By Doug VanGundy,
Senior Director, Research and Development, Central Life Sciences: Fleas and Ticks
Pet owners dislike fleas as much as their pets do. Fleas can be harmful to pets, causing scratching, fur loss, tapeworms and bites that lead to anemia and trips to the vet. Fleas attack a wide variety of warm-blooded vertebrates — including humans, where their bites cause intense skin irritation. Flea control is a challenge, but pet owners and the public alike can rely on pest management professionals (PMPs) to recommend best management strategies and product solutions.
Pre-adult fleas make up 95 percent of the total flea population. Flea eggs hatch and larvae develop in the nap of carpet, furniture, pet bedding — and even the cracks in hardwood floors. When the larvae pupate and emerge as adults, the lifecycle continues, creating further frustrations for both people and animals.
PMPs must stress to customers how important it is for them to properly prepare before flea treatment. The outcome of treatment is dependent on the prep work customers do before any flea products are applied. If they are diligent with the following, the likelihood of success increases:
• Remove loose items from floors.
• Vacuum all areas of the home.
• Thoroughly mop all tile and wood floors.
• Wash all pet bedding in hot water.
• Bathe pets.
• Cover fish tanks and unplug pumps.
• Keep lawns mowed.
• Clear outside areas of clutter.
Once the customer prep work is completed, PMPs can step in with product solutions. Many flea control products contain an insect growth regulator (IGR), and are available in a variety of formulations to fit customer needs.
Fleas are tough, but proper preparation and thorough treatment with effective products are the keys to beating them.