We’ve heard it over and over, “I don’t know what happened,we didn’t have any fleas and now they have taken over. Itseems like our place is the new favorite hangout for fleas! Everyone ismiserable! ”
Here are some common questions we ask, along with theanswers:
HAVE YOU BEEN ON VACATION? Often families go away on vacation right about the time that theconditions for fleas to emerge from their pupal cocoon are right. For example, during Spring Break. Thefamily pets are boarded and the house is closed up. The temperature and humidity in the houserises: perfect conditions for hatching are 70 to 85 degrees with humidity of70%. Fleas hatch and once you and yourpets enter the house again, they attack!
HAVE YOU JUST STEAM-CLEANED YOUR CARPET? If the air is dry and temperatures are fairlylow, then fleas in their pupal cocoon will wait in a dormant state until theconditions are right. They can remain inthat dormant state for up to two years. The heat, steam and vibration of the machine create the perfect microclimatein your carpet, signaling to the flea to hatch. Let’s face it, even the best carpet cleaners can’t suck everything up,and the pupal cocoon is sticky, so many can remain. The end result is you have cleaner carpetsand an infestation of adult fleas! Unfortunately, this is often a “housewarming” gift to new owners whenthey get the carpets cleaned before they move in. Sorry!
DO YOU HAVE OTHER ANIMALS VISITING OR TRAVELLING THROUGHYOUR YARD? Neighborhood cats, other dogsand other warm-blooded animals that live in a suburban environment for example,rats, mice, opossums, skunks, and raccoons, can bring fleas to your door. The fleas lay eggs on their host, and sincethe eggs are slippery, they can fall off the original host and into your houseor yard as they are travelling through.
ARE YOUR PETS SOCIAL? Do you take your dog out with you? If you visit dog parks or other similar areas where other animals havebeen, they can pick up fleas.
DOES YOUR PET RECIEVE FREQUENT BATHS OR SWIM A LOT? Topical flea products work well and theirmanufacturers claim that they remain effective after bathing or swimming. But there are some dogs that are water-houndsall summer. If you are finding that thetopical product you are using isn’t working well, then you may want to talkwith your veterinarian about using an oral product.
HAS THERE BEEN A BREAK IN YOUR FLEA PREVENTIONREGIMINE? In many areas where theweather is temperate, year-round protection is needed. In other areas, if you stop flea preventiveduring the winter months, you need to stay on top of the weather changing andget your pet back on the preventive BEFORE hatching occurs. That way, when that first warm day hits andfleas hatch, when they feed off your pet, the lifecycle is then broken. All too often time or days slip away andbecause fleas can reproduce at an alarming rate, they can get ahead of you. A female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in herlifetime – we are afraid to do the math on that! So, by the time you arenoticing fleas, you have a big problem brewing.
ARE YOU TREATING THE 4 KEY STEPS? To get on top of an active flea population,and to stay on top of it, you need to treat following the 4 key steps. We also recommend doing it all at once if youhave a flea infestation:
· Treat all of the pets in the family, even ifthey don’t seem to be bugged by fleas.
· Treat the house including, carpeting, bedding,furniture (even under pillows), basically any place pets are allowed insideyour home. Follow up with a borax-typeproduct in carpets. If your pet travelsin the car with you, treat that as well.
· Treat the yard including lawns, and low groundcovers.
· Treat all the pets in your family; Year-round intemperate climates, in other areas, stay on top of weather changes. Mark your calendar as a reminder – beforespring arrives.