Fleas. They seem like a never ending battle. When a cat or dog has them, pet owners wage war on these pesky little creatures.
In the past few years, many cat and dog owners have complained about the effectiveness of the flea products available in the stores and the vet’s office. Even veterinarians are frustrated over the flea problem.
Dr. Michael Dryden, veterinary parasitologist at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, admitted that something is happening with the fleas. He called the phenomenon “back end slippage”. He said that in some instances the effectiveness begins to slip at around three weeks.
He was hesitant to used the word resistance because Dryden said if fleas were truly resistant, then the flea products would not work at all. He said that this is not the case. Dryden explained that people who use flea products all year round have no problems with fleas because they don’t give a chance for fleas to stay in the pet’s environment.
With winters starting later and springs beginning sooner, the flea season has become longer. This means that flea protection may be a year-round task.
From Steve Dale’s Pet World:
What happens is that now in October or March that occasional stray flea â€“ a flea which may not have existed just a few years ago because it was too cold - hops on an unprotected pet. Going indoors, the flea deposits eggs in the carpeting â€“ and suddenly, thereâ€™s an infestation â€œThis isnâ€™t the fault of a product not doing its job,â€ Dryden said.
Another issue is compliance, people simply forgetting to dose consistently on a monthly basis.
Of course, in the South fleas exist year-round, and while compliance may be an issue for some â€“ it seems even people who are clearly religious about flea busting sometimes scratch at more than their heads, attempting to figure out where they went wrong.
Sprawling suburbia increasingly intersects with wildlife; from raccoons to feral cats â€“ and those critters donâ€™t wear flea collars. Fleas drop off in the yard to hitch a ride on pets, or even human shoes and are then brought indoors.
â€œThatâ€™s one reason why flea protection for even indoor-only cats is strongly recommended,â€ Dryden said.