SAN DIEGO – Fleas are wingless insects that jump and feed on the blood of animals and humans.
With over 2,500 flea species worldwide, there are more than 300 species in the United States. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But did you know that San Diego has more fleas than any other city in the country? dr Zarah Hedge, chief medical officer of the San Diego Humane Society, came to FOX 5 to discuss why.
“The climate here is just great year-round, so we experience a peak in the summer, but we see fleas and ticks year-round in this climate just because of the warm weather that we have,” she said.
Fleas and ticks can transmit many different diseases such as anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
“These are things that can affect humans as well, so not only can we get sick, our dogs and cats can too,” Hedge said.
While only a few can affect people’s health, according to the CDC, some of the most common fleas in the United States include the cat flea, dog flea, gopher flea, and oriental rat flea.
The CDC recommends limiting their pets’ time outdoors, limiting contact with wild and stray animals, bathing and brushing pets regularly, and checking them regularly for fleas.
“Speak to your veterinarian and find out which product is best for your pet, whether it’s a dog, cat or rabbit. There are many products on the market which can be topical or oral pills which is just a matter of finding what is best and then taking it continuously and in this climate all year round.” said Hedge.
Even for pet owners with indoor cats, it’s important to provide them with flea repellents, as pests can get into the home, the SDHS added.
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