Fleas: Fact vs. Fiction

Updated: Apr 9, 2018

With the world at our fingertips, we are afforded a wealth of knowledge on any subject. Thanks to the Veterinary Team Brief for helping us sort out some common misnomers about fleas.

Myth vs. Fact

Myth: My house has no carpet, so I do not have to worry about fleas in my home.

Fact: Flea eggs will drop off the pet and accumulate in the cracks of hardwood floors and along the baseboards. The larvae will then move deep into these crevices to avoid exposure to light. Fleas can survive and multiply in most environments.

Myth: I do not see fleas on my pet, so there must not be any.

Fact: Visible adult fleas are only a small portion of the infestation. Fleas exist in the environment as approximately 57% eggs, 34% larvae, 8% pupae, and 1% adults. Fleas are difficult to see on many types of hair coats. They can be harder to see on cats, who are very good at removing the fleas when they groom.

Myth: My pet never leaves my yard, and my lawn is short and well maintained.

Fact: Fleas will survive in any shady, moist environment where pets rest.

Myth: I do not need to use preventives during the winter months.

Fact: Fleas can survive for 10 days at 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In cold climates, adult fleas survive on the warm bodies of dogs, cats, and other mammals, and indoors within pupal casings as pre-emerged adults.

Myth: I give my dog garlic as a natural flea preventive.

Fact: Garlic ingestion is an ineffective flea remedy that can have negative health effects. Garlic toxicity can result in oxidative damage to erythrocytes, which may lead to Heinz body formation, hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia, and impaired oxygen transportation.

*Wonderful information provided by Veterinary Team Brief

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