Tips About Flea Control

Flea Control Tips

There are many flea products on the market today that make a lot of claims which can be confusing to the consumer trying to select a flea control product. But before applying any flea insecticide, it is important to consider the complete scope of the flea problem. The most important principle in a total flea control program is that the pet?s environment (indoors and outdoors) as well as the pet and all other pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) should be treat simultaneously.

Before using any insecticides, the environment must be thoroughly cleaned to remove as many of the adult fleas, eggs, larvae, and pupae as possible. Vacuuming with a beater-bar brush is extremely effective in removing adult fleas and other immature forms. Vacuuming raises the carpet fibers which makes the immature forms of fleas accessible to insecticides, in addition to aerating and drying out the carpet. Even if the vacuum fails to remove the cocoon because of its sticky nature, it will stimulate pre-emerged adults to emerge from the pupae, allowing them to be sucked up by the vacuum or exposing them to the insecticides. Be sure to thoroughly vacuum the ?source points? where the pet spends most of it?s time. If that is a chair or bed, be sure to vacuum and treat under the furniture, because the eggs and larvae will actually fall off and the larvae will crawl under the furniture away from the light. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately. Don?t use a flea collar in the vacuum bag because it is not approved for use in such a manner and may pose a threat to your health. You may also want to steam clean your carpet at this time which will further help in the mechanical removal of fleas. Be sure your pet?s bedding and blankets or rugs routinely occupied by your pet are washed in hot water. This is something that should be repeated on a weekly basis.

Outdoor cleanup will involve mowing and raking the yard thoroughly, including removal of any organic debris from flower beds and under bushes. This will also increase the exposure of the fleas to the insecticides. Be sure to clean any areas where your pet spends time, such as the garage, basement, pet carrier, and automobile. Non-carpeted floors should be mopped because fleas may develop in cracks and crevices.
The next step in flea control is the application of insec?ticides to all pets and the indoor and outdoor environment simultaneously. All pets, such as dogs, cats, and ferrets, should be treated at the same time, and free-roaming animals kept out of the environment.

There is no one chemical or chemical combination of insecticides that will fit every flea infestation problem or fulfill the needs and desires of every pet owner. One natural and safer approach in killing and controlling fleas on the pet and in the environment is to use a product with a pyrethrin and an insect growth regulator (IGR). IGRs are synthetic juvenile insect hormones that have ovicidal and larvicidal activity. The pyrethrin will provide the quick kill of the adult flea, while the IGR will prevent eggs and larvae from developing into the pupae. There are currently two IGRs used in flea control products on the market?methoprene and fenoxycarb. These are extremely stable and provide prolonged residual activity of approximately 30 days.
You can also find IGRs in foggers and premise sprays which can be used alone or in combination with other chemicals. Foggers are commonly used by pet owners but several precautions should be considered:
? Foggers should be placed in each room to be treated (because they don?t effectively go around corners).
? Fogger spray does not go under furniture.
? All people and pets, including fish and birds, must be removed before treatment.
? Utensils and all surfaces in which food is prepared must be covered.
? The home must be thoroughly ventilated and chemicals dried before people and pets return.
Areas that cannot be reached by the foggers, such as closets or under furniture, and heavily infested source points should be sprayed by hand with the insecticide. Often, the heavily infested source points in the home or yard need to be retreated in two to three weeks, because the pre-emerged adults inside the pupae or cocoons are protected from the initial application of chemicals. Retreat the areas where you see fleas. In most cases, these will be the source points or hot spots.
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