Fleas Ticking You Off? How to Protect Your Pets This Summer

Although fleas and ticks are a threat to pets year-round, these pests become most active during the warmer months. Ticks and parasites survive by feeding on the blood of host animals. And just like ticks, fleas can be a vector for disease for your pets, or even for you! Fleas can be partly responsible for tapeworm infections and severe flea infestations can cause anemia. So, what can you do? The best first step is prevention. If that fails, there are ways to spot the beginnings of a flea and/or tick infestation as well as ways to stop it in its tracks.

What exactly are Fleas & Ticks?

Fleas are wingless insects that are commonly found on wild animals like rabbits, raccoons, and other mammals that trail around the forest floor. They can get inside on your pets, shoe, clothes, or get inside through doors and windows.

Ticks are close relatives to spiders and scorpions and like fleas, ticks also live off other animals, including our pets. These blood-sucking arachnids lurk in gardens, trees, shrubs, and grassy areas. They utilize a behavior known as questing, in which they climb to a perch and wait for the host (your pets and you) to walk by so they can grab on and feast.

We recommend that pets be kept on flea and tick preventative medications throughout the year, there are other ways you can help keep your fur baby safe from these tiny pests.

  • Comb/brush your pet regularly.
  • Sweep or vacuum carpets, rugs, chairs, sofas, etc.
  • Mow your lawn regularly and use pet-safe insecticides.
  • Avoid piles of brush, leaves, and wood near your home.
  • Try to keep your pets out of heavily wooded areas.
  • Keep an eye on your pet’s behavior and contact our team if you see signs of fleas or ticks.

How to Get Rid of Fleas & Ticks on Your Pet

  • A monthly oral medication will help interfere with the early life stages of new fleas.
    • NexGard Monthly and FDA-approved to prevent the infections that cause Lyme disease by killing black-legged ticks. Safe for dogs starting as young as 8 weeks, starting weight 4 lbs, through adulthood.
    • Simparica: Protects dogs from ticks and fleas for 35 days. Kills 5 tick types and FDA-approved to block infections that may cause Lyme disease.
  • Topical treatment can protect your pet’s entire body and kill adult fleas on contact.
    • Revolution Plus (cats only): simple-to-apply, quick-drying, monthly topical solution. Provides dual action against fleas by combining the power of selamectin and sarolaner. Safe for cats as young as 8 weeks of age, weighing 2.8 lbs or more.
  • Remember to keep combing your pet. This will let you know if the selected treatment is working as expected. You should also regularly vacuum your home to prevent flea eggs and larva from settling in, as well as regularly clean bedding, etc.

If you would like more information on other types of medication, please give us a call. Most of these products have rebates for you to claim if your purchase.

Fleas: The first point of control should be your pet. Even if they aren’t the source of an infestation, this will help mitigate discomfort and health risks. Be sure to talk to us about your options!

Ticks: It is best to remove a tick as soon as you spot it contact for proper removal. It is important to remove all parts of the tick as it is possible for parts of it to remain embedded in your pet’s skin which could lead to an infection. Additionally, the tick’s blood could be infected with various diseases that can also infect people, so avoid it as much as possible. Ticks are notoriously difficult to kill so throwing them away or trying to drown them in the bathroom is not always effective. Instead, submerge the tick in a jar of rubbing alcohol to stop it from attaching to your animal.

How to Get Rid of Fleas & Ticks in the House

So, the fleas have gotten past your defenses and into your home. What now? How do you and your pet stay healthy and put an end to your misery?

A monthly flea and tick preventative, paired with a simple house spray or carpet treatment may be enough, but if the infestation is severe, you may want to talk to us about more extreme solutions, such as flea bombs, anti-flea sprays, or carpet powders. Tick infestations in your home may require enlisting professional pest professionals to eliminate the ticks.

If you need more advice on treating your pet for fleas and ticks, call us at (972) 492-0431 to discuss your concerns. If you live in or near Carrollton our veterinarians at can provide you with the care and expertise you need to fight these critters!

Other Resources: