A:  Unfortunately, veterinarians typically see more flea infested pets in September and October than we do all summer.  The reason is due to the flea life cycle.

Your problem actually began months ago when the first few fleas got into your house.  Since then, they have been laying tens of thousands of eggs.  They are between the couch cushions, under the dog bed, maybe under your bed.  Only five percent of fleas in your house are adults.  That means for every flea you see, there are nineteen more just waiting to hatch!  Unless you do something soon, they will keep hatching all winter long.

Many people rely on over the counter flea drops, collars, shampoos, dips, etc.  Most of these products are designed to kill the one flea you are seeing, not the nineteen you don’t see.  That’s a hard way to win a battle.  Even the adult fleas have become resistant to many of these chemicals over the decades they have been in use.  There is a lot of time and money wasted on ineffective treatments.

Your veterinarian can help you win the war on fleas.  Unfortunately, infestations at this time of year are often the most challenging (and expensive) to treat.  However, it can be done.

The answer lies in a three-pronged attack.  The first is to use a modern, veterinary-quality product that quickly and effectively kills fleas before they have a chance to reproduce.  These are available in both topical and oral forms.  The second is to use another product to keep eggs and immature fleas from ever becoming adults.  Third, you absolutely must continue to use a preventive product all year so the fleas cannot return.