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

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

7:00 am

6:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:00 am

6:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:00

6:00

Friday:

7:00 am

6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am

2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Thanks for the great peace of mind when I bring Oreo in . . . I know he is always getting the most technically advanced treatment that veterinary medicine has to offer! Thanks so much . . . I trust my best friend in your hands! Thanks so much for all that you have done for us!

    You guys are the best pet clinic in the area--really!"
    Steve & "Oreo"
  • "Dr. Gonzales, thanks for making my life easy when it comes to bringing Hershey in to the see you! Although, I think he may have a crush! I am convinced it's a crush . . . or those treats are doggone divine! But how could any four-legged creature resist? In all seriousness, thanks for providing Hershey and me the finest. most complete pet care available . . . with a lot of love. I have seen a lot of vets in the past and your genuine love and care is truly rare."
    Jennifer & "Hershey"
  • "Thanks to the Drs and professional staff at Pets First Veterinary Center. I feel like you all truly love what you do! Every time I come in to see you, both me and my kitten have had such a pleasant experience. Everyone is so friendly and knowledgeable--I'm really impressed! Ever since I moved to San Antonio you have made me feel so welcome to the area and to your family."
    Jack & "Jill"
  • "Thanks Dr. Gonzales for your loving and professional care for our newest family member! We appreciate you and your staffs' genuine concern for all our pets for the past 10 years. We have always felt like we have been treated as part of the Pets First Veterinary Center family. Its so reassuring to know that we don't have to worry when we leave our dog for medical treatment or a boarding stay. Thank you so much!"
    The Johnson Family & "Magic"
  • "I think the world of Dr. Wright. Not only does she and team at Pets First Veterinary Center provide the best veterinary care possible, but also unmatched personal service and of course lots of love! I trust you with my most precious posessions...and refer all my friends and family to Pets First Veterinary Center.

    Thanks so much to all of you!"
    Maya, "Amor & Abrazo"