Long Island Veterinarians Seeing Surge In Fleas, Ticks

Long Island Veterinarians Seeing Surge In Fleas, Ticks

MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Are fleas making a comeback?

As CBS2′s Jennifer McLogan reported, some pet owners think so, and they worry the parasites are becoming more difficult to control.

Jodi Ehren, of Port Washington, fears her pooch, Luna, has fleas and that her home and family will be next.

“Fleas have been known to bite at the ankles and the wrists of human beings, especially at night,” Ehren said. “The whole thing is somewhat disturbing.”

Many veterinarians across Long Island are seeing a jump in fleas and ticks.

“This year was really bad with the weather,” said Robert Henrickson, a Manhasset veterinarian. “It was warm and moist, a perfect environment for fleas and ticks.”

This fall is proving to be peak season for bloodsucking parasites. For example, an embedded tick had to be removed from Marjorie Slonim’s dog, Teddy.

“Luckily, my dog has been vaccinated for Lyme disease, but they said to watch the dog for the next week,” Slonim said.

The weather may have contributed to a “flea and tick bloom” explosion among wild animals. Fleas then get in the grass, exposing pets to more fleas.

Prevention is key. And vets tell pet owners to go on the offensive, especially with animals that have long hair.

Vets recommend putting a white sheet under the animal, then scratching to find flea dirt, which will fall off the skin, warning owners.

There are collars, pills, flea combs, natural remedies and baths.

Topical ointments work wonders, said Henrickson. When applied between the shoulder blades, they are absorbed into the skin, but not into the bloodstream.

By the time veterinarians start treating fleas, many pet owners’ homes are already infected.

It can take weeks, sometimes months, after calling in an exterminator to eradicate a flea infestation.

Experts say summer is typically the worst time of the year for fleas.

Vets CBS2 spoke with suggest that pet owners read directions carefully when using flea and tick treatments on your animals, which can be infected year-round.

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