What are the best methods to control fleas on my pet and in my house?
Fleas have a complex, 4 stage life cycle. Control fleas on your pet and in your home must address all stages of this life cycle to stop the problem of a flea infestation.
Flea control on your pet
A mistake seen all too often is the “more is better” approach that some people take when using flea products. More is NOT better when it comes to chemicals or medications! Following package directions is essential when using over the counter products and medications. Only buy products that are labeled for use on the species you will be using them on (dog, cat, etc.). Cats in particular are very sensitive to drugs and chemicals – be sure to read all labels carefully. Even when labels are read and instructions are followed, adverse reactions to flea product can happen. Call your vet immediately. Other resources are Animal Poison Control Center and Adverse Drug Reporting hotlines.
A shampoo, or “flea bath” is a good first attack on fleas for the pet that has large numbers of fleas visible on its body. Cats can be difficult to bathe. It is important to note a flea shampoo is not intended for lasting control. Many people are surprised when they see fleas and it was “only a week ago” the pet had a flea bath. Shampoos are only effective for a day or less. They leave little residual chemical on the animal when properly used.
Carpet Cleaning at Over 55oC Kills Fleas
Fleas infestation cycles can be hard to break. Carpet Cleaning with some truck mount machine such us Auckland Carpet Steam ‘n’ Dry carpet cleaning use over 55oC steam and powerful vacuum power which kills & breaks up flea infestations. Sometimes a one of spray application will be nessisary to complete the control.
Flea collars work one of two ways – by emitting a toxic (to fleas, anyway) gas, and by being absorbed into the animal’s subcutaneous fat layer. The toxic gas is usually only effective in the immediate area of the head and neck. This type of collar is best used in the vacuum cleaner bags to kill any fleas vacuumed up. The collars that absorb into the subcutaneous fat are much more effective. Flea collars are effective for adult fleas.
Flea powders and sprays
Powders and sprays offer short term (2-3 day) protection from fleas, and with some products, ticks and mites too. Powders and sprays have fallen out of favor recently with the newer spot-on treatments that are available. Most flea powders and sprays are only effective for adult fleas, some offer additional flea protection by inhibiting flea egg and larval development.
Common brand names include: Advantage ™, Frontline, and Bio-Spot just to name a few. Please consult with your veterinarian for the best choice for your pet(s).
These are applied between the shoulder blades of the pet, and typically last around a month. Spot-on treatments are effective for adult fleas. Some include ingredients to inhibit the larva from emerging from the flea egg and some are active against larval development as well.
Flea “pills”, such as Program and Sentinel work by stopping the larva from emerging from the flea egg. Program is also available as an injectable medication for cats. Fleas ingest the blood of animals on these medications, and the female fleas then lay eggs that are unable to hatch. They do NOT kill adult fleas. These medications are essential to break the flea life cycle and stop the flea problem when used in conjunction with flea adulticide treatments.
Flea control for your house and yard
Only about 10% of the flea population (mainly the adults) are on your pet. The flea eggs, larvae, pupa, and the few adults that reside in the carpeting, bedding, and living areas make up approximately 90% of the flea population. Neglecting this population of fleas will ensure that the flea problem will continue and worsen over time.
Daily vacuuming – this is very important for overall flea eradication. This will pick up (and get rid of) adults, eggs, larvae and pupae before they develop. Putting a flea collar in the vacuum bag and emptying the bag frequently are also important; otherwise, the fleas will hatch, develop, and leave the vacuum to re-infest the living quarters. Dispose of the vacuum bag properly and frequently.
Wash all bedding, clothing, and removable furniture covers.
Apply insecticide – over the counter fogger or by a professional exterminator. Follow all instructions very carefully; remove all pets, people, and cover all food in the environment before applying insecticide. Make sure everything is dry and it is safe to return according to package directions. Take special precautions for pets and children – eating or putting items in their mouth, etc.
Carpet Cleaning at Over 550C Kills Fleas & Dust Mites
Fleas infestation cycles can be hard to break. Carpet Cleaning with some truck mount machine such us Auckland Carpet Steam ‘n’ Dry www.steam-n-dry.co.nz use over 55oC steam and powerful vacuum power which kills & breaks up flea infestations. Sometimes a one of spray application will be nessisary to complete the control.
Fleas & Dust Mites are a serious pest each female will lay up to 100 eggs during its 80 day life cycle. Can you imagine the trouble this can cause in your office if your carpet cleaning efforts are not up to scratch?
Although Fleas & Dust Mites do not attack the human body directly, their presence can trigger an allergic reaction causing great discomfort to those who are susceptible to them. In fact, it is not the Fleas & Dust Mites themselves that cause the problem as much as the protein found in their remains and in their excreta, namely DER p1. Conventional machine – usual carpet cleaner cannot remove the remains of Fleas & Dust Mites and that is why Auckland Carpet Steam ‘n’ Dry needs to be called in.
Commercial Pest Care
The more people you have working in your office, the more likely it is that Fleas & Dust Mites will be present in the carpet. This is because human bodies shed skin in small quantities all the time and this is what attracts Fleas & Dust Mites in the first place. In the home it is easy to take remedial action; changing your bed linen regularly and cleaning pillows on a regular basis. But in an office environment where carpets are the main affecting element; a specialist cleaning program should be implemented to rid the office of these pests.
The fibres of most carpets have a rough fibrous surface that hold Fleas & Dust Mites within the pile even when a normal vacuum cleaner is used to suck them out. Only a commercial cleaner coupled with specialist cleaning agents can do a proper job of removing them almost completely, the operative term here is ‘almost completely’ because Fleas & Dust Mites are impossible to entirely eradicate.
Most important of all, employ a carpet cleaning service to treat your carpets. This will also prevent Fleas & Dust Mites in the first place.
- Use a commercial carpet cleaning service regularly cleaning carpets and schedules the use of a hot steam process at least every six months. In conjunction with appropriate pesticides.
- Eliminate as much dust from the environment as possible from things. The likes as shelving and desks which can accumulate dust in large amounts if left unattended. This means that the cleaning contract should involve cleaning all office equipment. Remembering hidden shelves and the tops of books or folders, or other areas left unused for long periods of time.
- Look at the possibility of installing air cleaners, which will rid the air of dust before it can settle into the carpet.
Fleas & Dust Mites are a major cause of allergies and asthma. If any of your staff starts to exhibit the symptoms, like itchy or runny noses, sneezing and wheezing of any sort; you may have a dust mite problem that needs immediate attention.
Whilst carpet cleaning with over 55oC steam will remove eggs and most fleas. However this may need to be followed though with a flea pest control service for best results such as Pest Control Auckland Flea Control or Auckland Carpet Steam ‘n’ Dry Flea Control Auckland. Many flea pest control companies also offer regular maintenance to ensure the fleas do not return. Some Auckland flea control companies can treat the home for several pests, depending on the range of issues you’re facing. When hiring a flea control company, the key is a proposal tailored to your needs and budget. The rest will fall into place as you begin treating the problem and gaining the benefits of a pest-free home.
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