by Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: You recently wrote a long explanation of how to get rid of fleas on pets and in the house. I have two very large (more than 100 pounds) dogs, very furry, Great Pyrenees. I also have seven cats. I have found with the recent developments in treatments, none of the measures you listed are necessary.
I have one cat that is hypersensitive to flea saliva. I keep an eye on him, and when I notice the little telltale bumps just at the base of his tail, I know we’re infested. I immediately treat all of the animals with either Frontline or Advantage. End of story. No sprays, no bombs, no bathing fighting cats.
The topical stuff applied between their shoulderblades kills the fleas on them. The remaining fleas in the house and yard jump on the animals to feed, and then are killed. I never have to treat anything but my animals. Even my car interior is fine. The stuff lasts 30 days. I simply treat again as many times as necessary until the frost comes and flea season is over.
As long as my pets are treated regularly, I don’t have to worry about any hatching eggs. They just hatch, feed and die. So simple and easy. I hope you will consider suggesting this course of treatment. All of the steps you listed easily could discourage someone from becoming a pet owner, and it does not have to be so difficult and time-consuming. — Debbie S., via e-mail
DEAR DEBBIE: Thanks! Actually, I have recommended topical treatments in the past and used them on my own pets with similar success. However, many of my readers are leery of using a topical treatment, and others tell me it didn’t work at all, particularly with outdoor pets. For them, alternative prevention and treatment methods must be explored.