Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Even if you live in an urban setting there is still a risk for fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can live in most environments and can frequently travel with other pets or wildlife to new regions in the country.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Myth: City pets don`t need flea and tick prevention.

“Fleas are equal-opportunity parasites and can set up anywhere, including urban areas,” Dr. Williams says. “They might even be more of an issue [compared to rural areas], as you and your pet are their only source of a meal.”

Answer: In short, yes, it is possible to have fleas even though you do not have a pet. There are a few possibilities for this: One possibility is that the previous owner or tenant had animals, and those animals had fleas. When they vacated they left the fleas behind in the carpeting.
If you see just a few fleas on your dog, you may be tempted to think it`s not a big deal. Although the random flea might show up if you`ve just taken your pup for a walk, more than one or two could be a sign of a problem. As few as 20 fleas might mean your pet is infested, while the most could be between 200 to 300.
Without a host like a cat or a dog, fleas can live anywhere between a few days and two weeks, but they can lay eggs that make the infestation last longer.
Summer is one of the most active times for fleas and ticks, with some of the worst season being fall, in September, October, and November. Research has shown that the number of fleas on cats and dogs is 70% in the fall when compared to the spring season.
Your pet could contract a tick borne disease, your pet and your home could become infested with fleas. If this occurs it can be far more costly to treat your pet for an infection or infestation.
Can humans bring fleas into house? Fleas typically don`t use humans in particular as hosts, but they may travel through us. But fleas don`t necesarrily need hosts to enter our homes. They are so microscopic thagt they can enter a home through cracks in the floor and window screens.
If a flea-infested animal nests in a nook or cranny of a building, the fleas can spread to different rooms and apartments. It`s also possible that the fleas were already in your apartment when you got there.
Though individual fleas can be difficult to notice, once a flea infestation occurs, you may be able to see multiple fleas hopping onto your furniture or curtains. You might also notice your pets scratching more than usual. You can get fleabites as well if the fleas jump from your pet and onto your body.
“Fleas cannot live on people,” Dr. Bonk told The Dodo. “Fleas like the dark and warm confines of hair or fur, and people just simply don`t have enough of these to keep them happy.
Though they might jump on your pants or shirt, they won`t stay on there for more than 24 hours. The chances of spreading fleas back and forth through clothing are slim. Fleas want to stay close to a food source, so they will search for anything near them.
Fleas generally cannot live in human hair. While most species prefer to live on the furs of animals, they can use humans as temporary vectors. In such cases, fleas can infest and bite humans. You may get infected if there is a serious case of flea infestation in your environment.
Fleas can live in temperatures as low as 46 degrees. However, it can take up to 5 days of consistently below freezing temperatures to kill an adult flea. At temperatures between less than 46 degrees and 33 degrees survival rate varies between 10-20 days.
Heat does kill fleas. They`ll die in temperatures above 95°F (35°C).
Even when treated with a suitable flea control product such a Frontline Plus, Advantage etc it is still possible for your pet to pick up new fleas from the outside environment or other animals. Flea eggs and larvae can also be brought into the home on shoes or clothing.
It`s best to keep your dog on tick and flea preventive medication year-round since you never know when a thaw will be warm enough to allow ticks to be active again.
Myth #2: Can fleas live on furniture? Fleas usually enter the house on pets, as stated above, but they can quickly find refuge in the house. Carpets, bedding, pet beds, and upholstered furniture make cozy homes for fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae.
Can humans carry fleas from one home to another? It`s rare that a flea will transfer from one body to another. It`s more likely that an animal or person will get fleas from areas where animals live and sleep. It`s possible that bringing an infested pet bed into a new home could spread fleas to another source.
Due to the high body temperature of fleas, they cannot stay long on humans. They cannot breed on humans too, so they need to find animal hosts or else, they cannot increase in numbers. Studies have shown that female cat fleas can stay on humans for only 7.4 minutes, and male cat fleas can only stay for 4.4 minutes.
Fleas need to stay warm to survive, so naturally they will seek shelter away from the cold outdoors. Can you guess where they`re going to go? Your home! Not only does your home provide a warm place to stay, but chances are you have either a pet or other people living there with you that can act as hosts for fleas.
Fleas in the house are typically found in sleeping areas such as bedding, carpet, and mattresses. Fleas on humans are often found in areas that are closer to the ground, as fleas tend to grab onto clothing while a person is outside.
Unfortunately, fleas can easily make their way into furniture, rugs and carpeting – and multiply quickly. This means it`s important to take action immediately if you notice even a few fleas on your carpet or upholstery.
If you bring home just one adult female flea, in 60 days your home could be overrun by as many as 20,000 fleas! The eggs hatch as quickly as one day, but usually within 12 days of being laid. It is easy to see how quickly a flea infestation problem can spiral out of control.
Bodily Scents and the Chemical Makeup of the Skin

For example, some people may produce more carbon dioxide than others from their skin reactions, which is a common attractant to various blood-sucking insects and pests, such as fleas.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. Which flea and tick drops are the best and why?
ANSWER : A. Your question is a good one, and unfortunately the answers are going to differ based on who you ask. Many vets are seeing resistance to Frontline, which has been the go-to product for many of us for many years. It contains the active ingredient Fipronil, which is very safe and typically extremely effective. I use it on my dogs and never see fleas or ticks. However other vets will tell you in their areas, for whatever reason, they are seeing fleas and ticks on dogs and cats on which this product was used.

Another reason opinions differ is that some people like to give an oral product, and some like to put a topical product directly on the skin. That’s a matter of personal preference mostly. Bravecto, as mentioned below, is one of those products. Most people find it safe and effective. It uses a different process that Frontline to kill fleas and ticks.

