Thursday, 24 July 2008

Make Fleas and Ticks Feel Like Unwelcome Guests in Your Home

(ARA) - When it comes to flea and tick control, a little precaution is preferable to a lot of fixing up afterward. Once these pesky critters have set up housekeeping on your pet or in your home, they can be a challenge to eliminate.

Fleas and ticks are more than a nuisance; they can be a danger to both animals and people. Ticks can transmit disease-causing organisms not only to pets, but to humans as well. In just one day, a single flea can bite a cat or dog more than 400 times, consuming more than its body weight in your pet’s blood, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their bites may even cause anemia in young, old or ill animals.

Several simple steps can help minimize the likelihood that you’ll have these unwanted guests on your pet and in your home:

* Wash your pet’s bedding regularly with a detergent, and then dry on high heat.

* Clean, mop and vacuum your home to get rid of immature fleas and their food sources.

* Check regularly for fleas and “flea dirt,” the feces of adult fleas, with a comb. The tiny dark specks will turn red when rubbed with water. If detected, treat the animal and the environment (bedding, carpet, furniture) with appropriate flea and tick products to kill fleas and prevent eggs and larvae from developing.

* Mow lawns frequently and remove brush and debris to make your yard less inviting for ticks.

Even with the most diligent efforts to protect your pets, your home can still fall victim to these creepy critters. When this happens, the best defense against fleas and ticks is a combination of an insect growth regulator (IGR) and an adulticide. IGRs mimic a natural insect hormone, preventing normal flea development. Flea eggs and larvae either die, fail to molt into adults or molt into deformed adults that cannot feed or reproduce. The insect’s life cycle is ended before it becomes a biting, breeding, egg-laying adult, which is important because more than 95 percent of the flea population is pre-adult.

Adulticides kill adult fleas. Adult fleas have an outer shell that is nearly crushproof and covered with spikes, which helps them stick in fur. After a day of feeding, the female flea begins laying eggs at a rate of up to 25 to 40 a day. After fleas lay their eggs on your pet, many will roll off onto your carpeting, your pet’s bed, your bed, your couch, your yard or wherever else your pet spends time. When that occurs, simply eliminating the adult fleas and ticks seen on your pet is not sufficient. Eggs and larvae may be hiding in carpeting, bedding, upholstery and floors growing and maturing into new biting adults. That’s why it is necessary to treat more than just your pet for complete flea control.

Fortunately, protecting your entire family from fleas and ticks is possible; by treating both the pets and the home. A three step program has proven successful in eliminating an existing flea and tick problem and preventing future infestations. Products that aid in flea and tick control are available, over-the-counter, at pet supply stores and come in many forms for your pets, home and yard. Brands like Bio Spot, Zodiac and Adams offer products with IGRs that are critical to disrupting the flea life cycle.

Protection from fleas and ticks starts with your pet: Step one is on-animal. This step includes shampoos, dips and sprays. Products like the Adams Plus Flea & Tick Mist with Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) help kill the fleas and ticks already on your dog or cat. And, because it contains an IGR, it disrupts the normal flea life cycle, killing not only adult fleas, but preventing immature fleas from becoming biting adults. It can also be used on pet bedding, carpet and furniture.

Step two is maintenance. This step includes collars and topicals that provide your pet with ongoing protection. Treating dogs monthly with a topical like the Bio Spot Spot On Flea & Tick Control for Dogs provides continuing flea and tick control for your dog for up to three months. Flea and tick collars also provide on-going protection lasting up to five months.

Protection from fleas and ticks continues with your house: Step three is premise control. This step includes foggers, carpet sprays, and premise and yard sprays to protect your home from fleas and ticks. Products like the Zodiac Fogger kill fleas and ticks in your home and help prevent future reinfestation for seven months.

To learn more about flea and tick products and their proper use, visit, or

It is important to read and follow all of the instructions before applying any flea and tick treatment to your pet or your home. With diligence both home and pet can remain flea and tick free.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

No comments: