It might not seem like it in this country, what with the recent floods and counties under water, but early spring is the time for fleas and ticks who happen to love the warmer weather. And as May is the Flea & Tick Awareness Month, despite the appalling weather, we thought we should spend a little time warning animal lovers about the dangers of these pesky critters. Although in the UK we have had the wettest April since records began, over in the US, they have endured their warmest winter on record and the mild temperatures and early spring weather has seen many people out and about with their dogs. However, unfortunately the early warm weather can also indicate an earlier flea and tick invasion as these pests can survive the hardest winter, then as soon as the temperatures start to creep up, they start to breed and before you know it you have thousands of ticks from only a few breeding mothers. And ticks can cause serious health concerns. When they feed they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, which affects humans as well as animals.
Fleas are just as bad, they too can survive freezing temperatures inside your home or even on your own pets as immature pupae. They then ‘awake’ when the temperature is warm enough and they too start breeding. So even if you do not think you have an inhouse flea problem during the winter, when spring comes you may have a nasty surprise. To give these pests their own nasty surprise when they wake up, there are things you can do to prevent a flea or tick infestation. Animals will always bring ticks and fleas into the house, it is pretty impossible to keep them out, but you can make sure your pets are always protected against them by using a medical treatment such as Frontline or Drontal. Unhatched eggs can be dropped into your yard or garden by visiting wildlife, such as coyotes and raccoons in the US, and hedgehogs and foxes in the UK. It is important therefore to make sure your garden is securely fenced off so that these animals cannot easily get in. You can also make your garden an unwelcoming environment for these pests by mowing the lawn frequently, making sure leaf litter is removed and correctly placed in a compost bin out of the way, and prunng back shrubs and trees. You should also be careful and check yourself when you return from a walk outside, that you are not harbouring any ticks in your clothing and that your dogs are tick free. Using a flea comb is another good way to keep them in check on a regular basis.
The best way however is to buy a reputable product such as FRONTLINE®, which help protect your dog and cat from unexpected flea and tick sources by killing adult fleas, eggs and larvae, and all stages of ticks. FRONTLINE Plus not only stops existing flea infestations, but also prevents the establishment of new infestations. And remember to keep up the dose on a regular basis as even one missed dose of the monthly flea and tick control can set the stage for a flea infestation that takes months to resolve, or put your pet at greater risk of exposure to a tick borne disease. So be sure you are treating your pet now and continue monthly applications throughout the rest of the year.