Common Myths Regarding Our Nemesis, The Flea!

Dog scratching himself behind his ear

Fleas suck! Literally and figuratively…they suck. How could something so tiny have the heavy responsibility of being such an enormous pain in the…skin? We know fleas have been around for centuries, and the little buggers don’t show any signs of vanishing any time soon, so the best thing that we can do as animal lovers and pet owners is to fully understand flea habits, what works in controlling fleas, and what doesn’t.

Allow us to debunk for you several common myths about fleas so you can avoid wasting your time and your pet’s.

The Myths…

Your Pet Has to Spend a lot of Time Outdoors to Get Fleas.

Remember, it just takes one! Adult female fleas can lay several eggs daily, so even if your dog or cat never goes outside, if one comes in on your clothes, it will probably find your pet. Granted, the chances of a flea problem are much lower if you have an indoor pet, but there is always a chance. If you only take your dog out for walks or to use the bathroom, you can expect to encounter fleas at some point.

Fleas Disappear in the Winter.

It is true that fleas prefer warmer temperatures, but if nests have been established before the colder months, these pests will be more than happy to share your home with you for the winter. Fleas can become dormant, waiting for just the right conditions to emerge once again and wreak havoc on your busy lives.

Keeping My House Clean Will Prevent Fleas.

False. There is virtually no way to clean your house faster than fleas multiply. Remember, female fleas can lay over 50 eggs a day. It may feel as though you have bleached, Pine Sol’d, and vacuumed every nook and cranny in your home, but they are so tiny that you can never get them all…besides they are remarkably resilient to chemicals! Hence, the reason there is special flea shampoos and medications. Stop it before it starts by asking your vet for year-round flea control to prevent infestations.

I Have Harwood Floors and Fleas Prefer Carpet.

Sure, they might prefer carpet, but they do not need it to survive, reproduce, or infuriate you. Fleas can hide anywhere, including bedding, clothing, furniture, corners, and baseboards. Carpet or no carpet has no consequence on the habits of fleas.

I’ve Treated My Dog…I’m All Done!

Nope. While you may have spent the proper time combing out the dead adult fleas, they are actually only a small percent of the problem. A much larger problem lies with the eggs, larvae, and pupae – all which can respond differently and may not be affected by what killed the adults. It will more than likely save you time and money to just call your veterinarian in Saratoga Springs or wherever you call home and request a safe and effective treatment for a flea infestation and then keep your pet on a monthly flea control treatment, or whatever treatment you and your vet decide on.

I Don’t See My Pooch Scratchin’…She Can’t Possibly Have Fleas.

Fleas bite and suck the blood from their hosts, so irritated skin often results in tons of scratching. However, even if you don’t notice any scratching, don’t assume they don’t have any fleas. Fleas don’t just bite, they can also pass on diseases. Be sure to check your pet regularly, even if they spend most of their time indoors. It is a fact that it is much easier to prevent fleas than it is to treat an existing infestation.

The Truth: You Should Treat for Fleas Before You See Any!

With entire store aisles devoted to the care and prevention of fleas, why is it important to speak with your veterinarian? Contrary to popular belief, flea populations can build up a resistance to certain formerly effective flea treatments. Vets stay up-to-date on the latest parasite developments and can tell you if a certain treatment is losing its efficacy. Also, the ingredients found in cheaper treatments lack the strength to effectively rid an infestation. There are also an abundance of all natural and home made treatment options available for those of you who prefer to stay away from the flea collars and topical ointments. Whichever treatment you choose it’s important to remember you should treat for fleas before you even see any.

Flea treatments can ensure your dog, and home, remain flea-free. See our list of Saratoga Springs NY veterinarians or and make an appointment to discuss the best flea treatment options for your dog!