometimes it will take a combination of products to be effective.

Fleas dips, shampoos, powders, flea combs, and sprays will usually only kill the adult fleas and only on your pet. Your home and yard also need to be treated. For your home, you will need to vacuum, wash your pet’s bedding once a week.

Cleaning with a disinfectant on washable surfaces. Household foggers or insecticide will need to be used every two to four weeks.

Be careful with these toxic chemicals and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When using a combination of products make sure you consult your veterinarian on how to best eliminate fleas. A professional exterminator may be a good idea for you as well.

In the yard, you can also spray with insecticide or a more natural approach would be nematodes or microscopic worms that kill flea larvae and cocoons. Apply them once a month until fleas are gone.

Consult your veterinarian, pet supply, or garden store for more info on nematodes. Since sunlight kills fleas, remember to pay special attention to the shady areas of your yard.