An effective control program for fleas includes a combination of both non-chemical and chemical methods.
Step 1) Non Chemical Methods of Flea Control
The following non-chemical control measures should be completed before applying any pesticides to your carpet or furniture. Completion of these steps will increase overall chemical performance and the overall success of your control program. Vacuuming before applying the chemical is essential to remove eggs, larvae, and feces, and to stimulate flea pupae to emerge from the cocoon so that it can be exposed to the pesticide.
- Linens that have been in contact with the animal host, including pet bedding, blankets, and throw rugs, should be washed and dried at hot temperatures.
- Vacuum pet sleeping and resting areas (including pet carriers, windowsills, and shelving).
- Vacuum furniture including the back and undersides, all cushions, and in the crevices of sofas and chairs.
- Vacuum the entire carpet surface area, removing items as needed to cover every square inch.
- For heavier infestations, or just for a double measure of assurance, the carpet may also be steam cleaned before chemical application. The heat from the steam will kill a greater number of fleas.
Control of fleas on Pets:
- Pets must be treated to stop reinfestation of the premises. This factor is critical in long-term relief.
- Treatments of pets should be completed the same day the home is treated. The treated pet should then remain outside until the pesticide application has dried.
Step 2) Chemical Methods for Flea Control (Pesticides)
To conduct a complete chemical application for flea management, you will need a one gallon Sprayer, a liquid residual pesticide, and an IGR (insect growth inhibitor).
Recommended Chemicals for Flea Control:
- Demize EC- Liquid insecticide for flea and tick control
- Precor IGR Concentrate - Contains the insect growth regulator methoprene to stop pre-adult flea development - and future infestations. Not for ticks.
- Precor 2000 Plus Premise Spray- An insect growth regulator (IGR) and residual insecticide for controlling fleas and ticks, ants and cockroaches.
- Ultracide- Provides immediate kill of adult fleas and prevents formation of new adults.
- Suspend SC- Our best selling liquid insecticide concentrate. Suspend SC is excellent for almost all types of insect control.
Tips for Pesticide Application:
- Apply the pesticide only after the entire area to be treated has been vacuumed. Otherwise the treatment will not be as effective.
- Focus application on the areas most frequented by pets and in areas where eggs may accumulate, such as cracks in floor boards, behind baseboards, and under carpet edges.
- Always make sure you have read and understand the pesticide label before applying the chemical.
- The liquid residual and IGR should be combined together in a gallon hand sprayer for easiest application.
Step 3) Continue to vacuum as often as possible (every day to every other day) for 2 to 3 weeks following pesticide application, in order to remove eggs, larvae, and expose newly emerged fleas to the chemical.
Step 4) Be Patient. Complete control generally takes about 3 to 5 weeks.
Once the carpet and other surfaces have been treated, adult fleas will die immediately, but flea pupae will continue to develop and emerge from their cocoons for the next 2 to 4 weeks or longer. As soon as these newly developed fleas emerge from their cocoons, the chemical will begin working on them. However, the flea will likely survive for several hours before it finally dies. This emergence is called the "pupal window". So if you happen to notice flea or two, or find a flea bite in the weeks following pesticide application, you should not assume your efforts have failed. If proper control is taking place, you will notice a significant reduction in the number of fleas and flea bites each week following treatment. Complete control generally takes about 3 to 5 weeks.
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