Controlling fleas and ticks can be challenging, because their habitats tend to be where pets and humans like to spend time outdoors. Because this is expected to be a strong pest segment again this summer, we suggest PMPs take a comprehensive, “1-2-3” approach to flea and tick control:
- Have customers consult with their veterinarians for flea and tick preventives, to treat pets orally or topically.
- Treat outside spaces with residual insecticides, concentrating on shady areas of the yard for control of flea larvae and adults, and on vegetation and other sites that harbor questing ticks. Products containing bifenthrin or lambda-cyhalothrin are ideal choices and should be applied as coarse fan-spray applications. Be sure to use the higher labeled application rate in areas of dense groundcover or heavy leaf litter and apply to entire areas of potential infestation, as opposed to spot-treating.
- Treat inside spaces with an IGR to control developing flea larvae and apply bifenthrin or lambda-cyhalothrin as a coarse, low-pressure, crack-and-crevice or spot spray to localized areas where ticks have been observed.
While environmental conditions ultimately determine the severity of flea and tick pressure, it is time to gear up for a busy season ahead.