Lets Talk Fleas!
Probably the most frequent question we get in the spring is what to do about fleas. On our warm west coast, it doesn’t really get cold enough to kill off the fleas in the winter, and it is always warm in your house for them to thrive and breed. Because of that we see fleas all year long in Mission, but they are more prevalant in the spring and summer months.
What are fleas?
Fleas are insects, believe it or not. Tiny little blood eating parasitic insects. There are thousands of species of fleas, but the type we see the most is the cat flea. Don’t let the name fool you, it will bite anything; dogs, cats, people, ferrets, rabbits… really anything warm walking by. They are tenacious and hard to get rid of without specific management.
Fleas have an egg phase, a larval phase and an adult phase. They are especially hard to kill in the egg and larval phase which is why it is important to treat for fleas for at least 2 months if you find one in your house or on your pet.
How dangerous are fleas really?
Fleas are more than just annoying to pets and people. Did you know that they can cause illness and even death in some pets. Fleas eat blood so animals with poor immune systems or those that don’t groom well can actually become anemic from flea bites. This is more common with young kittens and pocket pets as they have a smaller blood volumes and aren’t as good at grooming.
Pets can also be allergic to flea bites causing severe itchiness and even raised red bumps and hair loss. This can be hard to manage with some pets and may require additional medications to control the allergic reaction.
Although fleas are a nasty surprise, there are lots of ways to treat for them. Check in next week to see what we do and don’t recommend to treat and prevent fleas in your house.