About 3 weeks ago I noticed my dog scratching and when I checked him I saw a flea. Took him to the groomer to get a flea treatment. She didn\’t see any in him. Next day I found 2 on him. This has been going on for weeks now. The dog has been back to the groomer and she still didn\’t see any but I had her cut him short so they are easier to spot. Dog and cat are wearing the seresto collar foe a few days now. Just combed 3 fleas off my dog tonite. I\’m vacuuming every other day. No one in the house has bites but my daughter did have one jump on her. No sure if I have an infestation or not. Also if the dog is wearing the collar why are they still appearing in him? Not sure if I should get my house treated or not. I have a 3 yo and hate the idea of chemicals in my house but dislike the idea of fleas even more. Help!!
It’s strange that the groomer isn’t seeing signs of fleas while you are. Sometimes fleas themselves can be evasive and difficult to find. However, if a pet is infested, there should be flea feces (dirt) in the animal’s fur. It’s essentially dried host blood, and will appear as black-red specks. The flea dirt will smear into a crimson color on wet cloth.
Finding adult fleas or their feces on pets is the easiest way to diagnose an infestation. Another way to identify fleas is to use a flea trap in the home. The traps are also useful for assessing populations so you know if control is working and if the problem has ended.
If you’ve personally found fleas on your dog, then it’s safe to assume you are dealing with an infestation.
95-99% of infestations are composed of eggs, larvae, and pupae living in the environment (usually deep within carpets). They are hidden, so the infestation could be worse than you assume. New adults will continually emerge from the environment until the infestation is ended. This is why you will notice fleas on pets, even after they’re treated. It can take a few hours for fleas to succumb to the insecticide.
It may be a good idea to treat the carpets/floors with an insect growth regulator (IGR). IGRs are considered safer than traditional insecticides, because they specifically target the endocrine system of insects. They mimic natural insect hormones that regulate development. Exposed eggs and larvae are unable to mature into adults. And IGRs last for 7 months indoors to help prevent re-infestation. You can find IGR concentrate without any other chemicals, for example Martin’s IGR. Or you can ask a pest control company to spray for you, ask them to only use pyriproxyfen (Nylar) or methoprene (Precor).
It’s important to know that the infestation will take around 8 weeks to resolve. Many of the young fleas already developing in the environment may avoid treatments, because they live in protected refuges (such as at the base of carpets where sprays can’t penetrate). After treatment, new generation shouldn’t be able to survive. But the current generation will still need to mature, emerge as adults, and die.
Hope this helps!