Auburn, CA pet with fleas.

Fleas are a nuisance that no pet owner wants to experience. Not only is a flea bite painful to our furry friends, but flea saliva will also irritate skin. If you see your pet scratching more than usual, fleas are the usual suspects. Bowman Veterinary Hospital is here to help you spot fleas and get rid of them quickly.

How Did My Pet Get Fleas?

If you only have one pet in the house and it has fleas, where did the fleas come from? If your animal is outside, you can be sure that another fur-bearing animal left fleas in its path. Fleas can be living in shadier areas of your lawn. A flea can also jump up to 12 inches, so if they’re in the yard, they’ll leap on your pets to grab a meal.  

Why Do Fleas Seek Out My Pets?

Fleas feed on blood—they are parasites, like wood ticks and mosquitoes. Fleas also like to take cover in the dense fur of dogs and cats and other furry mammals. They bite your pet to draw blood to eat and then they lay their eggs, safely harbored in pet fur. They lay a lot of eggs, which can be shed in your house. With no shade for cover, fleas will likely migrate under furniture or into closets until they’re ready for their next meal. 

Can I Get Fleas from My Pets?

It’s not likely that you will have an infestation of fleas on your body. Most humans do not have dense fur, which is a flea’s favorite incubator. Fleas will bite you for blood–and you’ll feel the bite!

If My Pet Has Fleas, Where Will I Find Them?

Since they are very small, you may never see a flea with your naked eye, but you might see black bits of dried blood that the flea has left behind. The easiest way to see flea debris on your animal is on their belly where there is less fur and (generally) lighter skin. 

Other places in your home to look for fleas, their eggs, and debris. 

  • Pet bedding
  • Human bedding
  • Furniture upholstery
  • In dark spaces: under furniture and in closets
  • Rugs
  • Pet crates

If you see this debris on your pet or in your home, it’s time to treat your pet for fleas. Do not wait. Fleas lay a lot of eggs and they are on your pet, ready to hatch. Call Bowman Veterinary Hospital at (530) 319-5571 to speak with staff about how to effectively and safely treat your pets for fleas. 

Is My Pet at Risk for Health Complications from Their Bites?

Your pet can have a severe allergic reaction to flea saliva. When that happens, they scratch more and can break through the skin. Open sores caused by scratching can lead to serious infection. Even worse, if a flea is infected with a tapeworm, it will be passed on to your dog. Flea bites are no joke for your pet!

What Can I Do to Get Rid of Fleas?

There are many steps to take to rid your home and yard of fleas. Start with the following:

  • Wash all beds, toys, blankets, and other fabrics with hot soapy water. You may have to do this more than once. 
  • Do the same with human bedding, rugs, or other soft surfaces where your animal sits.
  • Vacuum everywhere and empty the bag immediately in an outside trash bin. 
  • Thoroughly clean inside closets—fleas love dark spaces!
  • Chemical treatments (flea bombs) are only effective where the released spray settles. Carefully follow manufacturer directions. 
  • Protect your yard with pet-safe flea killing pesticides and keep your grass short.

What Can I Do to Prevent Fleas on My Pets?

Call Bowman Veterinary Hospital at (530) 319-5571 to learn more about safe products to use that will protect your pets (and you) from fleas. We care about your pet’s health and wellbeing. Call us at the first sign of fleas on your pets.