Q: We have two cats and one dog, and in the last two weeks, we are seeing lots of fleas, especially on the dog, a 4-year-old sheltie. We are going to fog the house and have all the animals bathed. What else should we do? Should I get flea collars for them?
A: Flea control in Southern California is a frustrating, never-ending battle. Since eradication is nearly impossible, the emphasis should be on control.
The most effective method of flea control is to treat the environment. Fleas are only on a pet for a short period of time in order to take a blood meal. Then they jump off to lay eggs in the house or yard. The yard, both front and back, needs to be sprayed on a regular two- to three-week basis. The entire yard, including patios, driveways, and sidewalks, should be treated.
The house should be fogged with a product that not only kills the adult fleas but also arrests the development of the eggs or larval forms. The pupa stage of the flea is extremely resistant to insecticide products. This is why follow-up fogging or spraying of the house should be done every two weeks or so. Thorough vacuuming of the carpets and floors should be done and the bag immediately discarded.