Pest control in warmer weather is a challenge. The humidity in summer brings an increased population of fleas and ticks and the problems they can cause. Warm weather also brings pet owners and their pets outside (strolls in the park or attending outdoor events), making you both an easy target for infestation. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective pest control options to prevent fleas and ticks.
Fleas are insects and are related to ants and beetles. Adult fleas feed on our pets’ blood, then mate and produce eggs that fall from the pets’ coat into the environment, and the cycle can continue. Most pest control focuses on breaking that cycle.
Flea bites can be more than just irritating. A flea bite can cause an allergic reaction or transmit other parasites, such as tapeworms, and diseases to pets and their owners. Cat scratch disease (a.k.a. cat scratch fever) is a disease of humans caused by a bacteria present in flea feces. The disease is transmitted between cats by fleas and to humans when the bacteria under the claws of an infected cat is transmitted through a scratch. Successful flea pest control can help prevent this and other flea-transmitted diseases.
Ticks are related to mites, spiders and scorpions. They are in the arachnid parasite group and are most common in the United States. In Kansas and Missouri we have a wide variety of ticks including: Lone Star tick, American dog tick, and Deer tick. Occasionally, we see the Rocky Mountain wood tick as well.
Ticks feed on many different animals during their life cycle, and for that reason, they are very good at transmitting disease. The number of diseases transmitted by ticks in the United States includes Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Some of these diseases can occur in dogs, cats and humans. In fact, Lyme disease is the number one vector-borne disease – a disease transmitted from one host to another by an insect or arachnid –of humans in the United States.
Pest Control of Fleas and Ticks
Flea and tick pest control is best achieved by a 2-fold approach: 1. placing pets on a preventive product, and 2. professional treatment of inside and outside of home. There are numerous product choices available and your veterinarian can help you determine which is the best option for your pet. In kind, consulting a professional pest control company is best as many over the counter products cannot achieve lasting and safe results.
Choosing an appropriate flea and tick pest control product depends on several factors, including numbers and types of pets in the household, their indoor/outdoor status, the region of the country you live in, whether fleas and/or ticks are the problem, the capability of the pet owner to administer products safely and accurately and other existing pet health conditions. Only a pest control professional, like Milberger Pest Control, can evaluate your home situation and bring the chemical strength and safety to your flea and tick problem.
This summer, knowing you and your pet are protected against these pests can help you enjoy your time together that much more. Don’t be afraid to enjoy the warmth and activities outdoors. Contact your vet and then call Milberger Pest Control, MO: (816) 761-1313 KS: (913) 384-6760, for a full home inspection.
Additional Pest Control Measures for Fleas and Ticks
- Vacuum indoor carpets and solid surfaces using a vacuum with a rotating bar.
- Vacuum furniture using appropriate attachments.
- Wash bed linens, pet bedding and rugs frequently.
- Mow lawns regularly.
- Clear brush, leaves and tall grass from around houses, gardens and walls at property margins.
- Stack wood off the ground in a dry location away from the house.
- Clear gardens, including remains of perennial plants, after the growing season.
- Consult with your veterinarian and a licensed pest-control specialist to assess the need to use pesticides in selected areas in and around your home.