Have you fallen for any of these flea and tick Myths? Find out if it’s a myth or truth from Dr. Alice.
1. Fleas and Ticks are a summertime issue.
Myth: Our peak flea season in this part of Ohio actually seems to be fall. The weather gets chilly and all the fleas say “Hey, where can we live now?,” and then they jump on your pets and come into your house.
2. Indoor Only Cats Don’t Get Fleas.
Myth: Several times a week, we treat indoor only cats for fleas. Fleas come in on peoples shoes, on their clothes, they jump in windows and doors. Once an infestation is in place, it is harder to get rid of then just preventing it in the first place.
3. Garlic is a great natural flea prevention.
Myth: Garlic is actually toxic and chronic low grade administration can lead to anemia in pets.
4. Flea Allergies are the most common type of allergy.
Truth: The number one reason pets come to us if for allergies, and the most common type of allergy is a flea allergy. You will never even see a flea on most pets who are allergic to fleas. The pets have a “hypersensitivity” reaction to a single flea bite leading to itchiness, hair loss, and skin irritation.
5. Every female flea lays at least 40 eggs per day.
Truth: If one fleas lays 40 eggs, then those 40 eggs develop and lay 40 eggs each, that’s 1,600 fleas in just one generation!!
6. Fleas cause tapeworms.
Truth: Dog and cat tapeworm eggs live inside of some fleas. When the pet is grooming or licking themselves and ingests a flea, that egg then matures into a tapeworm in the dog or cat’s gastrointestinal tract.
7. Flea and tick prevention creates a “force field” around the pet that cannot be penetrated.
False: Most flea and tick prevention requires the parasite to land on or bite the pet. Then, they die, stopping the life cycle. Most flea prevention also contains and “IGR” or Insect Growth Regulator, which renders the eggs unable to develop to the next stage, preventing the 1,600 in one generation.
8. I don’t see any ticks on my pet so they are not there.
False: The nymph stage of the tick is so tiny it is the size of a pin head. You would never see that even on a short haired pet. Based on the rate that we diagnose lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and other tick carried diseases I can tell you. They are there even if you don’t see them.