San Diego is a flea heavy place. We see more flea issues than anything else. It is impossible to count the times clients have come in and say they never see fleas on their pets and they never have to treat them, and we find evidence of fleas. Flea allergic pets can have reactions to a single bite, so often you will never see a flea when they get itchy because of this. Otherwise it is highly recommended to keep your pets on flea prevention year round. It never gets hot or cold enough to completely kill off fleas here and it is easy to track them or their eggs into your home, so indoor only pets are at risk too. There are a wide range of flea products available ranging from oral to topical. The only recommended flea collar is Seresto. Over the counter flea collars are generally not fully effective at flea prevention. Some of the preventatives we recommend are Comfortis, Vectra, Revolution, Bravecto and Nexgard. We are usually well stocked in both Nexgard and Vectra.
When it comes to flea infestations, flea baths DO NOT work long-term and will not take care of the infestation in the house. Instead:
– Treat all animals in the home with flea preventative products.
– Wash all bedding that your pet lays on/near.
– Vacuum 2 – 3 times per week. When done vacuuming, empty vacuum bags or clean containers immediately and dispose waste in an outdoor garbage, as eggs can hatch within the vacuum waste and reinfect your home.
– Treat your home with a carpet & upholstery flea powder.
– Steam clean carpets and rugs.
– Treat your yard with a yard spray or professional service.
We recommend flea combing all animals once daily until infestation is gone and applying flea preventative once monthly year round (but for NO LESS THAN 3 months). Some households will get worse before they get better due to the hatching of eggs.
We don’t have a heavy tick population in San Diego, but we do see them in the more rural areas and in canyons. Vectra 3D, Bravecto and Nexgard would be good choices if you are having tick issues. There is also the Seresto tick collar which is one of the only tick preventions for cats.
We also do not have as high a risk of heartworm as with other parts of the country, though we still see some animals with it. Since it is difficult to treat now and so dangerous to your pets we still recommend that all dogs be on preventative. Trifexis has both flea and heartworm included, as does Revolution. For a separate heartworm preventative there is Heartgard and Iverheart available. We are usually well stocked in Trifexis and Heartgard.