Minnesota Parasites: Fleas and Ticks

What Works Best for Minnesota Ticks and Fleas?

Vectra 3D is our single best recommendation for Minnesota Ticks and Fleas.


Fleas, ticks and mosquitos have the potential to spread diseases to your family and other pets.

The best protection is providing veterinary quality parasite prevention for your pets.

With increasing popularity of dog parks and exposure to a broad population of dogs, parasite protection takes new importance in your pet's health care plan.

Monthly parasite prevention, year round, prevents infestation, protecting your family from disease transmitting parasites.

Watch the video above to learn why Advanced Care recommends Vectra for our clients who care about their pets.

Reported Infestation on the Rise

Flea and Parasite Control Products in Saint Cloud MN
"Say No to Ticks and Fleas!" - Biwabik, the Wonder Yorkie-Poo

Despite the finest tick and flea prevention technology available at Advanced Care Pet Hospital, tick and flea infestations are increasing.

Monthly prevention is the easiest, most affordable approach to controlling Lyme and heartworm disease transmitted by pet parasites.

Advanced Care Pet Hospital can help you understand parasite prevention methods. As a pet owner, it's important to understand how to protect your family.

Warm Weather and Parasites

Say what you will about global warming, trends suggests ticks and fleas are enjoying a longer growing season here in central Minnesota.

In Sterns County we've experienced relatively warm winters with fewer real long cold spells, giving parasites more opportunities.

Continuing evidence suggests a longer growing season for all parasites, including fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. The weather isn't the only cause. Pet owners have cut back on buying and using parasite prevention products.

Flea and Tick Products, St. Cloud, MN Vet St Cloud
Warmer winters mean longer parasite growing season

Warm Winter Means Protect Pets Sooner

Ticks, Fleas and mosquitoes benefit from longer, warmer growing seasons. While mosquitoes suffer after a hard frost, ticks and fleas survive a few hard frosts under an insulating blanket of snow for a time.

Getting pet owners to understand the logic in consistently applying a monthly preventive is part of the plan in helping clients make the right choices in flea and tick control. Few people realize there is a huge uptick (pun intended) or increase in parasite population in the late fall.

Pet Vet St Cloud flea and tick
Lyme Disease Emerging Risk Regions

This map from the Yale School of Public Health (February 3, 2012) indicates areas of the US where people have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease based on data from 2004-2007.

The map shows a clear risk across much of the North-East. High risk areas are found across Wisconsin and northern Minnesota. "Emerging risk" regions include central and Northwest Minnesota as well as eastern North Dakota. (AP Graphic/Yale School of Public Health, Maria Diuk-Wasser)

Northern MN is bad and here in Central MN, we've probably caught up as the map is dated. Advanced Care Pet Hospital treated 65 dogs with Lyme disease in 2013, 39 in 2012, 37 in 2011 and 35 in 2010.

Why are Lyme cases so high? We hear three reasons frequently cited by clients. First, prior to coming here, they received little to no education about tick borne diseases. Second, they only applied tick prevention in traditional hot summer months and finally many folks claim they do not have ticks in their yard. Which means they also don't have birds, rabbits or squirrels either.

Risk is higher for dogs than humans as they're running down low among the grasses and brush where ticks hang out. Ticks are hard to spot under fur. Dogs can't easily identify and pick off the ticks themselves.

Lyme Disease in Dogs Information and Reference Page Link


Fleas are a nuisance to their hosts, causing an itching sensation which in turn may result in the pet attempting to remove the pest by biting, pecking, scratching, etc. in the vicinity of the parasite.

In addition to being an annoyance, both people and animals suffer allergic reactions to flea saliva resulting in rashes. Flea bites generally result in the formation of a slightly raised, swollen itching spot with a single puncture point at the center (similar to a mosquito bite).

Bites can remain itchy and inflamed for up to several weeks. Fleas can also lead to hair loss as a result of frequent scratching and biting by the animal, and can cause anemia in extreme cases.

Besides problems posed by the creature itself, fleas can also act as a vector for disease. A vector is any carrier that transmits disease from one host to another. Fleas and ticks are examples of vectors.

Though flea-killing chemicals may vary from the active agents used to kill ticks, most products advertising that they eliminate fleas will stymie a tick infestation. This makes life simpler for the client to understand but owners need to understand the miniature world of larva, pupa and adults inside their homes.

Fleas lay 40 to 50 eggs a day. Eggs drop where ever your pet roams. One might treat fleas once and they go away for a while, but the effect does not last forever. Most treatments only kill mature fleas but Treatment must be continued to get rid of the entire infestation.

Longer Life Cycles

Environmental experts say winters are less severe, warm seasons last longer, giving Minnesotans greater problems with fleas and ticks than our parents had. Given climate conditions, consider year-round flea and tick prevention to keep parasitic infestations in check.

Pet owners with a flea infestation want to blame someone. They use a product once to handle the problem, later finding fleas and concluding the product isn’t working. There is a perception that ‘poof!’ fleas miraculously are all dead. However, fleas are constantly emerging in the environment. There is a 90 day cycle which includes eggs, larva, young adults and mature fleas. Most flea control products only kill off mature fleas and cannot kill eggs. Clients often don't treat long enough to stop the infestation.

Manufacturers study product effectiveness. Findings show products are as effective today as they were when introduced more than a decade ago. “It's all about ongoing use, not one shot treatments.”

Do not underestimate the zoonotic disease potential (Animal to human transmission of disease) by letting infestations go untreated.”

Core Pet Care

The typical pet owner does not think of flea and tick control as important for their family's health. Prevention is a core part of general pet care.

The economic downturn has many people redirecting their spending. It is difficult to persuade clients to invest in products they may not see an immediate need for.

In addition to simply preventing parasites themselves, dogs on consistent flea preventives have far less incidence of flea related allergies than those who are intermittently treated.

Owners of allergy-prone animals should be aware of the potential elimination of secondary bacterial infections and allergic reactions in animals with flea allergies when they comply with the recommended monthly applications.

Call for an Appointment Today! 320.257.0911

Advanced Care Pet Hospital, "Caring For People Who Care For Their Pets"