Having your pet on a year-round flea preventative is highly recommended, especially in Southern California, where it can be warm year-round. We often hear clients state that they stop their pet’s flea prevention in the winter since it is “too cold for fleas” or “it is not flea season”. Can you picture a flea in a bikini hanging out in a hammock under a palm tree, just loving Southern California weather? So what is the big deal of a few fleas living in the winter? Those eggs that they are laying are the problem. Those eggs that were laid in winter will just wait and hatch in the months that may just be a hotter temperature for them. So this is where year-round protection comes in to play. We are sure that your flea problem in the summer would not be as bad if you also treated in the winter.
Another common thing we hear is clients stating that they do not see any fleas on their pets so that is why they have stopped the flea medicine. There is really no way that you are going to see ONE single flea on your pet no matter how hard you look. Fleas are fast and great at hiding from you. So the one flea that you are not able to see is being allowed to lay those eggs. We recommend a topical or oral flea killer. You can also use an oral preventative that does not allow the flea eggs to hatch. Using both types together, we think is a great way to get those fleas an their eggs under control.
Flea spraying your pets living areas and yard are also recommended. Sometimes other animals like possums, stray cats, or your friend’s pets can bring fleas in to your pet’s environment. We highly recommend using sprays that also have Insect Growth Regulators (IGR). This can help affect the eggs. Be very particular to where you are spraying. Fleas tend to hide in shady areas.In the house make sure you are spraying under the bed, under the dressers, under the couch, etc. That is one problem with foggers, they tend to just shoot up and then down. Don’t forget to wash your pet’s bedding which may include your blankets and pillows. When spraying outside, again spray in the shady areas. Fleas won’t be found sun scorched high traffic areas. They will be wherever your pets go to sit in the shade.
Apply or give flea preventatives as directed. Too many times when a client says the flea medication is not working, it is due to improper application. They placed the drops on the back and then rubbed it in with their fingers. They placed the drops and the put a harness on pet and all of the medications soaked in to the harness. They gave the oral preventative on an empty stomach and pet vomited pill. We have even had a client give the topical prevention orally. Always look carefully at the directions.
Invest in a flea comb! When a client says the flea medication is not working at all, the first thing to do is to run a flea comb over the pet. The flea comb is a great investigative tool. Start with combing above the base of your pet’s tail. You may see different things here. If you see big fleas, you pick them off and place them on a paper towel or counter. Fleas are great jumpers. If they are stumbling around not jumping then they are being affected by the product. If you see a bunch of very small fleas, then your pet just went somewhere where fleas just hatched, and the product may still be working. If you see Fleas eggs (looks like salt) or flea dirt (looks like pepper), this means that fleas are actively living on your pet. That is when you want to look deeper in to the effectiveness of the flea product you used. If you see nothing at all, then that is a sign that the product is working. What if your pet is still scratching? He may be scratching due to other allergies and we would recommend and exam.
There is a variety of products available to use. Please contact us 714-771-3261 and we can help you choose the best flea prevention for your pets.