Getting Rid of Fleas
Flea elimination from the pet and household is not only POSSIBLE, but should be the standard result of all pest control professionals. Sadly, it is not.
SCOPE PEST SERVICES achieved flea elimination in almost all cases we serviced in the 1980’s and 1990’s before the development of topical or oral flea treatments. Flea elimination requires a thorough understanding of the flea life cycle.
Here are the basics:
The CAT flea is the main flea in the southeast, infesting many animals such as raccoons, cats, dogs, opossums, armadillos,squirrels, and some birds.
Adult fleas remain on their host animal their entire life. They don't hop off and on like a city bus.
While on the host they lay eggs and pass undigested blood (flea poop) into the fur constantly.
The eggs and blood drop wherever the host animal goes. Most collects in the bedding and resting ares. The white eggs and blackish feces has the appearance of salt and pepper. When the flea dirt gets wet, it turns red from the blood.
Fleas don’t hatch from eggs. They hatch from cocoons, like a butterfly.
They have a worm-like larval stage .
Flea larvae CANNOT mature into adult fleas without ingesting blood. They must eat “flea poop” in the bedding, or carpet,or collected in floor crevices.
Because of this, fleas cannot breed in open ground –like the yard—because lawn sprinklers and rain wash away the blood or drown the larva. In dry seasons, it IS possible to breed outdoors wherever the animal rests. But water is the enemy of the flea life cycle outdoors.
In nature, the only animals with fleas are animals with dens, where there is no rain. Squirrels, rabbits, foxes, mice and some birds have dens. Not moose, cows, or deer.
There is NO SUCH THING AS A SAND FLEA, at least concerning dogs and cats. Watch Animal Planet. Elephants, horses, birds, dogs, cows—most animals—know instinctively that hot, dry sand or dust irritates parasites and removes many of them. So a dog rolling in sand gives you “sand fleas”, but they came from the dog, who got them from the “den” (the doghouse or your bedroom).
Fleas will take usually 6 to 8 weeks to emerge from cocoons, but possibly up to 3 months, before the life cycle is completely broken. Fleas will still hatch and get on the pet during this time. Treatment of the pet, in some way, is necessary.
Vacuuming is the greatest weapon against fleas indoors, especially on wood and tile floors.
Fleas can breed on any floor or floor covering if the animal drops eggs and blood there and you neglect to vacuum it up!
IGRs(insect growth regulators) , such as Precor or Nyguard, need to be misted on all surfaces the pets frequent. This is more tedious with cats….especially if they crawl up inside boxsprings or sofas, on top of cabinets, window sills,closet shelves, desktops, baskets, or dressers. Imagine “salt and pepper” sprinkling from the pet everywhere it goes. Where will it collect?
A dust, such as silica gel, boric acid, or diatomaceous earth can be poofed lightly into boxes and cluttered areas, or sprinkled into furniture wells under cushions to kill LARVAE.
It will not necessarily kill adults.
Borate sprays and IGRs can be applied to carpets and rugs.
Do not remove animals during the treatment cycle. Fleas are triggered to hatch from cocoons by animal body heat, CO2, and vibrations. Removing pets prolongs the elimination cycle. Keep them present unless the animal is severely allergic or dangerously anemic.” If the pet must be removed, flea cocoons can be encouraged to hatch for treatment by heating the house to 100·F, using space heaters with fans behind them to keep them in cycle. Heat the house for about 4 hours prior to treatment
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