Fleas are unwelcome wherever they go. Especially if they find their way onto your dog. If you live in Las Vegas or are considering visiting there, you may think fleas are less prevalent. With the desert landscaping and common usage of artificial turf, maybe fleas can’t thrive. Or can they?
Can dogs get fleas in Las Vegas? Due to the dry climate and extreme heat, infestations of fleas in Las Vegas Valley are rare. While rare, it is possible for your dog to get fleas in Las Vegas, particularly if you are hiking in Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston or any other wild areas with your dog or if your dog is in close proximity to other dogs (ie dog park, boarding, etc).
We’ve had two dogs since moving to Las Vegas several years ago and have never had any problem with fleas. In fact, I haven’t even seen a flea since moving here.
That being said, if your dog does pick up a few fleas in Las Vegas, the eggs, larvae, and pupae hatch into fleas faster due to the warm environment. The danger here is that once your dog has brought fleas into your home, the environment inside your house is much more conducive (ie. cooler and more humid) to the life-cycle of a flea.
(Be sure to check out our complete Las Vegas Dog Resource Guide here.)
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Some Dirty Facts About Fleas
Fleas can remain as eggs for a long period before they hatch. So, they are very likely to be in your home even if they aren’t evident on your dog. Fleas can cause your dog severe skin irritation and even infection. Preventive measures should be taken to avoid fleas infesting your house.
Did you know that two fleas can produce up to 1,000 eggs in just eight weeks? While your dog shakes these itchy creatures off himself all over your home, they develop into maggot-like larvae and spin silken cocoons transforming into a pupa.
During the cocoon phase, they remain dormant for as long as a year before they hatch. This tells us how they can hide for quite a while before they could find the right conditions to hatch and cause a sudden itchy infestation.
Here are some facts you might not like to hear about fleas. (source)
- The visible adult fleas are only 5 percent of their entire community within the household.
- A flea is capable of laying up to 20 or more eggs at a time.
- It takes only four days for eggs to hatch into larvae.
- Larvae stay out of light, and they hide under fibers, cracks, and crevasses.
- They infest the tiniest spaces in your house that make it difficult to identify or wipe out.
- The cocoon remains unnoticed inside your home for up to a year.
Unfortunately, flea products treat mostly adult fleas. The eggs, larvae, and pupae can thrive without your knowledge, and they hatch in large numbers to produce adult fleas in no time.
The products also tend to leave a sticky scum on your dog. These residues tend to stick to furniture, the carpet, or even on children. You’ll have to wash this away.
Take your dog swimming in Las Vegas! Find out where in our article here.
Do Fleas Survive in Las Vegas?
Fortunately, the subtropical desert climate in Las Vegas is less than ideal for fleas to thrive. In the summer, Las Vegas experiences long stretches of hot, dry weather or heat waves that wipe out most fleas and larvae. The small number of fleas that survive do so by hiding in shady or damp places. These places are easy-to-access in your very own household, especially if you have carpeting throughout the home.
Fleas’ eggs thrive under carpets, pillows, rugs, beddings, or any place that your dog sleeps on to find a cool damp place away from the sun.
For those of you who think that fleas don’t survive in extreme weather, here’s some disappointing news for you. It takes more than a freeze or heatwave to knockdown these devious bloodsuckers. Unfortunately, these tiny creatures find a way to survival in most types of weather conditions.
The fall and spring seasons in Las Vegas are the ideal time for fleas to thrive. In the cooler months of Fall and Spring, Las Vegas usually experiences at least some rain. These brief periods of rain keeps the weather humid and damp long enough for fleas to breed inside the home.
Where Do Dogs Get Fleas in Vegas?
A dog can come into contact with fleas anytime they leave the house. The most common areas for dogs to get fleas in Las Vegas are:
- Taking a walk around the block
- Kennels & Boarding
- At the groomer
- Veterinarian office
- Walking or hiking trails
How Are Fleas Affected by Weather in Las Vegas?
Fleas have survived for centuries. And so, they have learned to survive in any weather.
Fleas in the Cold
- Fleas withstand the occasional freezing temperatures in Las Vegas by hiding themselves in the warm dens of burrowing animals. They get into the winter dens of wildlife like rabbits, coyotes, and other animals. This is how they survive until the warmer temperature comes and then they reemerge to infest your dog.
