Fall and winter weather brings a huge comfort to people who dislike creepy, little critters of the insect world - no more mosquitoes buzzing around, no wasp stings to treat, and a quick retreat of ants and termites at the first sign of frost. However, that doesn't mean you, your pets, and your surroundings are safe from fleas and ticks for the next few months. Fleas can thrive in the cooler fall weather, so much that their numbers can double compared to the Spring season. Ticks, being the little survivalists that they are, will outlast winter's wrath without any worries. (They can live up to a year without feeding!) So what can you do now to prevent an infestation? Here are our suggestions:
- Pay close attention to your pets: Watch for signs of fleas and ticks - itchy areas, constant licking or pawing, "flu-like" symptoms such as vomitting, diarrhea, sneezing, etc., and of course seeing the pests themselves. The signs aren't hard to miss.
- Treat your pet: Start with a deep-cleaning bath using a medicated shampoo. There are many products available to apply directly on your pet afterwards. Popular topicals, such as Frontline, can be used to treat both cats and dogs, and offer multiple months worth of prevention. Flea and tick dip, or sprays can also help prevent infestations. Just be sure to choose a product suitable to the pets' species and size - flea treatment for dogs can often be harmful to cats.
- Treat your home and yard: Complete prevention calls for your entire enviornment to be treated, not just the pet. Even if you cover every inch of their body with a flea comb, and pluck every tick with a tick remover, it's quite possible a new army will return with vengence in a matter of hours if you neglect the source of the problem. A complete regimen for every area can be found at Orscheln Farm & Home. Natural Chemisty Natural Yard & Kennel Spray is a great starting point for outdoor treatment, especially if you're looking to avoid harsh chemicals. It's comprised of natural botanicals that are from EPA's 25b list, which contain ingredients that are pre-approved by EPA as effective and safe. You can also utilize cedar pet bedding in and around the kennel and dog house. Cedar is a natural repellant to fleas, ticks, mites, and other insects. Consider Sentry Household Flea & Tick Spray for inside your home. One treatment offers complete protection for up to 7 months. It's also wise to vaccumm frequently and thoroughly clean upholstry if possible.
Completely ridding your home and pet of fleas and ticks can be a long, daunting process, but a little effort goes a long way. And it's totally worth it to keep your pets and family happy and healthy! No matter which products you choose, be sure to follow all safety precautions and guidelines. Any questions or conerns should be taken up with your veterinarian immediately.