Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's Flea Time!!!!

I once heard an old rancher say "It ain't summer if you ain't got no fleas." Aside from the bad grammar, he was exactly right. At least for South, Central Texas. Every single year, no matter if its rainy or dry, fleas are always an itchy bump on our legs. This summer is no exception. In fact, in the last hour, I have answered 5 phone calls about fleas!

Here's the low down - there are many treatment options, most work, but that's only half the battle. How you apply is just as important, if not more so. You want to treat now, and then 10-14 days later. That way you kill the eggs and pupae that you didn't kill the first time around.

If your fleas are coming from neighbor's dogs, strays, or wildlife OR your fleas seem to resistant to any contact pesticide you use, include an Insect Growth Regulator in your pesticide regime. This will prevent the females from laying eggs, and will eventually lower the population. Look for the active ingredients methoprene or pyriproxyfen, for example.

It is also important to treat your pets at the same time. There's no use spraying the yard, if the pets are harboring fleas.

For indoor flea problems: vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Then remove the bag and throw it outside in the trash can. You will suck up more fleas with the vacuum than most pesticides can kill. Vacuum twice a day if you can. If that isn't working, treat the yard, pets, and indoors with a product labeled for indoor use all on the same day.

In the meantime, remember what you do this year that seemed to work, because chances are, they'll be back next year too!