It’s always warm in Florida, but this year, there have been record-setting heat waves across the state. While for most people this may be an irritant, for pet owners in the sunshine state, it’s even more grim. Thanks to the crazy heat, those record setting hot days are causing bugs to breed like crazy and thrive. More bugs, more fleas and more potential issues for pet owners trying to keep them at bay and protect their cats and dogs.
Obviously, one of the best ways to protect your home and family from the crazy insect infestation is to keep up maintenance: caulking holes in your home or any areas where your family and pets congregate will at least minimize the chances of these bugs getting in, and eliminate any standing water around your house to minimize the risk of the little bloodsuckers breeding. Also, keep in mind that something as small as the holes in a screen door can let fleas inside to feast on your pets. While the weather may feel great for you, Fido may not have the same opinion as fleas flock to him and use him as a snack pack.
Still, sometimes despite preventative efforts, fleas are inevitable in warmer climates. With the increase in bugs, you may have to take extra measures to keep your pet flea-free and happy. If you notice an influx in fleas in your home or on your pet, first consider a flea bath or a flea dip. Shampoos are effective for a day or so and leave little chemical residue on your pet, but if you need a longer-term solution, flea dips last a week or two and also treat mites and ticks. Talk to your veterinarian before taking this measure; flea dips leave a lot of chemical residue on your pet, so it may not be for everyone!
Flea collars are a typical defense against fleas, but they are limited in their protection. Most flea collars are only effective in the area of the head and neck. They can, however, be utilized in your household cleaning to kill fleas. Try using a flea collar in your vacuum cleaner bags to kill any fleas vacuumed up to help control the increase of these pests.
Also, one of the most effective preventative measures for fleas any time of the year is using a topical or oral flea medication as recommended by your veterinarian. Popular brand names include Advantage, Frontline, and Sentinel – all medications that can be used in conjunction with alternative flea treatments to keep your little, furry family members happy, healthy and flea-free during this time. If you have any questions or think your pet may be suffering from a flea allergy, consult your veterinarian.