Here’s Why Vets Predict a Flea Outbreak This Summer

Did you know that one in ten pet owners have had an issue with fleas or ticks since the COVID-19 outbreak? Most pet owners know that these parasites can easily attach themselves to any pet. However, with hotter weather brings flea season.

This flea season comes with extra risks, as the flea population hasn’t seen many pets out and about this year. As lockdowns and restrictions ease, fleas and ticks are literally starving for a new host.  

Along with the lack of food, pet owners may not have had time to commit to their normal preventive care routine. Most owners actively try to defend their pets against these outbreaks by using flea collars or other preventative ointments. In a recent study, 15 percent of pet owners said they had issues getting access to pet stores due to closures. 

How to Recognize a Flea Infestation

Fleas are tiny, reddish-brown parasites with round bodies. They like to hide in the thickest part of your pet’s fur.

It’s important to catch fleas as soon as you notice the signs of an infestation. Fleas don’t just irritate your pet, they also cause a lot of inflammation and can carry other diseases and parasites like tapeworms. 

Recognize the signs of infestation by looking for:

  • Excessive itching
  • Pale gums from blood loss
  • Clumps of lost fur
  • Scabs from scratching and biting

Your pet may also become irritated or become more aggressive from the itching. Check your pet for fleas, flea dirt, and flea bites by combing through their fur with a fine-toothed comb. Fleas are normally a reddish-brown color and should come off easily with just the comb. 

Ticks, however, need to be pulled off carefully with tweezers. Be sure to check if your pet has fleas or ticks before treating them.

Treating Flea Infestations On Your Pet

To treat any flea infestation, make sure you use preventative measures to protect your pet before they’re exposed to the outside world. Next, find a fine-toothed comb and hot soapy water, then get to work!

  1. Comb through your pet’s fur with the fine-tooth comb or a flea comb, giving extra attention to the neck, tail, and spots with thicker fur.
  2. Dispose of any fleas in the hot soapy water to kill them. If you’re using a flea comb kit, follow the instructions as labeled.
  3. Contact your vet and for recommended treatments, shampoos, and medications. Use them as directed by your vet. 
  4. Wash all your pet’s items such as blankets and plush toys, making sure to dry them on high for at least 30 minutes. 

Did you know fleas can go undetected for a year before hatching? Make sure all the fleas in your home are eliminated after your pet is infected by calling one of Pest Brigade’s partners. We can set you up with a flea expert in your area who can make sure your fleas are gone for good!