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Flea Control Tips
Indoor Flea Control Solutions
Treating the Pet
First step for control is to eliminate the breeding site. According to one flea research expert, the Cat Flea adult is "a permanent ecto-parasite on pets", meaning it does not jump on and off the pet, but stays on board, hidden in the dense fur. It only gets off as an adult flea if it is forced off by your brushing or the dog's chewing.
There are many materials now available to use on the pet, and the best ones (Petcor Flea Spray) will affect not only the adult fleas, but also the eggs that they lay. These contain a growth regulator that kills the eggs that come in contact with the chemical. This same chemical can be applied to your carpets and furniture and it keeps the flea larvae ever from becoming biting adults. There is, of course, also regular bathing of the pets, possibly with a flea shampoo that can definitely be an effective effective pest control.
"Ultrasonic" flea collars, that claim to set up "flea free" zones around your pets do not work in any way, shape or form. Dozens of studies around the world at several universities (including U of Florida) have come to that same conclusion.
Flea Treatment at Home
Step two; if your home has reached the point where the flea eggs, larvae, and pupae are widespread in the carpet, you need to treat all those areas with a properly labeled product.
Since flea eggs and larvae can be just about anywhere in the home that the pets go, your goal will be to apply the spray to all those susceptible areas. If there are certain places that the dog or cat likes to hide or rest, I can guarantee that fleas have been laying eggs in that area, or hot spot and a chemical treatment in that area is a must. You want to ensure, though, that you DO NOT SPRAY any clothing, children's toys, or any other personal materials. Use common sense when treating, and realize that fleas are not breeding in shoes, board games and other areas where pets never go.
- Pick up everything on the floor, including under beds and inside closets
- Flip up the bed blankets so the area below is readily accessible
- Tie back floor length drapes so the edges of walls are accessible
- Pull out sofas and chairs and pick up the debris, and vacuum that area thoroughly
- Remove all pet dishes from floors
- Cover fish tanks and turn off the air supply during the application
- Vacuum every square inch of carpet as thoroughly as you can.
- Try to spray every inch of carpet and furniture and hardwood floors that is possible - even under beds and under sofas and chairs. Spray the pet bedding and runs that the pest uses in the house. Allow the chemical to dry before walking on it, and try to walk backwards when applying, so you dont walk through the spray.
That bears repeating - VACUUM every square inch of carpet as thoroughly as you can. This will not only straighten up the fibers of the carpet to facilitate the action of the spray, but it also is the physical movement and contact that will cause many of the flea pupae to hatch to adult fleas, and get them past the difficult stage.
If chemical odor is a concern there are excellent products that do not smell. Believe it or not, there is a large percentage of homeowners who are NOT satisfied if they cannot smell something, thinking that pesticides must stink if they are going to work. The times have changed, though, and odors were usually associated with the oil and kerosene solutions that are not used anymore.
After the Treatment
First, do NOT go back into the home if the carpets are still damp. You want to wait till the spray is dry; so that it does not contact your skin, and once it is dry it adheres very, very tightly to the carpet fibers. You can check this by placing a tissue paper on the carpet and stepping on it lightly with your shoe. If it shows a wet spot then you need to leave again for another hour or two. Opening windows and turning up heaters prior to the application, if possible, will speed up drying time.
The second important step is to vacuum again, every day if at all possible. This is not going to remove any flea chemicals, but will once again cause flea pupae to hatch to adults. The chemical cannot kill the pupa, as it is hidden within its cocoon, but the adult fleas that emerge can be killed by the freshly placed spray, even after it is dry. You should dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag after vacuuming so that flea eggs that have been sucked inside do not hatch within the vacuum cleaner and become another problem.
The third thing you need to do is to please be patient. It takes about 3 weeks for fleas to complete their life cycle, from egg to adult. You still will see occasional fleas for the next two to four weeks, until they are all emerged from their pupae. You can speed up this process by vacuuming regularly, but adding more chemical applications on top of what is already there
Fleas prefer to live in cool, shaded areas close to moisture, which outdoors would include under shrubs, trees, bare areas of ground, etc. Normally fleas dont live in open sunny grassy areas. A good form of attack for outdoor flea control is to perform a thorough spraying, with plenty of water, with a chemical such as Talstar PL Granule or Talstar One Insecticide or Tengard SFR One-Shot Liquid Termiticide/Insecticide. These products are also very effective against killing ticks, ants, roaches, spiders and most common bugs. Thoroughly spray the areas where where pets run, sleep and rest. Pay close attention to areas in and around dog houses.
An insect growth regulator, added to you spray, will cause the immature fleas to die and will prevent eggs from hatching and completing their life cycle.