Our area, although a nice area to live in, has an especially difficult
problem with fleas due to our mild winters. While in Southern
California, flea season never really ends, Spring is the time when
fleas really start to return in full strength to “bug” our pets. It is
important to either continue flea control year round, or to at least
restart flea control products by March or April if you stopped using
them during the winter time. Do not let the fleas get out of hand
before your start using the flea products or you can really feel like
you are fighting a losing battle in the flea wars.
Control of fleas can be difficult due to two factors:
1. When stressed, fleas produce an enzyme that makes it more difficult for insecticides to kill them.
2. Their life cycle makes it difficult to easily control them.
are not sure which came first, the flea or the egg. We’ll start with
the flea. Over the lifetime of the female flea, she can lay several
hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, they produce larvae, which spend
their lifetime of one to two weeks on the ground (usually in moist
areas, like the lawn or shady places), in the pet’s bedding or in the
carpet or furniture of your home. After an appropriate amount of time
the larvae spin cocoons which are called pupae. These pupae are nearly
impossible to kill with insecticides and will hatch in from 5 days to 5
weeks, depending on weather conditions. They hatch into small fleas
which grow rapidly into adult fleas. Only the flea stage actually
causes a problem for your pet. Fleas spread disease (such as bubonic
plague) and parasites (like tapeworms) and suck blood (their food)
which can weaken your pet (depending on the number of fleas and the
size and health of the pet). They cause excessive scratching, either
because of the tickling sensation when moving or because of allergic
reactions to their bite.
The cycle is completed
more quickly when it is warm, which is why heat waves seem to draw
fleas out of the woodwork. Actually, the life cycle being speeded up is
what produces more fleas to torment your pet and you.
your pet has a significant flea problem right now, we recommend a
an effective flea killing agent like Vectra and the right medication
for the skin condition your pet has. Ask us about the best product for
the condition of your pet.
The next step is killing
the fleas in your pet’s environment to stop them from causing skin
problems for your pet.
New and Improved Products
the development of products that last about a month on the pet, we
finally have flea control products that are easy to use,
environmentally friendly and have a very low potential to poison our
pets while we are trying to protect them from fleas. They are used once
a month and I strongly recommend using Vectra, which is very effective
in controlling the fleas on the pet and the environment. I
also like the fact that it stays in the skin and is not
absorbed into the body. Insectisides that are absorbed into the body
are more likely to have adverse side effects for the pet..
not be fooled by cheap imitations. Most of the products from pet shops
and feed stores that are being promoted as just as good as Vectra do
not have the same ingredients and are actually insecticides that have
the potential to cause toxic reactions while not being as effective as
Vectra is available at Ojai Pet Hospital.