Aug 21, 2012 – Parasites and Products


What is the industry using for the control of Fleas and ticks.


Fleas and Ticks are really two very different problems with very different measures for control, so I will abbreviate my answers here to keep it concise. For fleas it must be kept in mind that preparation by the customer is extremely important, as is follow up work on their part. For preparation they must clear the entire floor of everything to give you access to it for your treatment. This clearing ahead of time also prepares them for the very thorough vacuuming that is absolutely necessary if you expect to control the problem indoors. And, following your first application the customer should vacuum again every day or two, using a strong vacuum over every square inch of the carpet if possible. This will "stimulate" many flea pupae to hatch to the adult stage which otherwise might remain in the pupa stage for weeks or months, keeping the problem in place. 

Your choice of products also depends on the setting. Some of the aerosol products, such as Precor 2000, might be the best choice for an office, where people cannot afford to vacate for the entire day. Once applied, with the adulticide and IGR together in the mix, it will dry within minutes or less and allow people back into the treated area more quickly. For a residence a liquid concentrate may be better, along with the IGR, and the labeling becomes important, for very few products allow you to treat the entire carpet. Dragnet SFR remains one of those few, so check the label carefully to be certain you are applying the material in accordance with what is allowed. Pyrethroids like permethrin do work well both indoors and outdoors for fleas as long as the area is prepared properly first. For the IGR both methoprene and nylar products are excellent. 

Tick management is tough once they are established indoors, but pyrethroids should also be excellent for them. In particular you might consider a microencapsulated product that is going to extend the residual and perhaps more easily adhere to the tick that crawls over a treated surface. Since the female tick that is fully engorged may seclude herself in any crevice available and then deposit several thousand eggs into that hidden place, you need something that may be capable of intercepting these new "seed" ticks once they hatch and emerge and go looking for a blood host. 

Tick management should rely heavily on cooperation and education of the customer. They need to understand the importance of daily inspection of pets that are active outdoors where ticks are prevalent, and the proper way to remove embedded ticks. They also can use insecticidal shampoos on the pets to kill ticks as well as some of the collars or on-animal drops that also can kill ticks early. Outdoors is where the ticks are coming from, so keeping grassy areas mowed short, keeping pets from wandering into tall grass or thick brush, and treating outdoors with a labeled pyrethroid also are part of the overall program. 

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