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Here's how you can protect pets, loved ones from fleas

Fleas can pose a serious threat to the well-being of pets and humans alike. With higher-than-average flea activity forecasted, learn how to prevent an infestation.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Editor's note: The above video is from May 2021.

Fleas are one of the most common external parasites in dogs and cats. The diseases they carry can sometimes also be transferred to humans, making the prevention of infestations a high priority for pet owners.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), the nation’s leading source on parasitic diseases that threaten the health of pets and people, is predicting high flea activity in Pennsylvania this June.

“Even though fleas prefer to feed on pets, people are not immune from receiving their irritating and sometimes disease-spreading bites,” Dr. Rick Marrinson, DVM and CAPC board member, said. “The new Flea Forecasts at PetDiseaseAlerts.org are designed to alert pet owners and veterinarians where fleas are currently most active across the United States."

The entire mid-Atlantic region should be prepared for a swarm of fleas, as evidenced on the flea forecast map. The map is a collaborative effort from parasitologists and statisticians in leading academic institutions across the U.S. It is updated daily.

It is much easier to prevent fleas than to remove them once they make their home on your pet. One of the most effective methods of preventing a flea infestation is year-round flea medication.

Although these insects thrive in the warmer summer months, they can survive indoors all year. Preventative flea medication protects pets both during the summer and colder months when pet owners are not expecting an invasion. 

The most effective way to curb an active flea infestation is to treat bedding and all areas that pets regularly inhabit with a flea exterminator. These can be found in the form of sprays, foams and washes. It is recommended to wash any household bedding that the pet may have come in contact with as well.

Some diseases that fleas carry are zoonotic, meaning they can be transferred from animals to humans. Luckily, these sicknesses tend to be mild and easily treatable.

Protect pets and people this summer and beyond by taking the appropriate preventative measures against fleas.

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