Fleas and How to Treat Them

We are so lucky to live in an area with great warm weather, sandy soil, and lush plants. unfortunately all of these things mean that we have an excellent home for fleas as well.

 

It is common for many household pets in the lowcountry to have active flea infestations if they are not properly controlled on a monthly preventative. Here are a few tips we have perfected over the years.

For Cats: we will begin them on Advantage Multi for their monthly (every 30 days) flea and heartworm preventative.

The reason we will switch kitties to Advantage Multi is because there is a sister product called Advantage II which can be used in addition to the Advantage Multi. 

The Advantage Multi contains flea prevention + heartworm prevention which is needed once a month.

The Advantage II contains flea prevention only.

Therefore you can use the Advantage Multi once a month so you get the heartworm prevention and then 2 weeks later, you can apply the Advantage II which will treat the fleas again.  

You do NOT want to apply the Advantage Multi

every 2 weeks since we do not want to give

them the heartworm prevention every 2 weeks. 

Here is an example:

July 1st => Apply Advantage multi

July 15th => Apply Advantage II

August 1st => Apply Advantage multi

August 15th => Apply Advantage II

We would keep the cats on this protocol for the next few months so we do not get any new fleas in the house.  However any product we use on them (Advantage, Revolution, etc) can only work to a certain point but will be overwhelmed if the environment is has a heavy flea burden.  These products are great but cannot keep up with the emergence of new fleas unless you are also treating the environment.  We know they are in your house and yard because any live fleas we see on them only represent about 5% of the actual flea population that is living in the environment.  

It is important to be diligent about vacuuming all rugs and upholstery.  It is recommended to vacuum at least every other day and throw out the bag each time because the fleas will reproduce inside the bag  - if you have a bagless vacuum - make sure to throw the garbage bag outside each time after vacuuming. 

After application of flea control products to your environment, the baby fleas (pupae) will continue to emerge and develop into adult fleas, mostly because it is hard to kill the pupae.  This is a tough cycle to break which is why it takes at least 3 months of constantly treating the environment and the pets to get rid of the problem.  

The live fleas that we see on them today come from eggs that were laid a few weeks ago which is why we want to break the cycle now so it does not continue and we can catch up since there are likely flea eggs and pupae (baby fleas) living in the carpets and upholstery which will hatch in the coming weeks.  

Wash all bedding, especially any that your cats and dogs sleep on at least once a week to help reduce these numbers. 

If possible, it would be good to have an exterminator to come out and spray/bomb the house and yard for fleas.  The yard also serves as a big source of fleas.  We bring these in on our pant legs, socks, etc when we enter the house. 

​Advantage II for Cats

  • Ensure you purchase the correct size for your cat friend.

  • Advantage II works through contact, so fleas don’t have to bite your cat to die

  • This effective flea treatment kills fleas in multiple life stages — eggs, larvae and adults — to break the flea life cycle

  • Easy-to-apply cat flea treatment starts working within 12 hours and protects for up to 30 days

Knockout Area Treatment Spray

Do NOT apply directly onto the pets but you can spray the furniture, under the sofa, on carpets and any bedding that they sleep on.  You can also use it in the yard.  

Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance is always a great idea to ensure your furry family members are covered during emergencies and even for their annual check ups! Nationwide Pet Insurance is one of many insurance polices that can cover your sweet animal children. 

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These recommendations are for current Island Veterinary Care patients/clients only. Please contact your veterinarian for the best protocol and treatment programs that you should pursue for your pet. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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