Flea season usually starts in May and goes through to winter. The worst time of the year for fleas is September, October, and November. Flea prevention can be stopped once our temperature is consistently below the freezing point.
How can you tell if your animal has fleas?
The symptoms that an animal experiences when they have fleas can vary depending on if they are allergic to the flea saliva. An animal that is not allergic may not even itch if infested with fleas. On the other hand, an animal that is highly allergic to the flea saliva may itch and scratch excessively even after one flea bite. Most animals that have fleas will either have the presents of a black pepper substance on the fur, or they will be scratching and/or chewing at the back end of their body.
What problems can fleas cause?
Fleas can be the cause of tapeworms. When the infected tapeworm eggs are released into the environment, they have to be swallowed by immature flea larvae. Once inside the larval stage of the flea, the tapeworm egg continues to develop into an infective tapeworm as the flea matures into an adult flea. During grooming or in response to a flea?s bite, the dog or cat can ingest the flea carrying the infective tapeworm and the life cycle is completed.
Fleas can also cause anemia in young or emaciated animals. A single female flea can take up to 15 times her body weight in blood over the several weeks of her adult life.
What is the recommendation for flea prevention & control?
Revolution (selamectin) from Pfizer
This prescription drug is designed as a once-a-month heartworm preventive and flea preventive for dogs and cats as young as 6 weeks old. It also kills adult fleas and can be used to treat sarcoptic mange, ear mites and ticks. It also helps control roundworms and hookworms in cats. The product is placed on the skin at the back of the neck, but is absorbed into the body to have its effect when female fleas ingest it with a blood meal. Adult fleas will die slowly, but more importantly, female fleas stop egg production as soon as they are exposed. It is most useful as a preventive for flea infestation and in the presence of a flea problem in an allergic pet, but it is an excellent flea control product for dogs and cats.