Itching, scratching, gnawing and biting. It’s flea season again…Part Two: Flea Control
Flea control can be very challenging. However, with diligence and the correct tools, even the most stubborn flea problems can be surmounted. Best practices for flea management include an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. IPM includes multiple tactics aimed at reducing the potential for flea infestation as well as implementing control measures.
Physical and/or cultural control includes:
- Washing pet bedding materials
- Thorough vacuuming of carpeted, tile or wood floors
- Vacuuming and/or cleaning of resting areas
- Eliminating wildlife from attics, crawlspaces, etc. Wildlife may introduce fleas into an area not previously infested or one that has been previously treated for a flea infestation
Flea Control on infested animals includes:
- Using on-animal treatments that are designed to kill adult fleas and/or break the flea life cycle
- Providing flea baths
- Removing fleas with specialized combs
Professional control includes:
- Using residual insecticides will greatly aid flea control efforts
- For immediate relief, applying an adulticide will control active adults that have not yet located a host as well as larvae that have not yet formed cocoons
- Treating for adult fleas should be concentrated in those areas where fleas are likely to be found. Outdoor areas are especially prone to harboring flea populations, particularly when animals are allowed outside and when squirrels or other wildlife inhabit the area.
- Effective control of adult fleas outdoors may be achieved with Demand® CS, Demand EZ or Demon® WP by Syngenta. Apply to yards, kennels and other areas where pets may rest or play. Applications should be thorough to ensure adequate distribution of the treatment.
- Treating for larvae may be performed indoors or outdoors with an insect growth regulator (IGR) such as Archer® to help disrupt the flea life cycle.
- Indoors, treat all areas that may harbor fleas including carpets, furniture, substrates and throw rugs. Upholstered furniture and cushions may also be treated.
- Outdoors, Archer may be tank mixed with Demand to ensure control of adult fleas and prevent larvae from becoming adults.
Fleas may be re-introduced into an area, so regular re-treatments may be necessary. Additionally, regular service visits will assist in controlling fleas that emerge from cocoons between treatments. Treatments with insecticides such as Demand, Demon and Archer will greatly assist flea control efforts. Fleas are a worthy adversary, but with the Syngenta arsenal at hand, pest control professionals have effective and powerful tools at their disposal.