Love Your Pet: How to fight fleas

Hawaii’s sunny and warm weather is perfect for many people- and fleas! In Today’s Love Your Pet, Dr. John Kaya, DVM, talks about how to fight fleas.

“Vets are often asked what pill or shampoo works best to get rid of these parasites. Unfortunately, there is no single method,” he says.

He explains the life cycle of the flea to illustrate why controlling fleas is difficult. Adult fleas prefer to live on the animal and their eat the blood of the host animal.The female flea lays white, round eggs- up to 50 per day! The eggs usually fall off of the animal and into the yard, the bedding, or the floors inside the house.

“It takes anywhere from two days to a few weeks for the egg to hatch, depending on environmental conditions,” says Dr. Kaya. It won’t eat blood while it’s a larva or a pupa in a cocoon, so people are fooled into thinking the problem has abated, when in fact it’s really just a dormant period.

Some flea prevention products include heartworm prevention. Shampoos, dips and sprays work in that moment, but don’t prevent a re-infection. I don’t bother with flea collars. They might make the fleas avoid the neck area but don’t even prevent fleas from jumping on other parts of the pet.

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