Just like the ringing sounds of the neighborhood ice cream, the start of the swim season and the last days of school, the hot summer days also bring the dreaded flea season to our pets and subsequently our homes. Even an usually warm spring or the steamy days of an Indian Summer in the months of October or November can also start or sustain the flea season.
While it can be expensive, a year-round monthly maintenance of topical application is necessary, especially here in the deep South, to stay ahead of the game. Major brand names include Advantage, Advantix and Frontline and are available by prescription from your vet.
Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions and topical maintenance by a pet owner, I still get the frantic call, “Maureen, I think we’ve got fleas!” Fleas can be nasty little buggers for our furry friends (and us, too, for that matter – we humans can be just as delicious!). Licking and chewing at spots where there are raised pink dots (often in clusters) are often symptomatic and a sign there are indeed fleas, larvae and/or eggs on the skin. I will use an appropriate flea shampoo or dip to disrupt the reproduction cycle of fleas and kill adult fleas which are present. Additionally, the fur will be combed out to help release any fleas that are present at the time of the bath. I get the relatively easy part. You, the pet owner and unknowing host to the second half of the infestation? Well there will need to be patience, diligence and commitment on your part. I’m more than happy to talk you through it.
For every flea found on your pet, there are more developing in the home. A fogger or spray insecticide will be needed to kill eggs and pupae that are lurking in your carpets, bedding, upholstery… anywhere your furry friend has been laying around. Change your pet’s bedding regularly – need I say yours as well if Fido or FiFi are so lucky and fortunate to sleep with you? Vacuuming will be key. While it’s not quite 100% effective, it will remove a fair amount of the flea population. But you will need to remove, seal and throw away the vacuum bag after each and every use of your vacuum during this flea removal exercise. Additionally, a dehumidifer will aide your effort. Fleas thrive in warm temperatures and humidity so a little AC and a dehumidification system, in addition to your repeated vacuuming, will pose a fatal triple threat to the flea enemy.
Additionally, if your furry friend is both an indoor and outdoor resident, you will need to also treat the outside property. Outdoors, you need to treat only flea breeding sites such as bedding areas, the ground under decks and shrubbery, and wherever pets spend a lot of time. Well maintained lawns in sunny sites are unlikely to harbor many fleas.
So don’t ignore the symptoms. Fleas are a nuisance to their hosts, causing an itching sensation which in turn may result in your pet attempting to remove the pest by biting, pecking, scratching, etc. the vicinity of the parasite. Give us a call at Aussie Pet Mobile, and together let’s get started in busting out these fleas and get an enjoyable summer back on track!