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  • Writer's pictureCaméa Allen

The Importance of Flea and Tick Prevention in Yorktown and its Environs

York County is a fantastic place to call home. Our idyllic coastal paradise, however, presents unique challenges for pet owners, including the year-round threat of fleas and ticks. These tiny parasites are more than just a nuisance; they can transmit a range of serious diseases to both pets and people. In this blog, we'll explore the importance of flea and tick prevention in Yorktown and its environs. We'll also share why and how to keep pets protected all year.

The Importance of Flea and Tick Prevention: Prevalence

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Our warm, humid climate creates a breeding ground for fleas and ticks. These pests thrive in tall grasses, wooded areas, and our backyards. While the thought of them crawling on us can send us into a full-blown itch-attack, they do a lot more than cause panic.

Following is a breakdown of the threats posed by fleas and ticks:

  • Fleas:  These jumping insects can infest your pet quickly, causing excessive itching, skin irritation, and even anemia in severe cases. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to pets and people

The Importance of Flea and Tick Prevention: Year-Round Protection

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Unlike other areas of Virginia, York County experiences mild winters, allowing flea and tick populations to thrive year-round. This means that continuous protection is vital for your pet's health. Don't be fooled by the occasional cold snap – fleas and ticks can easily find refuge indoors - on pets or inside homes. Gross!

The Importance of Flea and Tick Prevention: The Best Treatment for Your Pet

With numerous flea and tick products available, consulting your veterinarian is crucial to determine the best option for your pet. Factors like your pet's age, breed, lifestyle, and any existing health conditions will influence the vet's recommendation.

Below, we'll discuss common flea and tick preventatives and treatments to help you start your search.

Common Flea and Tick Preventatives & Treatments: Topical Medications & Sprays

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Topical medications are applied directly to your pet's skin and offer weeks or months-long protection. They are usually applied on the pet's back between the shoulder blades. They should be applied with caution and kept away from children and pets because they are a pesticide and could be toxic when misused.

Common Flea and Tick Preventatives & Treatments: Natural Sprays

We like Wondercide and Cedarcide's natural alternative to topical medications you'd get from your veterinarian but they must be applied a lot more frequently to remain effective. If you can't commit to regular spraying, choose something else. You don't want to leave your pet unprotected.

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That said, natural spray options are great when used as an additional layer of protection in addition to veterinary products. Take a spray bottle on a camping trip, hike, or beach day, and spray the whole family!

Common Flea and Tick Preventatives & Treatments: Oral Medications

These chewable tablets are convenient and provide effective protection for 4 to 12 weeks. Many of these are combined with heartworm preventatives and may guard against additional parasites.

Common Flea and Tick Preventatives & Treatments: Flea Collars

While flea and tick collars offer some protection, they may not be as effective as other methods, especially for pets with thick fur and pets that go swimming. In addition, ticks may not be affected by the products in flea collars so do your due diligence when choosing a collar and, when in doubt, opt for a complimentary treatment.

The Importance of Flea and Tick Prevention: The Best Treatment for Your Home

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One of my worst nightmares is having fleas and ticks residing - rent-free - in my home. A comprehensive approach to flea and tick control in the home involves treating your pet and home simultaneously. Following are some tips:

  • Regularly vacuum carpets and furniture: Pay particular attention to areas where your pet spends most of their time

  • Practice good hygiene: Wash pet bedding and toys in hot water regularly

  • Protect the Entire Home: Treat your yard with a pet-safe flea and tick control product

Regularly checking your pet for fleas and ticks is crucial for early detection and prevention of infestations and diseases. Here's what to look for:

  • Small, dark specks (flea dirt) on your pet's fur

  • Excessive scratching or biting

  • Small, red bumps on your pet's skin (tick bites)

If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately and let us know so that we may adjust or interrupt services as needed. The last thing we want is to spread pests to our other clients' homes!

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By understanding the risks posed by fleas and ticks and implementing a year-round prevention plan, you can keep your pet safe and healthy while enjoying all that York County has to offer. Consult your vet to get the best prevention and/or treatment for your pet and situation.

We urge you to have a flea and tick prevention plan year-round, especially during spring and summer when we are at most at risk. If you have any questions about Hearts at Home's policies regarding pests and your pet, contact us. We're happy to help answer any questions and recommend products if needed.

Our in-home dog walking and pet sitting services are available in Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News, and Hampton, Virginia. To register your pet(s) with us, please complete a new client questionnaire here. Existing clients may request services here.

Please visit our website or contact us by email at or by phone at 757-745-9868 to learn more. We thank you for your commitment to pest-prevention!

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