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Dog Fleas and Ticks: Common Myths


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Whether you're mystified - or just mortified - by fleas and ticks, dispelling the following myths can help you gain a better understanding of these plentiful pests.

Myth: Cold weather kills fleas and ticks.

Fleas and ticks thrive in the fall and early winter. In fact, fall is peak time for deer ticks. And while you may see fewer fleas in frigid weather, they may still be living in your house and on wildlife in your yard. Plan to treat your pet and yard well into the fall and early winter (year-round if you live in a moderate climate).

Myth: If your dog is vaccinated against Lyme disease, a tick preventive is not necessary.

No vaccine protects 100%, so you do need to use a tick preventive, too. Also, ticks carry many other diseases, such as ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, for which there are no effective vaccines.

Myth: Cats don't need flea and tick protection.

Other pets or people can bring fleas and ticks indoors to infest even the most reclusive cat. Feline flea and tick protection, such as Advantage® II Flea Control for Cats, is always a good idea.

Myth: City pets don't need flea and tick protection.

Pets living in urban settings can still encounter fleas and ticks from wildlife, nearby grass or foliage, or encounters with other pets. To minimize infestation risk, treat your pet and outdoor areas.

Myth: Fleas prefer carpeted spaces.

Opportunistic fleas will happily occupy cracks between hardwood, laminate, or floor tiles, simply waiting for a host to pass by.

Myth: A few visible fleas = only a minor problem.

You're seeing the adult fleas - not the hundreds of eggs, larvae, and pupae developing in surrounding areas. If you see even a few fleas, treat your pet, home, and yard immediately.

Myth: Once fleas are no longer visible, treatment is no longer necessary.

Even if fleas seem to be gone, stay vigilant. Prevention is key, especially after an infestation. We recommend continual use of a monthly topical on your pet(s), and regular treatment of your yard/outdoor areas.

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