Parkville Heights Animal Hospital Logo Phone: (816) 741-2247
Home New Clients Virtual Tour Contact Us Referral Program

Fleas can be a challenge to get rid of. For every adult flea you see, there are 100 more that you don’t see! One adult female flea can lay millions of eggs in her lifetime. The eggs fall off your pet wherever he walks – on the living room carpet, the sofa, the back porch, and even your bed! The eggs will hatch, grow into adult fleas, and climb back on your pet. Using a monthly flea prevention year-round will keep the flea population under control, and will help to get rid of an infestation. Most flea prevention medications also will help to prevent tick bites, so you’re getting a double bang for your medication buck!

Identifying Fleas on Your Pet

Fleas, tiny creatures the size of the head of a pin, can cause big problems for your dog or cat. They jump from animal to animal and their bites can be very itchy, causing your pet to scratch—especially in pets allergic to flea saliva. Excessive scratching can lead to skin infections. If you suspect your pet has become infested, push back its fur and check its skin (the sparser hair on the belly or inner thighs are good spots to inspect). Fleas leave “flea dirt,” which looks like black specks on the skin and is actually the fleas’ feces. Put some on a wet paper towel. If the spot turns red, your pet has fleas.

How Long Will Fleas Live On Your Pet?

A female adult flea can live for a few weeks on your pet and can lay 20-30 eggs a day. These eggs fall off the pet wherever it goes—outside, on your carpet, your bed, and so forth. The eggs develop within a few days into larvae, which feed on such nutrients as skin scales. The larvae then form cocoons, like a caterpillar. They will hatch when they detect heat, vibrations or even exhaled carbon dioxide, all signs that an animal is nearby. The flea then jumps onto its host. That is why it’s crucial to treat both your pet and its environment. There are many products available to help keep your pet and your home flea-free.

Veterinary Flea Treatments

Most treatments eliminate the adult fleas while they are on your pet. Be wary of using products containing permethrins on cats, as this can cause toxicity. Ask your veterinarian which product is best for your pet. Program is an oral treatment given once a month for dogs or cats, or by injection every six months for cats. It doesn’t kill the adult flea, but stops the eggs from hatching, effectively ending the lifecycle. Sentinel is another insect growth regulator that works by killing the eggs. There are also non-prescription products such as powders, shampoos, collars and sprays. They help eliminate fleas, but may not be as effective as prescription antidotes. Use flea combs regularly to help detect an infestation early.

At-Home Flea Prevention

Vacuuming your home will not take care of all the flea eggs, larvae and cocoons in your home, but it will help (make sure you remove your vacuum bag immediately after use and dispose of it). Launder all the bedding your pet comes in contact with. Labrador retriever sits in a field Use a flea bomb/fogger for your house. Read the label carefully. Remove your pet’s food and cover aquariums before use. Leave your home—taking all your pets—for the time recommended on the fogger, usually about 3-4 hours. Continue to vacuum and launder, as the fogger will not kill larvae. Repeat the bomb/fogger process in about three weeks if more fleas appear. Hire a professional exterminator for severe infestations. Treat your yard with an environmentally safe insecticide containing fenvalerate. Use sprays that contain insect growth regulators. The best way to keep fleas away and keep your pet itch-free is to use a combination of preventive treatments for both your pet and your home—and by checking your pet regularly.


8:00am to 6:00pm
8:00am to 6:00pm
8:00am to 6:00pm
8:00am to 6:00pm
8:00am to 6:00pm
8:00am to 1:00pm
Follows us
facebook Google+

Care Credit
Care Credit
8830 NW 63rd Street
Parkville, MO 64152 Directions Welcome
Videos Blog Sitemap