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Monday, May 2, 2016

Ask the Vet

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fleas and Your Pets: Handling an Infestation

Where can my dog or cat pick up fleas?

Fleas live on dogs, cats, and wild animals such as raccoons and opossums, and deposit eggs everywhere they go

One adult flea can lay 50 eggs per day and up to several thousand eggs within 3-4 months

Your pet can pick up fleas any time they go outside or are near a dog or cat infested with fleas

How do I know if my pet has fleas?

Scratching or patchy areas of hair loss

Physically seeing fleas themselves or, most commonly, seeing flea dirt (black specks of flea feces on the hair of your pet)

What do I do if my pet has fleas?

To effectively manage fleas, follow all 3 steps:

1. Treat your pet immediately

Use an approved product such as Frontline( Plus or Revolution(

2. Treat your house

Vacuum every area your pet may have been, paying close attention to crevices between carpet and baseboards weekly

Vacuum all furniture cushions and pillows weekly

Wash all pet bedding in hot, soapy water immediately and at least once weekly for 3-6 months

Destroy vacuum bags or dump canisters in a sealed Ziploc bag before placing in trash can

If you find an excessive infestation in your house, spray your carpet and furniture with

Adulticides to rapidly kill adults look for pyrethroid products (cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin ) Annihilator(

Insect growth regulators (methoprene, pyriproxyfen, or lufenuron) to kill eggs and larvae Knockout( fogger

3. Prevent reinfestation


Reapply Frontline Plus or Revolution every 30 days for 3-6 months

Expect to see fleas fleas seen within days after treatment came from eggs laid 3-8 weeks previously, therefore you may continue to see fleas for 3-8 weeks in the future (90 days or more if in a basement)

Vacuum weekly and retreat with foggers if necessary

Only use the following flea products on your pet Advantage(, Frontline Plus, Revolution, or CapStar(. Other over-the-counter products can have toxicity risks with use.