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When Is Florida's Flea Season?

November 15, 2016

Unfortunately, fleas are hardy parasites that, like many retirees who are attracted to Florida's warm and humid climate, tend to love the First Coast weather. In fact, fleas in our area can usually survive year round by living in a dormant state during the harshest days of winter. Although they may not be bothering your dog or cat during the brief period while hibernating, many of these creepy crawlers are just waiting for the right opportunity to attack.

How Did My Pet Get Fleas?

Your cat or dog got fleas from either direct or indirect contact with other flea-infested animals. That's right — fleas love to hitch a ride on any warm-blooded creature that happens by — including humans. So, we all become part of Florida's flea cycle, which means all pet owners should aggressively practice flea prevention and control.

Is There More Than One Kind of Flea?

Yes. There are over two thousand kinds of fleas. However, one particular species called the Ctenocephalides Felis or Cat Flea thrives in a warm, humid environment. That makes our area a natural breeding ground for fleas. Although cat fleas are common to Florida's feral cat population, they are not particular about their carrier and these pesky critters travel via stray dogs, skunks, raccoons, opossums, rodents and have been found on Florida panthers.

Can Fleas Harm My pet?

Yes. The most common problem that veterinarians treat is flea allergy. The areas of your pet skin can become irritated following a fleabite causing them to scratch or chew the skin, which often results in a secondary skin infection. Fleas also carry tapeworm larvae. If you pet swallows an infected flea while grooming, an adult tapeworm can grow in the dog's intestines.

When Should I Use Flea Prevention Products?

The ideal condition for flea infestations is between 65 and 80 degrees with 70 to 80 percent relative humidity. In our area of the country, that means flea prevention and control should be practiced year round. Your veterinarian can best determine which products should be prescribed based on where you live and your pet's medical history.

For dogs and cats living in Orange Park, St. Augustine and Jacksonville, flea season is year round. That means as a pet owner, it is important to maintain a veterinarian-prescribed flea control program for all twelve months of the year. To schedule an appointment to discuss flea prevention and control for your dog or cat, call PrimeVET at (904) 644-7876. Walk-ins are always welcome at our Orange Park animal hospital.

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