Fleas and ticks can get out of control fast. Fleas and ticks are brought in on our clothes, bags, animals, and friends or family.
A1 Home Pest Control can help you with fleas or tick with education and advice on how to help prevent and control them. Below we have listed some common questions and answers along with what flea service we provide.
Common Questions & Answers
Q: How did my dog get these fleas and ticks?
A: The way animals get fleas is some other flea-infested animal – a stray dog or stray cat, some other neighbors’ dog or cat, urban wildlife, opossums and raccoons – travel through your neighborhood, your yard, and the female flea lays eggs and the eggs are basically rained off into your environment. We call them a living salt shaker. Then, those eggs develop into adults and those fleas jump on to your pet. That’s how it happens.
Dogs generally get ticks because they’re out in that environment, walking through the woods or high grass, and these ticks undergo what’s called questing, where they crawl up on low shrubs or grass, generally 18 to 24 inches off the ground, and they basically hang out. When your dog walks by or we walk by and brush up against these ticks, they dislodge and get onto us. Ticks don’t climb up into trees. That’s an old myth. They just lie in wait for us. It’s an ambush strategy. They can live well over a year without feeding.
Q: Can fleas and ticks cause my dog to get sick? What kinds of illnesses can she get from them?
A: When fleas are feeding, they’re injecting saliva into the skin. These salivary proteins are often allergenic and animals end up with an allergy. The most common skin disease of dogs and cats is what’s called flea allergy dermatitis, where they bite and scratch and lose their hair. It can take only a few fleas for this allergy to become a problem.
Q: What are the best ways to control fleas and ticks?
A: If you have a cat, don’t ever let it go outside. Try to keep your home as dry as possible. We recommend not having any carpet because carpet is a flea’s best friend. Keep the brush and weeds in your yard to an absolute minimum.
Q: Are there natural ways I can control them if I don’t want to use chemicals?
A: There really aren’t, from a natural standpoint. Over the years, we’ve spent some time looking into the more natural or holistic approaches and, as yet, not found any that are actually effective. Regarding garlic, brewer’s yeast, and others, all the research shows none of that stuff works. If it did, we would use it. The ultrasonic devices? The data shows they don’t work either.
Just because something is “natural” or “organic” does not mean it’s safe. Most of the poisons in the world are actually organic poisons. Some citric extracts people used to use can be fairly toxic to cats. The cats’ livers just can’t handle them. There is diatomaceous earth, which is basically microscopic silicone particles that can be spread around in your carpet. They scratch or excoriate the flea larvae. But, you’ve got to be a careful. You don’t want to inhale the stuff, because now you’ve inhaled silicone particles into your lungs and where’s that going to go? There are pesticide control firms that apply that stuff appropriately, and when they do it’s very effective and it’s safe. But, just make sure if you have somebody do it in your house, it’s done appropriately. It’s a very good larvacidal and a flea preventive measure if it’s done correctly.
Q: How can I control fleas and ticks in my yard?
A: Cut the tall grass, trim back the bushes and shrubs, then rake up all the leaf litter under the bushes. Leave it just bare ground. There are some lawn and garden insecticides that are approved by the EPA to be applied under shrubs, under bushes, in crawl spaces, along fence lines, to control fleas and ticks outside. The big issue I see is people tend to go out and start spraying their grass. That’s not effective and it’s certainly not good for the environment. Fleas and ticks are really sunlight and humidity sensitive. Most situations where we find them are under shrubs, under bushes, under porches, in shaded, protected habitats. So we should only be applying those compounds in a limited fashion under those locations. Then we’re going to let it dry on the foliage for three to four hours before we allow our pets and our children back out there.
Currently A1 Home Pest Control does not perform “conventional” flea treatments unless there are special circumstances. We have found a far more efficient, effective, less evasive and most importantly, healthier alternative without the overwhelming chemicals used in the homes. Bonus, it is far cheaper!