On one day, I calculated around 70% of all dogs and cats coming in had fleas. This is definitely higher than normal. For any pet-related business, but certainly for a small establishment like ours, this presents challenges to keeping the store "flea free", and ensuring any dogs or cats coming in WITHOUT fleas don't go home WITH fleas.
We take a multi-pronged approach to these evil critters (and they ARE evil). Upon entry into our store, we ask all pet owners if they think their dog or cat has fleas. We also inspect the animal - trying to keep the inspection from looking like a TSA encounter at the airport.
Any dog or cat that we know has fleas is housed in an enclosed cage away from other animals. Same goes for any dogs or cats that we suspect may have fleas (they're scratching, we see flea dirt and/or they generally look dirty and unkempt). If the dog or cat hair is not matted and can be washed, we immediately wash them in a flea and tick shampoo. If the dog or cat must be shaved down first, we spray them with a flea and tick spray as they're being shaved, plus spray the shaved hairs and place them in a plastic bag (we do not vacuum them up, as we would with other hair).
To further ensure no fleas escape alive, we set off flea foggers at least once a week.
However, no matter what we do in the shop, it's of little-to-no-use unless the customer does their share. What do they need to do? Keep their animals on a topical flea prevention regimen (such as Frontline Plus, Advantage, Advantix, etc.) and treat their property while the animals are in our shop. By the way,the topical flea treatment should used all year round (fleas have 4 stages - eggs, larvae, pupae and adult fleas), and you always want to be prepared for any flea stage that may be lurking in your home.
I have to run, but would love to hear from others, especially groomers and anyone else in the pet care industry, to see if they've also experienced an unusual uptick in the flea population.