Health Team

Warm, moist air helps fleas thrive around pets and humans

Posted July 3, 2015 12:15 p.m. EDT
Updated July 3, 2015 6:31 p.m. EDT

Pets spend much more time outside during the warm summer months, allowing more chances for fleas and other pests to make their way into homes.

Rainy conditions elevate the threat because wet weather forces fleas to flock to higher ground, veterinarian Katherine Beier said.

"They're out there to jump on a human pant leg and on pets, and then they get carried inside," she said. "It's that easy."

Once fleas are inside a home, they can quickly turn it upside down. A female flea lives a maximum of two weeks, but in that period she can lay 2,000 eggs.

As for flea medications, Beier said one size does not fit all.

"How many animals, what kind, what type of house flooring you have, and you kind of have to locate where the fleas are," she said. "Most of our problems are within a 10-foot radius of where that pet rests and sleeps."

Fleas often hide in a pet's neck, arms and tail area.

Flea medications applied to pets will help protect them and family members from flea bites.

"If you use the product and you have a problem in the environment, say your carpet, a lot of times three months of consistent treating will also cover the environment," Beier said.