Pesky fleas and ticks. According to a Texas entomologist, Americans spend about $9 billion annually on flea control. Did you know that one flea, with the help of a girlfriend; can produce 250,000 descendants in one month? These descendants are in not only your house but also your yard, linens, furniture – literally everywhere. These pests are very difficult to get rid of. In fact, you may not be able to eradicate 100% of them once infested. However, you can still help your pet from being bugged. Here are just a few of our flea control recommendations:
Use a veterinarian-recommended topical preventative.
Get your pet professionally groomed. Then follow up with daily brushings.
Add a little garlic and brewer’s yeast to your pet’s food. See our recipe for a homemade treat that you can make yourself.
If you want to use flea collars, select ones that have a synthetic flea-controlling hormone-like methoprene, which is non-toxic to mammals but sterilizes flea eggs.
For already infested pets, get a professional flea dip.
For already infested homes, bring out the artillery. A house fogger is the best.
Use diatoms. Bio-Integral Resource Center in Berkeley, CA has developed diatomaceous earth aka chinchilla dust. This dust absorbs a flea’s waxy coating, causing fleas to dry up and die. Diatoms can be sprinkled on carpets, furniture, cracks in floors, everywhere and can be purchased in quality pet stores.
Vacuum frequently and reduce clutter.
Ticks are another story. These really bug me! Ticks can get under everyone’s skin, suck up to anyone and spend their lives buried in mammalian flesh. They spread diseases and expand to 50 times their size after a good meal. Ticks require immediate vigilance or an infestation will take place and you don’t want that. Ticks like to congregate along paths and roadsides in tall grass and weeds just waiting for lunch to come by. Here are a few of our preventative recommendations for ticks:
Use veterinarian-recommended topical preventative containing pyrethrum, insecticides made from chrysanthemums. If your area is confirmed to have ticks, check your pets for hitchhikers after every walk or outside stroll. If you spot any ticks, spray your pet with a tick insecticide then comb the fur with a fine-toothed comb. This will remove ticks that are not embedded yet.
Remove embedded ticks with a gentle pull using a pair of tweezers. Tweeze as close to the head of the tick as possible. Do NOT use a match. Many pets are burned using this technique and it is not necessary.
Once the ticks are removed, dab the spot with a topical antiseptic or antibiotic ointment. Do not flush ticks down the toilet or toss them into the trash. Ticks have been known to come crawling out of the toilet at inopportune moments. Instead, it is recommended that you put the ticks into a jar with a cotton ball soaked in insecticide, tightly close the lid and THEN toss them into the trash.