Animal Experts Have Tips for Dealing With Fleas This Winter

Danville, VA - Fleas are out there in massive numbers this year. In fact, experts say this season has been the worst for fleas in more than a decade.

Fleas are everywhere and experts say it's because of the very productive mating season they had for the last several months.

If you have a dog or cat, it's important to get a handle on the fleas early before you have to deal with an infestation.

"This has been one of the worst seasons for fleas I have ever seen," said Derek Holley.

Holley owns grooming salon Hollywood Pets in Danville where lately it seems like they've seen more fleas than dogs.

"We've been here going on 5 years now. I don't remember ever going through as much flea product and doing as many flea baths as we have this year," he said.

"My dog comes to work with me every day, so he picks up everything we have in the shelter," said Paulette Dean, executive director of the Danville Humane Society.

Dean says she's witnessed firsthand with her own dog Wally that some of the top flea medicines are not getting the job done.

"It seems to me that may have been losing some of its effectiveness, for me anyway. So I needed to try something else," she said.

To kill the fleas, it is important to find the right product for the right case. For a quick fix, vets suggest a pill called Capstar. It can get rid of fleas on your dog or cat in less than two hours.

"It's great, it's magic. The fleas just drop off and it paralyzes the fleas and doesn't affect the dog at all," said Dr. Jeff Smith from Mount Hermon Animal Clinic.

But according to Smith, studies show that products like Frontline and Advantix are still the best for keeping the fleas away. The key to getting results is giving your pet the medicine both properly and consistently.

"Use them as directed. If you don't treat them every 30 days and you start trying to save money and stretch it out and do it every 45 days, you're not going to get the effectiveness," said Smith.

Experts also say not administering the right amount of medicine to your pet will help the fleas build up a resistance to some products, so be watchful of that. If you find out one of your pets has fleas, don't forget to treat all household pets and your home so the problem doesn't return.