Hi there! Really hoping you guys can help me out with this headache of a flea situation My dog Noodle has always been treated with advocate every month. We recently moved in with my boyfriend, whose cat had a bit of a flea problem which was treated – however he didn’t treat the home. Shortly after I noticed a few fleas on Noodle, which I was able to catch and kill. I then treated the home with spray and vacuuming and I didn’t see anymore. Fast forward 4 week and at my parents home for christmas, over the past few days I’ve caught 2 off of him. I’m confused as he’s now been treated with advocate twice since the first was spotted and he’s also always been treated, so I’m confused how ANY are on him at all. The whole situation is driving me mad. He doesn’t seem to be bitten or particularly bothered by them. A little scratching but not more than normal. And not sure if I’m seeing flea dirt or just regular flecks of mud on his belly. Either way there isn’t much of it. Any help or advice would be amazing! Thank you!!!
Should mention – the cat moved out before we moved in!
It sounds like there were fleas still developing in the environment when you and Noodle moved in. 95-99% of infestations are eggs, larvae, and pupae living unseen in the environment, often deep within carpets. In homes, it takes eggs 17-26 days to become adults. However, cocooned adults can go quiescent (dormant-like) for up to 5 months. Most don’t, but some do. Heat and pressure on the cocoons will cause them to rapidly wake up and emerge. So, your dog walking/resting on the cocoons could wake them up. Vacuuming is a good way to simulate these host cues and force emergence.
If your dog is properly treated with Advocate monthly, then I think the odds are that the fleas you are seeing are emerging from the environment. They are probably the last remnants of the previous infestation. It can take a few hours for the dog’s treatment to kill the fleas. However, they shouldn’t live long enough to lay eggs and continue the infestation.
It sounds like you shouldn’t need to do much besides continuing the monthly dog treatments, and also vacuuming more regularly. And ensure the spray you used in the home contains an insect growth regulator (IGR), either pyriproxyfen (Nylar) or methoprene (Precor). The IGR will prevent re-infestation for 7 months.