Frequent Questions

Are there other methods to prevent and control fleas and ticks besides use of spot-on flea and tick products?

The following tips may help to prevent, reduce, or eliminate flea infestations significantly:

· Vacuuming on a daily basis to remove eggs, larvae and adults is the best method for initial control of a flea infestation. It is important to vacuum the following areas: carpets, cushioned furniture, cracks and crevices on floors, along baseboards and the basement. Remember to discard the vacuum bag.

· Steam cleaning carpets may also help as the hot steam and soap can kill fleas in all stages of the life cycle. Pay particular attention to areas where pets sleep.

· Vacuuming a pet to remove any fleas from its fur may also be effective if the pet will tolerate it.

· Wash all pet bedding and family bedding on which pets lie in hot, soapy water every two to three weeks. If an infestation is severe, discard old pet bedding and replace it with fresh, clean material.

· Flea combs are very effective tools in the suppression of adult fleas. They allow hair to pass through the tines but not the fleas, removing fleas as well as flea feces and dried blood. Focus combing on those parts of the pet where the most fleas congregate, usually the neck or tail area. When fleas are caught, deposit them in hot soapy water to kill them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following ways to reduce ticks in your yard:

  • Modify your landscape to create Tick Safe Zones. To do this, keep play areas and playground equipment away from shrubs, bushes, and other vegetation. Also, regularly remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes, and place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to keep ticks away from recreational areas.
  • Provide a vegetation-free play area. Keep play areas and playground equipment away from away from shrubs, bushes, and other vegetation.
  • Use a chemical control agent. Effective tick control chemicals are available for use by the homeowner, or they can be applied by a professional pest control expert, and even limited applications can greatly reduce the number of ticks. A single springtime application of acaricide can reduce the population of ticks that cause Lyme disease by 68-100%.
  • Discourage deer. Removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers may help discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them.

See CDC Web page: Stop Ticks for more information on ticks and tick-borne diseases.

 

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