- Fleas are very comfortable living on your dog’s or cat’s body. The warm, mild climate inside a Las Vegas home during winter is ideal for fleas’ eggs to develop into adult fleas. Of course, they don’t survive in extreme cold, but enough of them survive to continue the species.
Fleas Love the Rain
- During spring, when flowers start blooming, fleas also “bloom.” The time is ripe for infestation, with their eggs hatching faster in the warmer weather. Mice, raccoons, and rodents breed at this time, allowing easy access for fleas to transfer from one animal to the other.
- Rain is no deterrent to fleas. They thrive well in wet climates and shelter in rain-fed grass and plants. People spend time outdoors with their dogs during spring, and this provides easy access for fleas to infest your pet.
Fleas during Hot Weather
- Although fleas can’t survive in the typical Las Vegas sunbaked summers, they find shaded, damp places to live. Extreme weather like this causes fleas most fleas to die off but a few always survive to thrive again when conditions are ideal.
- Unfortunately, they hide under the very same places where dogs find their warmth or dampness during extreme weather conditions and they easily hop on to your pets.
The peak season for flea’s infestation is usually between spring and fall. This is the time those hidden larvae find suitable damp conditions to hatch into adult fleas.
Can you walk your dog on the Las Vegas Strip? Find out here.
Good News about Fleas and Las Vegas
So the good news here about Las Vegas and fleas is that the hot, dry summers pretty much destroy the majority of the flea population outdoors. Because of this, it is much easier to break the cycle of a flea infestation versus other areas of the country that provide ideal climates year-round.
Also, many homes in Las Vegas forego carpeting in the house. Instead, the floors are tiled. Tile flooring throughout the house eliminates the best places for fleas to hide indoors.
How to Know if Your Dog Is Infested with Fleas
Believe me, fleas are no fun for your dog and they will let you know that they are uncomfortable. The key is to be alert enough to your dog’s behavior for you to take immediate action before the problem gets out of hand.
Fleas may start with a sneak attack, but they will become worse over time. Keep an eye out for these symptoms from your dog.
- Continuous biting, scratching and licking
- Losing fur
- Fur resembling dark black pepper-like flea dirt
- Brown parasites crawling or hopping in fur
- Pale gums
- Aggressive behavior such as anxiety or restlessness
How to Handle a Flea Infestation On Your Dog
While fleas don’t fare well outside in Las Vegas during some seasons, you may want to take extreme precautions to make sure they don’t infest your home. Here are a couple of steps you can take to prevent fleas.
- Vacuum your carpets and rugs often, especially areas where your dog spends a lot of time.
- Launder and dry clean your dog’s bedding frequently.
- Keep an eye out. When you take your pet for an outing, make it a practice to check for fleas. If you find any, remove them carefully.
- Consult a vet for sprays and shampoos that can kill fleas. You can also use preventive treatment so that you are ahead of the problem.
- Do not rely on the weather to solve the problem. Fleas can be managed and prevented if they are being eradicated with methods that work.
- Spot treat your dog. You can do this by applying a topical flea treatment to a spot on the back of your dog’s neck. Check with your veterinarian for the right product.
- Treat your dog with oral flea tablets. If they fuss, try to hide it underneath their favorite treats and make sure they ingest them. Sentinel Flavor Tabs are ideal for flea prevention. It’s a once a month preventative treatment that also combines heartworm and internal parasite protection in a single dosage. You’ll want to talk to your vet before administering this product.
The best way to prevent a flea infestation is by breaking the flea life cycle. This involves getting rid of fleas at the early stages while they are flea eggs or larvae.
In my experience, Las Vegas does not have a problem with fleas but it is possible for your dogs to get fleas here. Hopefully, this article has helped identify the specific issues regarding your dog and fleas in Las Vegas.
Want to know if dogs are allowed in Las Vegas casinos? Read our article here to find out.
Can you get fleas in Nevada? Fleas and ticks generally do not present a significant problem in Nevada. Most problems regarding fleas and ticks are found when dogs travel outside of Nevada and bring the problem home.
Can fleas live in dry climates? Fleas survive and thrive in damp or wet conditions. Fleas cannot survive in dry conditions and heat for long unless they are able to find a cooler damp location to hide out in.