Drought spurs flea infestation around Bay Area

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Our dry weather could be producing an uncomfortable side effect, and the victims are pets. Fleas are out in force. (KGO-TV)

Bay Area Fleas Out In Force

Our long months of dry weather could be producing an uncomfortable side effect, and the victims are pets. Fleas are out in force here in the Bay Area.

" It's been very flea ridden, says Patrice Wehren, DVM, a veterinarian at Adobe Pet Hospital in Mill Valley. "The thought is that it's probably related to the drought. Rain tends to wash away a lot of the eggs, pupa and adult fleas."

Whatever the cause, vets we spoke with around the Bay Area told us they've seen an uptick in flea cases for at least the past several months, and some cases have been tough to treat.

"Sometimes it's so bad I hear a little yelp," says Lisa Bloch of the Marin Humane Society.

Bloch's insider status at the Humane Society hasn't spared her dog Digby, who's been struggling with fleas for close to a year.

We've tried everything," she says. "It's hard to see him suffering."

Vets say a boom in the flea population can mean dogs are re-exposed more often, possibly between treatments. Some pet owners also worry the fleas may have developed resistance to products they've used in the past if there's a concern, Dr. Wehren says owners can choose from a wide variety of newer treatments with updated ingredients.

"There are products based on just experience that we can say, this seems to be really working at this point," says Dr. Wehren.

As for lisa, she's still working with her vet to find the right treatment combination, to get digby flea free.

"I think you know at one point I missed a treatment with him and it got really bad and we couldn't get out of that cycle. So I think staying on top of it and talking to your veterinarian really helps," she adds.

Dr. Wehren says, besides treating the dog, owners should vacuum regularly and even throw out the bag when they're finished, along with cleaning surfaces their dog regularly comes in contact with.

Written and produced by Tim Didion.
Related Topics:
petspetanimal newsdroughtu.s. & worldweatherbay areapestsdogscatsdogSan FranciscoCalifornia
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