first_imgDon’t wait until it’s too late. Fix feisty flea problems now before they infest Fluffy andFido. “Flea larvae are very sensitive to cold weather, and we have had some cold-enoughweather to kill flea larvae,” said Beverly Sparks, a University of Georgia ExtensionService entomologist. “However, the adult fleas remain on the host, and if the host comesin out of the cold, so do the fleas.” To control fleas indoors, Sparks recommends: “It is necessary to treat the areas of the lawn where the host animal(s) spends a great dealof time,” Sparks advised. “Pay particular attention to where the pets sleep, rest and feed.” * Apply a registered insecticide according to label directions. Allow the insecticide to drybefore letting pets back into the area. * Before you treat, remove and destroy or clean bedding, and remove food and waterdishes. “They are most effective against the adult stage of the flea, which is on the host animal,”she said. “Protect animals by frequently inspecting them for fleas,” Sparks said. “The pills that areavailable now are effective and provide good control. They contain insect growthregulators that affect the immature stages of fleas.” Flea pupae, Sparks said, can survive cold weather with no problem. Remember to treat the carriers, too: your pets. * Thoroughly vacuum carpets and then replace the vacuum cleaner bag. Sweep and mopfloors, too. Thorough sanitation and cleaning can remove a large number of flea eggs andlarvae. Remember: pets also serve as free flea transit. If your pets are inside and outside pets,count on them bringing their freeloaders inside your house.center_img Other treatments include sprays and powders. * Treat the house with a registered insecticide according to label directions. This may be asurface application with an insecticide or a total release aerosol (people often call these”bug bombs”). If you have a heavy flea population, take care to treat both pets and their environments. “Once a flea population is under control, you can go a long way toward keeping themunder control through the use of the insect growth-regulating pills and sanitation,” Sparkssaid. Start now to have a flea-free summer. She recommends these tips: * In heavy flea infestations, you may have to repeat the application in seven to 14 days. If you feel like you are always playing catch-up in the yearly frantic flea cycle, get a headstart this year and cover all the bases. If you think those cold winter nights killed the fleas, think again. “Again, pay particular attention to where pets sleep, rest and are fed,” Sparks said.last_img

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