Flies, it seems, are the most common culprit when it comes to infestation problems. We all know the basics: They carry more than 100 pathogens; they feed and breed in unsanitary conditions; they vomit digestive fluids and excrete them everywhere; and they’re a danger to public health. But remember, they are all drawn to damp, cool areas with lots of shade — the better to keep their eggs away from the sun and wind. That means you need to focus your search-and-destroy mission on the kinds of places flies like to hang out: in and around drains, under eaves and porch overhangs, behind dumpsters, near rain-soaked piles of wood, and so on. Inside is not entirely different, so you’ll probably find these pesky interlopers under large appliances, around waste bins and garbage containers, and near pet food.
Fleas, on the other hand, generally prefer to live on animal hosts. Also, eggs will invariably fall off and collect in beds, clothing, carpets, and cars — anywhere the pet goes. Your customers should clean all affected rooms and remove all clutter; sweep, vacuum and mop; and wash all sheets and bedding in hot water.
If you decide to get rid of fleas by going to the source — the customer’s yard — focus on places that are warm, shady and humid. Advise customers to mow the lawn regularly, since fleas love to hide in tall grass. Encourage them to get rid of leaves, weeds, prunings, brush and woody material, as well as construction debris, loose dirt, rocks and branches.
As for ticks, they usually come inside through damaged screens, under ill-fitting doors and, like fleas, on a pet’s fur. Treat the house with an appropriately labeled pesticide, and advise customers to get rid of any clutter in the house. Washing dirty laundry is obviously a must, but tell them that cleaning their entire house — from attic to basement — is vital.