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(207) 846-6515 H
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(207) 846-6515

DERMATOLOGY: FLEA CONTROL

YVCipedia DERMATOLOGY
YVC FLEA CONTROL

If you are engaged in a battle with fleas and do not seem to be winning, do not be discouraged. You will eventually come out on top. We have some suggestions you may find helpful for your plan of attack:

First, and of most importance, some flea and flea control basics:
    Fleas live in the house and yard, not on your pets. You can have a significant flea
       problem and not see them on your pets. 
    Flea eggs can survive weeks to months in the house and yard before hatching.
    All your pets need to be treated, not just the one you saw fleas on, and not
       just the ones that go outdoors.
    All the pets need to be treated for a minimum of three consecutive months in
       order to have a good chance to interrupt the flea life cycle. We recommend
       treating monthly year-round.
    Nexgard oral monthly is our top recommendation for dog flea control, and Frontline
       is our top recommendation for cats.


OPTIONS FOR IMPROVING FLEA CONTROL:
If your flea control is a topical, such as Frontline, add to it a systemic (internal medication) such as Program, Revolution, or Comfortis. 
If your flea control is a systemic, add in a topical.

Use a monthly product more often than monthly. It can help to apply or administer any of these products every three weeks. This is going "off label", but doing so is a common and safe practice. Please ask us if you have any questions or concerns.

Treat your house. Use a spray, so you can spray all surfaces where fleas and flea eggs
might be. You cannot accomplish this with foggers.
Again, go "off label". Repeat the house treatment two weeks after your first house treatment, and then as often as recommended on the label.
Cleaning your house, with special attention to thorough vacuuming and regular laundering of pet bedding is very helpful, but by itself is not enough to get rid of any established flea problem.

Search your house for your cat's secret hiding places. The out-of-the-way closet shelf or storage space corner that you missed with your house treatment might be where most of the fleas are coming from.

Wildlife, including raccoons, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks, and feral cats, is potential source of fleas. Where possible, eliminate your pet's access to barns, sheds, porches, crawl spaces, and other places these animals frequent. When this is not possible, treat these areas with a yard flea treatment.

Spray the outside perimeter of your house with a yard flea treatment.

And, finally, some words of caution about generics, "all-natural" products and home remedies. We would love to be able to tell you that garlic or yeast or any of the other natural things that have been touted as effective flea control actually work, but the truth is that they do not. In fact, while most of them are harmless, some of them have very significant potential side effects. Generics sometimes have the same medication as the brand-name products, but they to not have the same formulation of these medications, and are often not as effective.

Yarmouth Veterinary Center
2011
updated 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

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