Flea and Tick Season

Woman at lake with dog during summer

Are You Ready for Flea and Tick Season?

The spring and summer months are peak flea and tick season in many parts of the U.S. Although the insects thrive in tall grass and wooded areas, you may also find them in your backyard. Luckily, reducing your pet's risk of a flea- or tick-borne illness can be as simple as taking a few of these preventive steps.

Treat Your Backyard

Use flea and tick spray on grass, shrubs, and plants to kill fleas and ticks. Products that promise to kill both adult fleas, ticks, eggs, and larvae offer the best protection. Keep your pets out of the yard until the spray dries completely. Most products only keep your yard flea and tick-free for about a month and require regular re-applications.

It's also important to make your yard less hospitable to fleas and ticks. Begin by thatching your lawn to remove the layer of dead grass, roots and stems that form between the soil and the grass. Thatch provides the ideal breeding ground for fleas.

Do you have piles of leaves or wood on your property? You may have unknowingly created the perfect flea habitat. Clearing debris and brush may prevent fleas and ticks from invading your yard.

Cutting your grass too high or too low can be a factor in flea prevention. Fleas hide in tall grass, then jump on to the nearest warm body that passes by, whether that's you or your pet.

Unfortunately, too-short grass also poses a problem. When grass is short, the spiders and ants that provide natural flea control will move out. How short is too short? Scotts says that it's best to keep your grass at least two inches high.

Protect Your Pet

Topical and oral flea and tick medication, sprays, shampoos, and dips offer additional protection for pets. The products kill adult fleas and ticks and stop the development of larvae and eggs. Check with your pet's veterinarian before using one of these products for the first time, particularly if your pet is very young, old, or has a chronic health condition.

Keep Critters Out of Your Yard

Raccoons, opossums, deer, and your neighbor's dogs or cats can bring fleas to your property. If your yard isn't already fenced, consider building a solid fence to prevent flea-ridden animals from infesting your yard. Check fence slats regularly for holes or signs of rot.

Check Your Pet for Ticks and Fleas Regularly

Perform a tick check every time your pet returns inside after spending time outdoors. Start the check by running your hands over your dog or cat's head and body.

As you perform the tick check, take a closer look at any unusual bumps. They may actually be ticks engorged with your pet's blood. It can take up 24 hours or longer for attached ticks to transmit diseases to your pet. Removing ticks as soon as possible is essential for your furry friend's health. Don't forget to check your pet's paws and ears too.

Remove ticks with tweezers, then kill them by placing them in a jar filled with alcohol. You may want to keep the sealed jar for a few weeks. If your dog or cat develops a rash or other possible Lyme disease symptoms in the coming weeks, your pet's veterinarian may want to test the ticks.

Pull the tick straight out of your pet's body without twisting or crushing it. Be sure to wear rubber or latex gloves during the procedure.

If your dog or cat has fleas, you may notice frequent scratching, licking, or biting of the skin, bald or hot spots, deposits that look like dirt in your pet's fur, white flea eggs, or red skin. Unnaturally pale gums or lips may be a sign of anemia, which can occur if your pet has a severe flea infestation. Anemia requires immediate veterinary treatment to protect your pet's health.

Your rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, or gerbil may never spend any time outdoors, but it can still have a flea problem. Small animals often develop fleas if other animals are infested or you unwittingly bring fleas inside on your clothing.

Flea and tick bites can cause Lyme disease, skin infections, and other health problems. Call us if you're concerned about your pet's symptoms or need recommendations for effective flea and tick treatments for your home and yard.

Sources:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Protecting Pets from Fleas and Ticks

https://www.epa.gov/pets

ASPCA: Fleas and Ticks

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/fleas-and-ticks

AVMA: Safe Use of Flea and Tick Preventive Products

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Safe-use-of-flea-and-tick-preventive-products.aspx

Scotts: How to Treat Fleas in the Yard

https://www.scotts.com/en-us/library/insect-grub-control/how-treat-fleas-yard

Contact Us Today!

Contact us using the form or call us at 804-741-3200.

Monday:

7:30am

6:00pm

Tuesday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Wednesday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Thursday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Friday:

7:30am

6:00pm

Saturday:

7:30am

2:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Evans was so patient and kind with our kitty "Cookie". Very caring and so helpful and answered many questions for me concerning her health. The office staff are kind, caring, and professional. The office is immaculate. I have never been to a vet where my pets and myself were treated so well. Love it and so glad to have found them. Best vet appointment ever!"
    Dorothy M.
  • "We have used the Q for over 15 years for our cats and our dogs. Dr. Mortimer is a genius at diagnosing and treating a wide array of issues, and we have relied on his skills to help our animals live to amazing ages. The staff is incredibly caring. They do everything possible to help when we call or come in with a sick animal. They truly care for our pets, and many of the staff will come out from the back to pet our dogs
    when they come in. They are so patient with shy animals like our ferally cat Stasha who needed laser treatments, and our Bagle Topsy who is afraid of her own shadow.Yes, they are not the cheapest vet in town, but they work with us on making a treatment plan we can afford, and we feel that the value and the care are well worth it. Thank you to everyone at the Q for their dedication and loving care."
    Sally M. / December 21, 2017
  • "Met with Dr. Hiser today for the first time. Everyone at the
    clinic--from the desk staff to the vet techs to the veterinarian were warm and welcoming. My dog Iris--who is often nervous around new people--was comfortable there and (I think) made a few new friends. Looking forward to a continued relationship with the clinic as my sweet girl grows up. Thanks, thanks thanks."
    Stephanie C. / June 27, 2018
  • "My three chihuahuas have been Dr. Mortimer's patients for over nine years. The expertise, love, and care demonstrated for each pet is extraordinary. The doctors and staff go the extra mile to help their patients and the parents. They are truly an amazing group that love and care for each pet. If there was a review rated outstanding, that would have been my choice!"
    Donna C. / June 10, 2018
  • "I would highly recommended QVH. All of the staff are so kind and compassionate. They are so willing to help and never mind answering any questions you may have, even if it's 100 questions they are so patient. They genuinely care and treat your pets as if they were their own. And I cannot say enough about Dr. Hiser. She is amazing. Even on her days off she would still call and check in on my dog. I am so appreciative of this place and the staff. It's a great feeling to be completely comfortable with putting your pets care in someone's else hands and trusting them to provide the best service."
    Taylor H. / August 25, 2018
  • "I have been seeing Dr. Evans for at least 20 years. Her manner, knowledge, staff and facility are exceptional. I am a health care provider myself and hold the care of my pets to the highest standards....and I have never had a second thought about the care or recommendations of Dr. Evans. I moved out of town 6 years ago....and drive 3 hours each way to see her."
    Kimberley W. / April 2, 2018
  • "Wouldn't trust my four-legged Kids to anyone else - they have guided us with all our dogs through the years. The entire staff is kind and patient with the animals (and their parents)."
    Karen K. / November 7, 2017

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles