It is everyone's dirty little secret. We have all had them at one time or another, so we all know how bothersome and in some cases, deadly they can be.
If you have lived in Florida long enough, you know the drill. With high humidity, high temperatures, and large amounts of rainfall, Florida is the ideal place for a flea infestation. While spring and fall are the usual times of the year we see these pesky bugs, winter is now contributing to the cause as well. With our climate changing and not having as many cold winter days, we are now starting to see fleas almost year-round.
Fleas predominately live outside the home, but in extreme cases you can become infected inside the home as well. I do not recommend treating outside unless the Fleas are extremely dense. Most local pest control companies offer flea control services for both inside and outside the home. There are also several do-it-yourself products you can buy at your local retail store that work rather well as a preventative. In both cases, make sure your pets are not exposed to the treated areas. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and even ask your pest control service technician. (Don't wait until you have a problem to treat for fleas. Be proactive). Treating inside the home is the most important. Only treat outside if area is shady, small - severely infested. All fabricated areas, carpet, chairs, couches and beds need tp be treated. Very often a second treatment is needed.
Fleas are not picky critters. While they are most known to infect dogs and cats, other furry friends are also at risk: rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, skunks, gerbils, and hamsters, to name a few, are also subject to flea infestation. Keep in mind with fleas it is not just the bug living on your pet that is a problem. Fleas can be the cause of a variety of diseases from allergic dermatitis, tapeworms and occasionally life threatening diseases. These can not only be harmful to your pet but to your pocketbook. Severe repeated flea infestation can sometimes even require blood transfusions! So again being proactive is in you and your pets best interest.
There are many excellent products available that can be used to safely treat your pet. Trifexis, Comfortis and Advantage products are a few that we carry at PAAH. Trifexis is a chewable tablet that kills fleas and prevents infestations, protects against heartworms, and treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm infections. Comfortis is the first FDA-approved, chewable beef-flavored tablet that kills fleas and prevents flea infestations on dogs and cats for a full month. Advantage II is a monthly flea preventative for dogs that offers comprehensive flea protection by killing adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. Advantage II also treats, prevents, and controls lice on dogs. Also offer Frontline Tritak that treats fleas & ticks. Assurity is a topical treatment for cats. Trifexis & Comfortis can not be sold over the counter. We need an exam within the last year to dispense, and for Trifexis we need an up to date heartworm test. Advantage, Assurity and Frontline can be sold over the counter. Be sure to talk to a PAAH staff member so they can help you decide which product will work best for your pet.
Fleas can be nasty, dirty little bugs, but they can be defeated. In some cases you may have to repeat your treatment plan several times before you win the battle, but rest assured it can be won. Just like in people care, being proactive in animal care is the least expensive and the most effective form of treatment. Happy Flea Hunting!