Facts About Fleas
Trim Time stocks a full line of flea products. We have found
flea oil products applied to the neck and tail of the dogs and
cats are the best. We have
tested them on our own pets. Many of our customers are using
these products with great
success over the past several years.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are brown, small., wingless insects, about 1/8 of an
inch long. Their bodies are flattened from side to side, allowing for
quick movement through hair. Flea legs are made for leaping. A flea
can jump up to 36 inches. This is equal to a human jumping over the
Adult Fleas feed on blood from may species of animals.
Fleas have been known to bite humans, but seem to prefer other animals.
To properly control fleas, the life cycle of the flea must be
The flea spends most of its adult life on you pet. The
immature stages live in the environment, your yard or house. The adult
female feeds and then lays eggs on the animal. These eggs shortly fall off
as the pet moves about. In 2 to 14 days, the eggs hatch into small
worm-like larvae. These larvae feed on debris in carpeting, furniture, or
cracks and crevices in the house or yard. After 9 to 15 days, the larvae
molts into a cocoon-like pupa. Then 5 days to 5 weeks later a hungry adult
flea emerges. The adult flea can live up to 9 months. In times of
cold or dry conditions, the cycle will temporarily stop at either the egg or
cocoon stages. The entire cycle can produce a new generation of adult
fleas in as little as 16 days.
What Problems Can Fleas Cause?
Fleas can irritate your pet by constantly moving around
and biting him or her. This may induce severe scratching. Some
animals develop allergies to flea bites, which make the itching even
worse. The constant irritation to the skin often leads to skin
infections. Fleas can also carry tapeworm cysts.
How Do I Know If My Pet Has Fleas?
Adult fleas can be seen with the naked eye crawling
quickly along your pet's skin. More commonly, the diagnosis is made by
finding flea dirt on your animal or its environment (bedding, etc.). Flea
dirt is really the adult's excrement. It look like ground pepper and will
turn red when dropped on a wet, white piece of paper.
Flea infestation is a major consideration when your pet is
scratching. Other causes of itchiness that must be ruled out include
allergies, skin infections, or other parasites.
How Can I Control Fleas?
To completely eliminate fleas, both the animal and the
environment must be treated at the same time. Always be sure to follow
label instructions. Specific problems with flea control should be
discussed with your veterinarian. The following is a brief outline
of our recommendations. Be sure to read and follow label directions
on any products carefully!
Flea Control in the House:
- VACUUM the entire house and any furniture where your pets sleep or rest
prior to treating the house. Vacuum your pet's high traffic areas
every 2 to 4 days after treating the house. change the vacuum bag
after each use. Fleas can mature in the bag and potentially escape,
re-infesting your home.
- WASH any washable pet bedding with soap and hot water.
- Mop all washable pet bedding with soap and hot water.
- HOUSE TREATMENT - Siphotrol Plus is similar to the products used by some
exterminators. It is safe when applied as directed. Read
the directions carefully. After spraying, people and pets must
leave the house for three hours to allow for complete drying. Do not
over spray. Each can treats 2000 square feet. One
treatment can provide continuous activity for 6 months. However with
severe infestations, re-treatment may be needed. DO NOT USE THIS
PRODUCT ON YOUR PET!
- PROFESSIONAL EXTERMINATOR - Several good exterminators are listed in the
yellow pages. Be sure the one you hire offers a guarantee.
Concurrent treatment of animals in the home is required.
Flea Control on the Pet:
There are many different products available. The following can be safely
used individually, but consult with your veterinarian before using a combination
of products. Inappropriate combinations can cause toxicity.
- SHAMPOOS - We carry several brands of flea shampoo that are fine for
general cleaning and quick kill of fleas that are on your pet at the
moment. Unfortunately no flea shampoo offers any protection after
rinsing. For full effect, allow the lather to stand on your pet for 10
minutes prior to a very thorough rinse.
