Tackling Ticks and Fighting Fleas

Summer has arrived, which means your customers and their pets are outside enjoying the sunny weather. Unfortunately, the recent mild winter has created ideal conditions for the early emergence of fleas and ticks. In fact, you may already be getting calls from customers needing your help to fight this potentially dangerous duo.   Flea Facts: Though cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are capable of transmitting disease to humans, they are primarily a nuisance to pets. Unlike other fleas, adult cat fleas can remain on their host for extended periods. Females require a fresh blood meal to produce eggs, which can fall from the host and onto floors, bedding or lawns. Flea eggs will develop in areas protected from moisture and sunlight and usually hatch within two days. The developing larvae will often feed on dandruff, food particles and skin flakes. Fecal matter from adult fleas consists of relatively undigested blood, which also serves as food for newly hatched larvae. Tick Truths: Ticks have four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Adult female ticks can lay clusters of hundreds or even thousands of eggs in protected cracks and crevices. Eggs develop into larvae, which crawl onto a host animal and begin feeding on its blood. After a larva is engorged, it drops off of the animal, eventually emerging as a nymph. The nymph then repeats the process. Ticks spend most of their lives outdoors. Off-host ticks usually live under leaves, rocks, inside rodent burrows and within crevices. Get Control: For optimal results, apply a residual insecticide application to structure perimeters and areas most likely to harbor fleas and ticks. If...