In general the products you buy over-the-counter are likely going to be less expensive and less effective than what you get from a vet. I think the reason is that the more expensive products contain newer insecticides, and likely less resistance to these products has built up in the flea and tick population but also they are maybe less “proven”, so it’s important for a vet to be involved in the use of the product in order to ensure that there won’t be a negative reaction to using it.

If I lived in an area where there was Lyme disease (in the US that’s the northeast and upper midwest) I’d most definitely add a tick collar to my standard oral or topical flea and tick prevention. AND I’d search both of my dogs everyday for ticks. It’s because nothing you buy will be 100% effective, and Lyme disease can be a very serious problem.

If you want to talk further and talk more specifically about where you live and what products you’re considering, I’d be happy to do a consult with you. Nobody here is paid to recommend products, but we do develop preferences based on what we use on our own pets and in our practices.

Q. I live in the city. Are fleas and ticks still a concern?
ANSWER : A. Even if you live in an urban setting there is still a risk for fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can live in most environments and can frequently travel with other pets or wildlife to new regions in the country.

Q. Need help, we have done flea bath ,sprayed the house and used charts ultra guard pro and still have fleas .how can we get rid of them
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. My dog has fleas and ticks. I’ve kept her area clean and bathed her. If I took her to the grooming salon, would they be able to help her issue?
ANSWER : A. To be honest with you, the groomer will do just about the same thing you have done for her at home, which is bathe your pet to rid all the fleas and flea eggs off of her that are currently on her.
However, the problem comes with re-infestation. Everytime your pet goes outside to potty and comes back inside, she has a potential to carry fleas in with her, even if she is only out there for a few minutes a day. In fact 40% of indoor pets has fleas, so we know that they can be extremely opportunistic.
The best and only way to protect your pet from fleas and ticks is by using a flea/tick preventative. Here are my top picks!:
1) Nexgard
2) Seresto collar
3) Advantix topical

These products are going to get the job done. Also you have to treat your home with a flea fogger (can be purchased at Home depot or Lowes) and wash all your pets bedding to help rid the flea eggs in the environment. This is key to overall flea ridding and flea control.

Q. My dog itchs all the time a codozon shot helps but don’t cure it after a bath she turns red and still itchs I changed dog food that didn’t help no fle
ANSWER : A. Do you live in a region where fleas are prevalent. Where I live the fleas are truly horrible, and I see many animals developing a flea allergy. This usually presents as relentless itching especially at the base of the tail, although it can be all over the body. Often on exam I won’t find a single flea, just red bumps, hair loss and itching. In response, I will start animals on an oral steroid such as prednisone (I think your doctor has administered an injectable steroid), while at the same time bathing the animal and starting on an oral flea preventative such as Comforts which I then re dose at 3 weeks instead of 4. Additionally, the environment needs to be decontaminated- flea bombing the house, vacuuming often and washing bedding on hot. The flea life cycle is short, however, so this needs to be one frequently as they will just continue to hatch in your home. Most importantly, I tell my clients, that any steroid (oral or injectable) does not fix the problem, but rather suppress your dogs reaction to it thereby making them more comfortable. Just the steroid alone changes nothing except giving them a brief break from their symptoms.

Now that I have spoken in depth about flea allergy, there is a potential that it is something else. Food allergies are slow to develop, and slow to change. If you wanted to eliminate a potential food allergy I would switch to a novel protein, limited ingredient diet. For example, lamb as the protein source if your previous food was always chicken or beef, and in a formula with very limited ingredients such as lamb, rice and veggies. A pet store should be able to help you with this. While on this diet they cannot have any additional treats for 1 month, to see if you have eliminated the allergy. From an Eastern Medical perspective, I also recommend novel proteins that are “cool”, such as fish, lamb, or duck while avoiding “warm” foods such as beef, chicken, pork.

Finally, all animals with allergies should be on an Omega 3 supplement. Given regularly, this can help reduce overall inflammation in the body both in the skin, joints, and other tissues. Good for allergies, arthritis and overall health. My dogs are on fish oils, but one of my dogs who is allergic to fish gets flax oil instead. I would be happy to consult with you further, but I hope this helps to some degree.

Q. Our cat developed a flea allergy in the form of red sores above the eyes Our vet gave him an antibiotic shot and a flea collar but they remain.
ANSWER : A. I’m so sorry to hear! Flea allergies are tough to deal with! Unfortunately when a pet has an allergy to fleas, the problem lies in the flea bite. The actual allergy lies in the flea saliva, so what we really need to prevent is the flea biting our pet! I would recommend a product that can kill the flea before they even have a chance to bite your pet! A couple of really great products on the market right now are Frontline Plus and Revolution. Both are liquid topical products that you place on the skin of your pet once a month. They work by using the skins oils to spread themselves around the body and rest in the hair follicles. Each has a slightly different mechanism of use, but they both work to kill the flea before it actually has a chance to do harm to your cat. Flea collars simply are not as effective. I would also recommend treating your home environment, such as the area where the cat sleeps and the carpets inside your home. Flea eggs and larva can live for a very long time in these environments and unless we treat all of these areas, the problem will remain. I hope this was helpful! Good luck and I hope your kitty feels better!

Q. How do I FINALLY rid all 4 of my cats of tapeworms after 2 years of dealing with it? Fleas seem to be controlled. I know they are the vector.
ANSWER : A. If your cats keep getting tapeworms, then they are picking up fleas from somewhere. Fleas will hitch a ride on your pant leg from outside.

Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

You can also use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the life cycle.