- FLEA COLLARS - Duocide Flea Collar - By themselves, flea collars are
ineffective in curing an existing flea infestation. These are best
used as a first line of defense when fleas are not yet present. Their
value is in attempting to kill a stray flea before it has time to start a
family that can grow rapidly. Pyrethrin based sprays and powders are
the only additional flea control products to be used safely with this
collar. Other treatments may lead to insecticide overdose.
- SPRAYS - These were designed for ease of application. After misting
all over your pet, rub the coat to work it down to the skin, where the fleas
live. Be careful around the face and eyes. Wash your hands after
using any flea spray.
Duocide, an extended duration synthetic pyrethrin spray, can safely be used
on cats and dogs older than 12 weeks of age. It should be re-applied
once a week for 6 weeks.
Ovitrol is a natural, shorter-acting pyrethrin spray combined with a very
long duration flea growth inhibitor. It can be used on cats and dogs
as well as all kittens and puppies, except newborns (less than 1 week of
age). Ovitrol should be reapplied twice a week for 6 weeks. It
comes with a "no hiss" applicator for those pets scared by the
sound of a sprayer.
Multistage and Basus are long acting synthetic pyrethrin sprays used for
DOGS ONLY. It also contains a flea growth inhibitor that will
kill flea eggs laid on the pet. It should be reapplied every 14
days for 6 weeks. They both are effective in repelling ticks,
including the Deer Tick that carries Lyme Disease.
- POWDERS - Vet Kem Powder can be used once a week on cats and gods.
After dusting your entire pet, rub the coat to work it down to your pet's
skin, where the fleas live. Be careful around the face and eyes.
Wash your hands after applying.
- DIPS - Adams 14 Day Flea Dip is effective on both dogs and cats. It
should be repeated every 14 days for 6 weeks. For added effect,
Ovitrol can be applied once or twice between dips. IT IS IMPORTANT TO
FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY WHEN APPLYING DIPS.
- ORAL TABLETS - Program is once a month that puts a flea hormone in your
pet's blood. When an adult flea bites your pet, it gets a dose of the
hormone. It does not kill the flea but renders her eggs nonviable,
thus breaking the flea cycle. As such, Program tablets are a
safe and convenient flea preventative. If a flea infestation already
exists, Program tablets alone will bring it under control in 60 to 90
days. If any fleas are unacceptable to you, your pet is very
uncomfortable, or your pet has a moderate to severe infestation, traditional
flea control measures would be indicated along with the Program
tablets. For Program to be effective, they must be given: 1) to
all cats and dogs in the family (indoor and outdoor), 2) exactly once
a month during flea season (June 1 to November 1), and 3) with a full
- MONTHLY SKIN APPLICATION - Advantage is a new product for dogs and
cats. A prepared amount is applied to the skin, after parting the
hair, near the shoulders (and an additional application on the back near the
tail for larger dogs) once monthly. This medication inhibits essential
nerve function in fleas. It works very quickly, killing 99% of fleas
within 24 hours, before they have time to lay eggs. This product is
indicated for animals with allergies to fleas. It is safe to use with
any other flea product. However, if the animal becomes wet, the
product must be reapplied (at a maximum of once weekly).
Flea Control in the Yard or Kennel:
Outdoor treatment should be considered if your pet spends
much time in a confined area (i.e. kennel). Usually treating a yard is
unnecessary. Consult an exterminator if you wish such a treatment.
How Can I Prevent My Pet From Getting Fleas?
Whenever a pet is out-of-doors or exposed to other animals
there is a potential for developing a flea infestation. Close attention to
your pet's hair coat (looking for fleas or flea dirt) and/or any signs of
scratching can alert you to early flea infestation. As with most health
problems, early identification and treatment leads to the fastest cure.
Program pills are the best way to prevent an infestation by
blocking flea reproduction. Sprays, powders, and dips can also be used as
a preventative, because fleas which get on your pet would be killed or repelled
by the insecticide before the lea is brought into your house. All these
products would be used in the same manner as described for treatment:
PLEASE CALL LAKESIDE ANIMAL HOSPITAL IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT OF A FLEA INFESTATION