THOSE PESKY PESTS!
Updated: Mar 18, 2021
If there is anything I hate more it is a flea. Because one little “seen” flea means that there are dozens that are unseen and these buggers multiply faster than rabbits. They feast on our pets and multiply. What is even more distressing is that they are hard to see, hard to kill and hard to eradicate once they have taken over your home. So prevention is the key. It is important to destroy them before they have you packing your bags. Isn't a wonder how one tiny jumping parasite can take over? But they can and believe me given the chance, they WILL!
When I was a teenager, my grandmother moved in with us and began living in our garage that we converted to a bedroom for her. She moved in with four cats. They were inside outside cats and we lived in Miami, FL. In Miami, there is no “off” season for fleas. So within weeks of her moving in with us our house was covered in fleas. We were using flea products, but back in the 80's most flea products were sprays or collars and they did not work very well. We made a huge mistake thinking that these products would continue to work in the tropical climate of Miami. Unfortunately for us, the fleas found a stronghold in that garage and the battle was on and VERY real. It took five exterminations, a tenting, removal from our home for a month and constant flea baths for our cats and dogs to finally get them under control. It was so bad that when we would go into the garage/bedroom wearing white socks, we would come out with gray socks...with thousands of fleas attached to them making them appear gray. That is a memory our entire family holds to this day! Not fun and not good. I learned a lot about fleas during that time and I want to share how to stop them before they get out of hand.
Every dog will pick up a flea or tick. It is not uncommon for this to happen especially if you do fun things like going to the mountains for a hike, a walk in the park, a walk down the road, or a dog park... Just about any place your pet comes in contact with other animals or grass. The ever opportunist, the flea is waiting for a host.
So lets learn about the nasty little parasite. There is a really amazing article you can find here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/evr_multi_10facts_about_fleas
But lets break it down in one sentence. Fleas are resilient. The article is well written and a must read for new pet owners. If you have had a dog or cat, and you have had the misfortune to have a flea infestation, you will already be prepared. Because you and I know the horror! It really is horror. I am surprised that no one has made a movie about this. There are movies about killer ants, bees, spiders, and birds but not fleas...hmmmm. I know I would not go and watch it! I would be yelling at the actors, you could have prevented this!! LOL
So lets talk prevention. It is very important especially with a long haired dog like a goldendoodle to check for fleas often. A bath every two weeks is a great idea and a great way to see if you have a flea problem. I am not a huge advocate for flea products. I think they can be hurtful to our animals. However they are necessary especially in the summer months. I now live in NC and I take December - February off when it comes to topicals for my dogs, but I am always checking them for fleas and if they scratch I am on it like white on rice! My first defense is house and yard treatment. I tend to want to treat the environment harsher than my dog for fleas. I use Frontline Plus in March - November. I also give a pill to my neutered and spayed dogs called: Program. It contains LUFENURON. Lufenuron is known to kill the female reproduction cycle of the adult flea. Genius! I love this stuff. I also use it for my indoor/outdoor cats. I use it every other month. In the summer and never in the winter. When my pets that take Program go outside and pick up fleas, the fleas cannot reproduce. It has been the best thing I have ever done to prevent the infestation of fleas.
Of course you have to do what is best for you. Just know that you have been give a fair warning about the tenacity, determination, drive, strength, and resilience of the flea. You have to take control before they do. The way in which you do it is entirely up to you. I on the other hand, never want my dogs or cats or home to be invaded by them again.