JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Are fleas causing a furry frenzy for your four-legged friends? The pesky critters are causing problems for Region 8 pet owners. But, there are ways to make sure Fido stays flea free.
"I believe the fleas made my cat sick," says pet owner Christine Ford. She says once you have them, they're not easy to get rid of. "I bathe her, put the medicine on, bathe her. Every month it's the same routine, and she still has them. We've use the flea comb. It's just not working," says Ford.
She's now seeking professional help..."This is my first time seeking veterinary help with it."
"If they have too many of them, because they bite, they can get anemic," says Ellie Meyer, who is a groomer at Jonesboro Family Pet Salon.
"Fleas are pretty bad down here in the south because of the humid weather and warm temperatures. It's perfect for fleas. It's the perfect breeding ground," says Meyer.
She says many of her clients coming in to get primped have had flea problems. "I had three yesterday who hardly ever have fleas. We've had several cases in the last couple of weeks. I've been doing their dogs for two years, and they never had fleas, and all of a sudden they have fleas and they use the flea drops," Meyer said.
Julie Hill with the Jonesboro Family Pet Hospital says flea collars and over the counter flea preventatives are not always effective. "A lot of the time, we'll see people go to local grocery stores and get some of the over the counter products, like I said they are the older generation and they might not work as well," she explains.
One product Hill recommends is Capstar. "It'll start working in about 30 minutes, and it'll kill the fleas that are on the pet at that time." She also mentions Advantage Multi, Vectra, or Comfortis.
"Comfortis is a dog-only product this is typically what I use on all my guys." Hill says never use a dog product on a cat because the effects could be very fatal.
As for Meyer, she recommends checking your pet on a regular basis. "Just check for the flea litter. It's those little black grains. They're real tiny. It's called flea litter. If you see that you've probably got fleas," says Meyer.
Hill says squirrels are the biggest flea carriers. She says if your pet does have fleas, you must attack the problem from multiple fronts both on the pet and their environment. That means cleaning carpets and bedding and spraying the yard where they play.