Spring is here and so are the pesky bugs…….

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Let’s Talk Fleas

It has happened to all of us.  We sit down to watch our favorite TV show with our furry friend and look down and see a little black bug running across their hair coat.  YUCK!  The dreaded flea!  Let’s talk a little about the life cycle and what it means if you are seeing fleas on your pet.  

By the time you notice fleas, immature stages have been developing in your home for up to two months and potentially your environment is full of fleas hatching and developing.  How did this happen you ask??

Hitchhikers –> Have any animals visited your home in the past six months? (this includes the neighborhood cats that just come by once a day to eat on your porch)  Have any family or friends who own pets visited?  They can also hitch a ride on your clothing.

Wild Animals –> Raccoons, opossums, and feral cats come around and serve as a source of recurrent flea infestations.  Flea larvae love any shady, cool area – piles of leaves in shady spots, under the porch or in shady mulched areas.  We know you can’t control what wild animals frequent your yard, but you can keep all your pets on monthly prevention.

Pet Family –> ALL pets in the household (inside or outside) need to be on monthly flea prevention.  Yes, even the cat that hides under your car that you only see once a week. 

Ok, now that we have discussed where fleas come from and how easy it is to have a flea infestation and not even know,  let’s discuss how to fix it!

  1. Patience –  It can take anywhere from three to four months to eradicate the flea infestation from your home.
  2. Be Diligent – During the three to four month period, make sure all pets in the household (again – inside and outside) are treated with a product with excellent speed of kill.  There are a couple different options for both dogs and cats.
  3. A Reasonable Expectation – The flea problem may seem to get worse before it gets better.  It is vital to wash all bedding and vacuum under couch cushions and all carpets weekly for three to four months. Make sure if you are using a bag in your vacuum you take it out of the vacuum and dispose outside of your home right away.  
  4. Other tips – You can also use an area treatment spray that will help break the life cycle.  We recommend Knockout ES to treat the inside of your home. http://www.virbacvet.com/products/detail/knockout-es-area-treatment.  You may also want to reach out to your pest control company and have them come and spray.  We also recommend a yard spray Virbac Yard Spray Concentrate  http://www.virbacvet.com/products/detail/yard-spray-concentrate that you can do on your own.

We know eradicating these pesky bugs is very very frustrating!  We are always a phone call away.  You can even stop in for us to evaluate what you are using for flea prevention and try to make a plan.