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FLEA MANAGEMENT

The following steps are used in a successful flea management program. It is important that all steps are carried out or the flea management program probably will not work.

STEP ONE - SOURCE ELIMINATION

All possible sources of fleas need to be eliminated. These sources are usually either one or both of two sources:
  • Wild animals - Animals such as mice, rats, opossums, etc., which are nesting in or near the structure, may be the source of the fleas. A proper pest management program for these pests, including baiting (where appropriate), trapping, and exclusion are important steps. See Pestdude's RATS AND MICE page or WILDLIFE page for more information.
  • Pets - Peoples cats and dogs are the most common mode of introduction or fleas into a home. Homeowners must arrange to have their pets treated. This can be done by a veterinarian or by the homeowner. There are a variety of excellent flea shampoos and treatments that are available to the homeowner. Most contain a pyrethrum based product along with an Insect Growth Regulator. To find out more about pesticides, see Pestdude's PESTICIDE site. Without treatment of the pet, however, most flea treatment will go unsuccessful. You should also consult a veterinarian about long term treatments and medications now available to help keep pets flea free.

STEP TWO - INDOOR TREATMENT

Indoor treatments for fleas involve several steps:
  • Remove all items off the floor. These include toys, feeding bowls, pillows, etc.
  • Remove all items from under beds and other furniture, and off closet floors.
  • Vacuum all floors and furniture. This process will remove most fleas in all the various life cycle stages as well as cause vibrations that will cause the fleas to emerge from their pupal stages. This is important because no pesticides are available that will penetrate the pupal cocoon. Once done, the vacuum bags needs to be removed, sealed in a plastic garbage bag, and disposed of in the outside garbage. This needs to be done right away to prevent the fleas from getting out.
  • Thoroughly clean all areas frequented by pests, including pet bedding. If bedding cannot be cleaned, then it should be replaced with new bedding.
  • Aquariums - The pumps should be turned off and the aquariums covered.
  • All pets need to be removed, including pet birds.
  • Treatment - The application of an appropriately labeled liquid pesticide, which usually is a pyrethrum or pyrethriod based insecticide with an Insect Growth Regulator included, should be thorough. Every floor space, especially all carpeting, should be sprayed. The furniture should be sprayed. Only furniture where prolonged contact with skin, like beds, should not be treated. Care should be taken not to step on already treated areas. Therefore, you should work from the farthest point away from the door and, like painting the floor, work your way to the door.
  • For major infestations, you may want to consider aerosol treatment (called bombs) along with the liquid spray treatment. This will cause a faster "knock down" of adult fleas. Care should be taken to properly calculate the "cubic footage" of the house in order to get the correct amount of pesticide. Also, breathing the gases can be harmful. Do the entire liquid treatment first, set the canisters per the label instruction, and quickly spray where your footsteps were on the way back to the door.
  • Once treatment is done, you should stay out of the house for 3 - 5 hours, or until the treatment has completely dried.
  • Upon returning, you should again vacuum every area of the floor. This will cause any fleas in their pupal cocoons to emerge and come in contact with the residual pesticide from treatment. The homeowner should also vacuum several more times over the next 7 - 10 days.

OUTDOOR FLEA MANAGEMENT

Outdoor flea management will help prevent pets from becoming reinfested. These steps may include:
  • Everyplace the pet sleeps, rests, or naps. This may include dog houses, cool areas around yard, under porches, etc.
  • Band treatments which are ground spraying 6 - 10 feet around the foundation of the house.
  • For severe infestations, treatment of the entire yard may be recommended. To do this, first make sure the grass is cut short to improve effectiveness of the treatment. Then, using an appropriately pesticide, treat the yard.

IMPORTANT WARNING


IF THE PET IS ON PROBAN, PROSPOT, OR ANOTHER SIMILAR PRODUCT, THE PET SHOULD DISCONTINUE IT USE ONE WEEK PRIOR THROUGH ONE WEEK AFTER ANY PESTICIDE TREATMENT.

Check out these other sites:
PESTICIDES
HIRING A PEST MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL

If you have any questions, please ask Pestdude!