East Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- If you’ve had a tough time keeping ticks and fleas off your pets, you’re not alone.
Lynn Kline loves spending time outside with her St. Bernards, but she can't seem to keep up with fleas this year.
"The old rule is, if you see one flea, there are many fleas after that. So, we're having to be extra diligent in how often we are treating the dogs,” she said. “According to the vets I have called to see if there is anything else I can be doing, they have all said the same thing: Because of the mild winter we had last year, the fleas this year are just insane."
Lynn does her best to prevent fleas, spending about $75 a month to treat her dogs, but vets say as it gets colder, it may get worse before it gets better.
Veterinarian Maureen Luschini says, “If the fall ends up being a warmer fall, we’ll see it as a persistent problem extended from summer. But, once we get the first frost, the first colder days, they will definitely seek warmer environments indoors where pets live."
Cats are particularly sensitive to treatment, which can be toxic. Vets caution pet owners to consult with them first. The best medicine will vary based on your animal's species and medical condition. Prevention is key as we head into Fall, and Lynn is hoping her diligence keeps her dogs and her home flea free.
"Normally, I won't treat these guys during the winter time, because I don't have to. But I think maybe this winter, based on the issue we've had, it may not be the worst idea."
At the Veterinary Medical Center in East Syracuse, they’ve had to treat animals with low iron because so many fleas were feeding off of them. Pets can be allergic to fleas as well. Regular cleaning of carpets and pet bedding will help you avoid an infestation when fleas start looking for warmer territory soon.