By Dr. ElRay Roper, Senior Technical Representative
Fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance to your customers and their pets, but they can also pose serious health risks. Because fleas and ticks feed on the blood of humans, dogs, cats and other animals, they can cause irritation to the skin and can transfer disease. Below are tips to keep your customers and their beloved pets free of fleas and ticks — and of the risks that accompany them.
• Identify the pest. There are different kinds and fleas and ticks, and each needs to be controlled in a specific way. To develop a sound control strategy, identification is essential.
• Find the original source. The true source of these pests must also be determined, once they are correctly identified. Fleas typically do not originate from the location where people notice them. Without finding the original source, it will be difficult to provide long-term control.
• Keep it clean. Ensure that the residence or building you are servicing has been thoroughly vacuumed and steam-cleaned, which will help control the pests and remove the dust and dirt they leave behind.
• Vets know best. Encourage your customers to work with their veterinarian to determine the best treatment for their pets. This treatment can prevent their furry friends from becoming the hosts to fleas and ticks.
• Control pests at all stages. If a high population of fleas and ticks is present, chemical control measures will be needed. A combination treatment of an appropriately labeled insecticide and insect growth regulator (IGR) will help control fleas and ticks at all stages of life, and interfere with their reproductive cycle.
For homeowners, dogs and cats are welcome additions to their family, but not the fleas and ticks that may live alongside them. By using a combination of these strategies, you will be able to help prevent and eliminate the pesky problem of fleas and ticks.