Flea Control, Treatment, and Prevention – Victoria Advocate

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on August 7th, 2017

By Shana Bohac

Flea allergies in our furry friends are a very common problem that we come across starting during the springtime and extending well into the fall. Since South Texas does not have a true winter, it is important to keep your pet on a flea preventative year round.

During the warmer times of the year it is critical to treat your home and yard for fleas. These areas are a perfect environment for a flea infestation and can lead to re-infestation of your pet.

Here are some tips about flea treatments for your pets. Flea shampoos are only effective for a day or less. They leave little if any chemical residue on your pet. Flea dips contain harsh chemical and only last one to two weeks.

Over-the-counter flea collars are only effective for adult fleas and are mostly effective around the head and neck. Flea powders or sprays offer short-term protection (two to three days).

Spot-on treatments are effective for a month and some contain ingredient that prevent larvae from hatching or developing. Oral medications move systemically through your pet and kill when fleas ingest the blood from your pet. There are oral medications that last anywhere from one to three months.

Not only is flea control for your pet important, but environmental treatment is a imperative in flea prevention. Outside your home in shaded areas such as porches, decks, and around doghouses fleas can reproduce and overwhelm your yard. It is also important to remember that fleas are very resistant and can survive in a wide range of temperatures. There is no guarantee that you will not see fleas during the winter, especially here in south Texas where our winters are very mild. Flea eggs can lay dormant for weeks to months, just waiting to hatch and infest your yard and home.

In your home, fleas can be found in pet beds, under furniture, and buried deep in carpets or around base boards. Daily vacuuming is very important in flea eradication. It helps to get rid of adults, eggs, larvae and pupae before they can further develop and hatch. You will want to dispose of the vacuum contents or bags into an outside garbage can to prevent contamination of your home garbage can. Keep all baseboards clean and consistently wash your pet's bedding, clothing, and removable furniture covers. Ideally this should be a weekly process. You can use foggers, flea bombs, insecticide sprays, or a professional to help eliminate fleas in your home.

Some tips to prevent flea infestations begin with keeping your yard tidy. Avoid large brush piles and excessive amounts of weeds, as these are great breeding grounds for the pesky flea.

Keeping grass routinely cut can also cut down on the flea population. Prevent rodents from coming into your yard and home since they can carry fleas into your yard and home.

Treat your yard on a regular basis so that adult fleas and their eggs are killed. You can use non-toxic diatomaceous earth, sprays or a professional exterminator.

When using insectide sprays, follow all directions carefully. Remove all pets and people from the environment for the recommended time specified by the pesticide label.

Dr. Shana Bohac is a veterinarian at Lakeway Veterinary Clinic in Edna. She works on both small animals and equine patients. Submit questions to drshanabohac@hotmail.com also visit target="_blank">lonestaranimalhospital.com

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Flea Control, Treatment, and Prevention - Victoria Advocate

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