BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Veterinarians report an uptick in fleas. Choosing the right treatment can help keep them off of your pet and out of your home.
In the summertime, most pets like the outdoors almost as much as their owners. It is a great way to relax and exercise, but it can also turn into a nightmare if they pick up unwanted pests.
The pets over at Capital Area Animal Welfare Society (CAAWS) can hardly wait to get outside, but recent weather conditions mean they will share their playtime with pesky pests.
Dr. Katherine Beier, a veterinarian at the Shenandoah South Veterinary Hospital, warned high rain and humidity have forced fleas to flock to higher ground, like steps from your back door.
"They're really out there. They're there to jump on human pant legs and on pets and carry them in. It's that easy," Dr. Beier said.
Once they are inside, Dr. Beier, said they can turn your house upside down.
"A female flea, once she starts sucking blood, lives a maximum of two weeks. In that period she can lay 2,000 eggs," Dr. Beier said.
There are all sorts of flea medications on the market. Dr. Beier warned not one size fits all and choosing the correct treatment depends on your situation.
"How many animals are in your house? What kind? What type of flooring do you have in your house? Then you have to locate where the fleas are. Most of our problem is within a ten foot radius of where that pet rests and sleeps," Beier said.
Beier pointed out, fleas like to hide under the neck, arms and tail. She said a popular household item, rubbing alcohol, can help bring them to the surface.
Preventing and treating the problem is especially important at shelters. CAAWS Adoption Counselor, Sabra Smith, said the shelter which relies on donations does not have any flea medication on hand.
"We are completely out of the medium and large size breed flea prevention medication. [The veterinarian] gave the last dose two weekends ago," Smith said.
Dr. Beier said those treatments help protect pets and property.
"If you use the good product and you have a problem in the environment, say your carpet, a lot of times three months of consistent treating that pet will also treat the environment," Beier said.
Dr. Beier noted another hot time for fleas is around Christmas, when homeowners fire up their heaters. She said the warmth creates a suitable environment for fleas.
If anyone would like to donate to CAAWS, visit http://www.caaws.org/