“Rebecca, I need your help getting rid of fleas!”
I hear that comment a lot from my customers. My response to them is always “Tell me where the problem is…in your home, in your yard or on your pets?”
Usually they say everywhere and the fleas are beginning to get on them. When the fleas move from the pets to the humans, the infestation is getting out of hand. Taking back control from the fleas is a three-fold process. You have to treat your home, your yard and your pets to make your efforts worth your while.
Other pets or even squirrels can bring fleas into your yard. Even if you have a fence, other animals come up to it with your pet on the other side, and fleas can jump onto them.
When you walk through your yard, fleas can get on you and you can bring them into the house even if you don’t allow your pet inside.
Total control is a 3-step process:
Outside: A good insect granule such as Bug Blaster is what I suggest for outside. It will last 3 times longer than any sprays that you can use which lose their effectiveness after 30 days due to the UV light of the sun.
When you broadcast the granules in your yard, do so before a rain or set a sprinkler for a little while as water activates the chemical in the product. Once it dries, it is safe for humans and pets.
You need a product that will kill the adults but another one to take care of the eggs & larvae which will continue to develop into adults anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks depending on the environment.
If you don’t stop the cycle with the insect growth regulator (IGR, larvicide), you will continue to have adult fleas! It is a good idea to rotate your adulticide product so that the fleas do not become immune to that chemical.
Cypermethrin, Bifenthrin, Beta-Cyfluthrin are all great products to use in conjunction with the IGR. A one gallon mixture will treat 1,000 square feet. I don’t have a “bug company” come into my house to treat for insects. I do this myself, quarterly, and these products will take care of other insects in addition to your flea trouble.
Spray your floors, pet’s bedding, around baseboards, under sinks, behind washer/dryer and refrigerator, back in closets, around doors & windows.
If for some reason you are not able to mix up and spray these products, there are really great flea/insect bombs that contain both adulticide & IGR ingredients such as Zodiac Room Fogger.
Pets: Your pet needs a good spot on product that is applied monthly to kill the fleas that get on them. There are several on the market today. Some spot on products are really expensive and others less expensive.
The key is to make sure they, too, contain an adulticide along with an IGR. The Zodiac Spot On products are broken down by the weight of the dog to be treated. You want to make sure you select the right product based on the weight of your pet. There is a 4 month supply in one package which makes this a cost effective approach to protecting your pets and their environment.