Updated: Jan 22, 2021
We often have pet owners ask us how to rid their home and pet of a pesky flea problem. It can be difficult at times, to get them cleared out, but we have the tools to help you!
The most important step is to ensure that your pet is in an active exam, as this will speed up the process of prescribing your pet their ideal flea/tick preventative. We offer both oral as well as topical flea/tick preventions, and recommend your pet is kept on them from Spring until early to mid Winter depending on their dosing date. This will ensure that your pet is well protected from external parasites, and furthermore will keep them out of your home. These external parasites are infamous for hitching a ride home from places like the park, hiking trails, etc.
If you are experiencing a flea problem with your pet, we advise you to discuss our preventive care options with one of our Veterinary Nurses. This will ensure that each life stage of the flea is killed, and if you purchase your products through us, the companies who distribute and create these products will honor their efficacy if the issue persists and all treatments were followed as directed.
Understanding the flea life cycle is a key aspect of getting rid of them within your home, and on your pet. Only 5% of the flea population is in the adult stage on your animal. The other 95% is not on your pet, but rather, in your home! The flea lives on the skin surface moving easily through the hair coat. Fleas feed on the animal’s blood by biting and sucking. They excrete saliva with an anticoagulant to keep the blood flowing. This is very irritating to the pet’s skin, causing an intense itching and possible allergic reaction, a.k.a “Flea Bite Allergy”. The life cycle begins after the adult lays eggs on a host post feeding. The eggs then fall off, hatch into larvae and feed on organic debris i.e. shed hair and skin particles. The larvae molt and grow into pupa that reside inside of a cocoon. This cocoon is highly durable and only hatches in an ideal environment that contains the ideal host (your pet).
Fleas can be particularly harmful. They can cause anemia, especially in young or debilitated animals. A single female flea can take up to 15 times her body weight in blood over the several weeks of her adult life. Fleas can also carry several diseases, and spread tapeworms to animals.
Lastly, but certainly not the least important aspect is to use a spray called KNOCKOUT in your home. This spray is used for carpet, furniture both on and below, as well as any rugs in your home. We always recommend testing a small spot of your furniture to ensure that it will not stain the material. After spraying KNOCKOUT, it is recommended that all pets and people are removed from the home for several hours to let things settle. You may also place a flea collar in your bag-less vacuum. While these products are not the ideal/efficacious treatment for your pet, they work great for killing anything vacuumed up during cleaning. It is also recommended that you wash bedding regularly to ensure they are not burrowing in your linens.