Flea Prevention

Flea Prevention

If your dog or cat is itching or scratching, fleas are a likely culprit. We often think of flea season beginning in early spring and lasting into the fall, but fleas can survive year-round. Fleas that live on your pet can easily spread to your house or yard, and vice versa, so it's important to treat both your pet and your pet's environment.

Adult fleas jump on your pet when they sense heat or vibration telling them that a host is near. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day. The eggs fall off of your pet and develop into tiny worm-like larvae, which hide in carpeting, furniture, bedding, in between couch cushions, and other dark places.

The larvae mature as they feed on fecal matter dropped by adult fleas, and they become adult fleas, continuing the cycle.

Signs of fleas include:

  • adult fleas on your pet's skin or in your house
  • flea eggs on your pet's coat (white oval shapes the size of table salt crystals)
  • flea excrement on your pet's skin (dark specks that turn reddish in water)
  • irritated skin
  • excessive itching, which can lead to hair loss or a bacterial skin infection (ranging from a "hot spot" to a severe skin infection).

In addition to causing itching, irritation, and extreme discomfort, fleas can also lead to anemia, flea allergy dermatitis, Bartonellosis (Cat Scratch Fever), and other diseases. When ingested, fleas can cause tapeworms.

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