With more people and pets moving to Florida from northern states it is important to talk about flea control in Florida. It is always flea and tick season in Florida they don’t go away or hibernate in winter months. They are more prevalent during our long hot months but in Florida it doesn’t get cold enough for them to never be an issue.
Fleas are the main cause of skin related issues due to itching, scratching, chewing, and licking. The most common condition we see in Florida is Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is an allergic skin condition dogs and cats have from being bit by a flea. When a flea feeds on your pet they inject saliva into your pet that contains enzymes, peptides, amino acids, and a histamine–like compound that trigger a release from the pet’s immune system.
A pet that is sensitive to the bite of a flea can have a reaction within 15 minutes, while other pets it can take up to 2 days for symptoms to show. Some symptoms of Flea Allergy Dermititis include red skin, missing patches of fur, intense itching, scratching, rubbing, or biting skin, and infected sores (hot spots) on your pet.
A sensitive pet can get one flea bite on its head and will have itching and hair loss on its middle back to the tail base and down the rear legs (the flea triangle) from the intense itching and chewing. Flea Allergy Dermatitis can start at any age; it is important to know that pets with inhalant allergies are more likely to be very sensitive to a flea or tick bite.
Strict flea control is essential for controlling these little pests and keeping your pet happy and comfortable. Over-the-counter flea and tick medication are not effective at all, nor is using dawn dish washing liquid on your pet. Your veterinarian can recommend the proper flea and tick prevention for your pet, that is safe for them.
Every dog and cat should be on a monthly or quarterly flea and tick prevention even if they are an indoor only pet. One of the most common misconceptions is that fleas don’t come inside your house. If you walk outside fleas do jump on people and they hitch a ride inside on our clothing and shoes.
If you don’t have a pet, fleas will die pretty quickly because the pet is their meal source. If you see fleas and ticks on yourself, on curtains, wall, etc. you have a flea or tick infestation. This can take a long time to get under control. You need to treat your pet, house, and yard all at the same time. Make it easy on yourself, family, and pets by keeping your pets on flea and tick prevention every 30 days or 90 days depending on the prevention.