Flea Season is here!

Flea and tick season has arrived in the midwest! Which means it’s time to get started on flea prevention on both your pet and in your home. Preventing fleas includes treating three different areas: your home, your yard and your pet.

Indoor Flea Prevention
Indoor flea prevention starts with vacuuming. You will want to vacuum high traffic areas daily and other areas weekly. This will help remove any fleas or larvae that are present in your carpet. When you change the vacuum bag, be sure to put it in a plastic bag and seal it to prevent the fleas from getting back into your home.

If you have a severe flea problem, you may want to treat your home with an insecticide, such as a fogger or spray. Virbac offers a great fogger that works really well. You will want the fogger to contain IGR or insect growth regulator, which stops the flea’s life cycle by not allowing them to develop into adults.

You will want to wash your pet’s bedding in hot water weekly to kill any fleas that are present. Don’t forget to treat your car, garage, basement or any other areas that your pet spends time.

Outdoor Treatment
Outdoor treatment involves treating the yard, kennel, patio, and any other areas in which your pet frequents. Fleas like moist, warm areas that contain organic debris. So, get out the rake and get busy. Remove any organic debris with the rake to expose the areas where the fleas are present and to allow the yard treatment to reach these areas. Once you have these areas cleaned out, you can treat them with Siphotrol Yard Spray. It covers 5,000 square feet and can prevent reinfestation for up to 4 weeks.

Pet Treatment
Treating your pet for fleas is easy with a topical spot-on, such as Frontline. Frontline is a once a month treatment that is applied to the back of your pet’s neck. The medication is spread throughout your pet’s body by his or her hair.

For severe infestations that need to be taken care of immediately, you can use a flea dip such as Adam’s Flea & Tick Dip. Adam’s kills and repels fleas, ticks, lice, gnats and mosquitoes for up to 7 days. It is easy to apply, you just sponge it on and let it dry, no rinsing required. You can also use an oral medication, such as Capstar, which kills fleas within 4-6 hours and is effective for 24 hours; however, I wouldn’t recommend you use this on a daily basis.

As you can see, it is pretty easy to keep your pet and your home flea free. Prevent infestation before it happens by starting to treat your pet and your home now!

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Since flea season is right around the corner, I wanted to talk about Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). FAD is the most common skin condition that veterinarians see. FAD occurs when a dog or cat is allergic to flea bites.

FAD symptoms worsen during peak flea seasons, usually during the summer or fall. Once your pet has been bitten (even just once), you will notice excessive scratching, chewing, licking or biting. More extreme signs of FAD include small, red skin lesions and hair loss. Hot spots can also be present.

Diagnosis is based on your pet’s history, clinical signs and the presence of fleas. Your veterinarian might also do an intradermal test, this is similar to allergy testing in humans, where a small amount of solution is placed under the skin. If a reaction occurs, you are allergic to that particular allergen.

Pets with FAD are treated by keeping the pet itself and its environment flea free. To control fleas on your pet, you will want to use a spot-on flea control product, such as Advantage or Frontline Plus.

To treat your home, you can use a combination of vaccuming and insecticide, such as Virbac Area Treatment to rid your home of any current flea infestations.

Vacuuming Really Does Help Kill Fleas

I hope that everyone had a nice holiday! Welcome back!

A recent study conducted at Ohio State University has shown that vacuuming is an effective weapon in the fight against fleas. According to a news story on MSNBC.com, vacuuming kills fleas in all life stages. “The OSU study, partially funded by the Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co. and detailed in a recent issue of the journal Entomologica Experimentalis et Applicata, involved vacuuming up groups of 100 adult fleas at a time, as well as groups of 50 pupae and 50 larvae, from a tightly woven kitchen-type carpet.” This experiment showed that 96% of the fleas that were vacuumed up were killed.

Not only is vacuuming a tool to keep your home clean, it is now a more natural way of ridding your house and your pet of fleas. This means that those bug bombs you have sitting in the cupboard aren’t really all that necessary. The use of a flea control spot on, such as Frontline Plus and vacuuming is the most effective way of controlling fleas.