June 14, 2017
Rising temperatures combined with a rainy spring have resulted in a strong flea and tick season this year. From North Carolina to Florida to Pennsylvania and Missouri, states across the country are seeing a boom in flea and tick populations.
This summer, enjoy the highlights of the season like outdoor hikes, water balloon fights, backyard fetch with your fluffy friend, late-night chats around the campfire, without the annoyance of unwelcomed pests like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. We’ve covered how to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard, and in this blog, we’ll discuss how to keep fleas and ticks off of your dogs this summer to keep you and man’s best friend healthy and pest-free.
Flea and tick prevention
- Be aware of your surroundings: Ticks can be a serious problem in your yard, parks, camps, picnic sites, and other recreational areas. To determine if ticks are present in a specific area, the Kentucky Pesticide Safety Education Program recommends dragging a medium-sized white flannel cloth through suspected areas. Ticks will attach and be visible against the white background.
- Keep your yard healthy: Ticks love heavily wooded regions and areas with brush, thick and tall grass coupled with a moist environment. Reduce their populations by mowing and keeping your lawn well-trimmed.
- Don’t skip yard maintenance: It’s not just your grass to worry about. In fact, ticks are more likely to be found in trees or on tall brush than in the middle of your sunny, healthy lawn. Keep shrubs and any other vegetation around the yard trimmed and free of decaying leaves or brush. Be mindful of large piles of debris in the yard and rake away wood, brush or leaves.
- Hire a professional: Fight ticks and fleas where they’re likely to frequent in your yard, paying special attention to borders and fences between wooded or brushy areas and the lawn, around plants, beside foot paths, and the doghouse. Sign up for TruGreen’s TruShield Lawn Pest Control to reduce the population of active fleas and ticks in your yard and stay protected with ongoing applications throughout the year.
- Outfit your dog with a flea and tick collar: Often, flea and tick collars slowly release the pesticide to provide pest control over an extended period of time. One bit of warning though: according to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, some studies have shown that pesticide residues from flea and tick collars can remain in the pet’s fur, exposing the pet, other household pets, and the owners to pesticides. And some pets are able to dislodge and chew their own or other pets’ collars, thus ingesting pesticide. Contact your veterinarian with questions and concerns before selecting the best method for your pets.
- Maintain control. Try to keep your dog’s sleeping area to one space in the house and clean the bedding area weekly. Also use on-pet treatments and/or yard treatments to maintain a pest-free yard.
What to do if your dog has fleas or ticks
If your dog has come home with fleas or ticks, get ready to clean. Weekly cleaning of pet bedding and the surrounding area can remove eggs and immature fleas before they become adults.
The following steps can help control indoor flea infestations:
- Treat pet(s) with an on-pet flea treatment. Specially designed shampoos, soaps or mild detergents can help drown and dry out fleas. Washing and shampooing your dog can also help remove skin flakes and dried blood that can provide food to developing fleas.
- Thoroughly vacuum. Vacuum pet bedding, the surrounding area including floors, carpets and rugs, vacuum under furniture and seat cushions.
- Wash pet bedding. Use hot, soapy water, or discard and replace.
- Comb: If you have a pet that hates baths, try using a comb to remove fleas from its fur. After removing, drop the remaining fleas into soapy water.
- Repeat. If fleas are still present, clean all the areas again in two weeks.
How TruGreen can help keep unwanted yard guests away
Having a lawn that's free of fleas and ticks is one of the best ways to live more life outside. Besides just being an annoyance, these pests can transmit diseases and cause allergic reactions in both people and pets. Signing up for TruShield Lawn Pest Control can greatly reduce your exposure to fleas, ticks and pest-associated diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you consider using a professional pesticide company to help reduce your exposure to these threats. That’s why TruShield is designed to help eliminate active fleas and ticks and combat new eggs as they continue to hatch.
Products safe for your furry friends
The best part of hiring TruGreen is having the confidence that the products we use are safe, because the health and safety of the communities we serve is our top priority. There is a rigorous selection process to choosing the products we use based on a number of criteria, including health, safety, and the environment. If you see your dog eating grass, fear not. Most do that occasionally as a way to treat an upset stomach; this is normal behavior for our four-legged friends.
To learn more about how TruGreen can help keep fleas and ticks off your dogs this summer, call 866.369.9539 or visit our service page online.
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