It is that perfect time of year for you and your pets to enjoy the outdoors. To exclude any unwanted guests from your summer activities, it is important to keep all your pets on flea preventative. This includes your indoor-only feline friends as fleas can easily hitch a free ride on your pants or shoes and into your home.
Fleas thrive in warm and humid weather which typically ranges from April to September. However, the weather in Southern California is pleasant year round, so fleas are a constant problem for most of our pets. Waiting for the Spring season to start flea preventative can be a bit of a gamble because once your pet has a couple of fleas, it is a matter of three to four weeks before those two fleas become hundreds of fleas. A single female typically begins laying up 25-50 eggs within two days of her first blood meal! These eggs fall off your pet into the surrounding environment where your pet spends most of their time. The eggs hatch within a short time and larvae emerge. Larvae live in your environment (bedding, under furniture, deep in carpeting, and in yard debris or under shaded grass) until they form a cocoon in which they begin to form into adult fleas. The cocoons are very sturdy and hard to destroy. An adult flea will typically emerge within one to two weeks, but if conditions are not favorable, it can be up to 1 year before an adult flea emerges. This explains why some people experience sudden flea infestations out of nowhere.
There are many reasons that proper flea control is important for your pet. First, fleas can carry parasites known as tapeworms, which can be easily transmitted to your pet when they are grooming their coat. Tapeworms can be seen as mobile rice-like worms around your pet's hind end. Second, flea saliva is very irritating to your pet's skin and can lead to flea allergy dermatitis which manifests as redness, irritation, and intense itching. FAD commonly results in hair loss, scabbing, and skin infections. Third, severe flea infestations can cause life-threatening anemia, especially in young kittens and elderly cats. Lastly, the cost of managing these problems caused by fleas can quickly add up and become more costly than maintaining your pet on flea control once a month.
Our staff is always happy to discuss with your flea control options so that you and your pet can enjoy a flea-free summer.