The easiest way to protect pets from fleas and ticks is by controlling their population on your pets, in the home and outdoors. Learn about how they grow, live and feed and what products can control infestations.

Controlling your Fleas

The Cat flea is the most common type of flea in the U.S. Its victims are not restricted to cats and also include dogs and humans. Drawing blood from hosts is their source of food and our potential source of infection. Diseases that fleas cause are allergy dermatitis, Bubonic Plague, tapeworms and Feline Infectious Anemia. Understanding the lifecycle of these pests is the way to control flea attacks.

  • Egg laying

Female cat flea – A single flea can lay 20-50 eggs and over 2000 fleas in her three month life span.

The eggs fall off your pet landing anywhere that he or she might be sleeping. Outdoors the flea menace continues. Moist and shady areas are also ideal environments for egg incubation.

  • Larval fleas

Flea eggs hatch after 1-10 days and transition to larvae. Feeding on feces and debris over a 5-25 day period they then spin a cocoon or pupae.

  • Hatchlings

5-9 days later they reach adulthood but sometimes they can remain dormant for up to 5 months. 95% of the flea population consists of eggs, larvae and cocoons in the pet’s environment. This makes it easy for them to invade our living space just about anywhere.

Controlling your fleas

This is possible and safe with the right product. Start with a visit to your vet. We can point you to proven and tested products that will keep pets safe. There are cautions that must be taken. The wrong dose of medication no matter how administered can cause severe illness and may be life threatening.


Ticks are small arachnids, a class that includes spiders. They ingest blood meals. Ancient in origin, they have been in existence for about 90 million years. As with fleas, ticks also have a complex life cycle of eggs-larvae-nymphs-adults. Females are responsible for most bites.

Ticks cannot jump or fly. They use their legs to grab and crawl onto a host. Larvae can prefer certain hosts. Nymphs and adults attach to humans, pets and wild animals to obtain a meal of blood. Disease transmission usually occurs towards the end of a feeding.

Controlling disease caused by ticks

Bloodsucking parasites can transmit disease to both pets and humans. Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease are well known illnesses caused by ticks. These diseases can have serious consequences when left untreated.

An effective flea and tick control program provided by us at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Hospital of Topeka can reduce disease transmission. The best prevention for flea- and tick-borne disease is year-round infestation prevention. Enhance the health of dogs and cats and protect yourselves as well with comprehensive year round parasite control. Contact us for more information.