An unfortunate truth is that, in many parts of the United States, if you have pets, it is not a matter of if your pet has ever had fleas but when they will get them. At some time in your pet’s life, they are likely to get fleas. But just because it is common does not mean that it should be ignored. Just 1 female flea can lay as many as 40 to 50 eggs a day and over 2000 eggs in her lifetime. The longer you wait, the bigger the problems these minuscule pests can cause.
How Do Homes Get Flea Infestations?
Sadly, there are several ways for your pet and, in turn, your home to experience flea infestations.
We share the ways fleas can easily invade your home and make themselves comfortable on your pets below:
How Can I Prevent Flea Infestations?
By far, the best way to help avoid a flea infestation is to keep your pet protected against fleas with a regular dog and/or cat flea prevention protocol. There is a range of treatment options available that help to protect your pet against fleas. Keeping up with regular treatment is a lot less hassle than trying to evict fleas from your home!
Can Fleas Hurt My Pet?
Yes! Fleas can cause many problems than itching alone. Your pet's constant scratching may lead to visible patches of hair loss and reddened, irritated skin that can cause infection.
Fleas can also transmit tapeworms. A tapeworm is flea larvae your pet gets from ingesting a flea.
A severe infestation can cause anemia and death in some cases.
Why Does My Pet Have Fleas If They Are On Flea Preventives?
Getting rid of fleas can be frustrating, costly, and time-consuming. Preventing them is better than getting rid of them. Just remember if you can see fleas and you administer our recommended flea preventative as prescribed, it is likely that your flea prevention IS working, and they are dying.
Healthy fleas are very quick and move out of the way as they feel the vibration of you moving your pet’s hair. If you do not see any flea dirt (poop), it probably means that you have picked up some hitchhikers on your last walkie. If you see flea dirt, your pet might have fleas in their immediate environment, and you need to treat your home and yard.
How Do I Get Rid of Fleas?
Thankfully, there are very specific steps you can take to combat fleas once they've invaded your home.
Make a plan, act quickly, re-treat in 3 weeks, and stick to the plan outlined below:
STEP #1 Call Your Vet
Make sure your pets are protected with a cat or dog flea and tick preventative that is recommended by your veterinarian.
STEP #2 Treat Your Home
In all cases, you need to wash bedding and linens. Wash all your pet’s belongings, including blankets and even toys in hot water. Vacuum all soft surfaces, under furniture, and floors. Mop hard flooring down with a damp mop. Dispose of the vacuum canister debris or the vacuum bag outside of the home. Live fleas are in there, as well as hatching eggs that can re-infest your home.
Treat all soft surfaces with a pet and kid-safe household flea spray. Treat cushions, curtains, and sofas will also need to be treated. This can be done either with a household flea spray or by washing on a hot wash. If it is not possible to treat a soft surface, consider thoroughly vacuuming it. Fleas love dark places, so spray under furniture and in crevices.
Sweep tile or wood floors, and vacuum carpets, rugs, and under furniture frequently.
STEP #3 Treat your Yard
Treat your yard – even if you have an indoor-only cat. Treat your yard with a yard spray before they come into your home on your shoes, clothing, or pet with a yard spray. Be sure to follow the instructions closely. Re-treat your yard in three weeks to eliminate any fleas that have hatched in between treatments.
We can not stress enough the importance of administering flea and tick preventative all year long to prevent an infestation of fleas and to keep your pet on the path to wellness. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the protection of your pet.