Are Fleas Making a Comeback?
In 2011, Activ Pest Solutions realized a 52% increase in the number of flea complaints compared to the prior year. In reality, fleas, most commonly the cat flea, have never left us. Changes in treatment methods by both veterinarians and consumers have directly affected the flea control market for pest control professionals. According to Jeffrey R. O’Neill, Regional Manager, Zoecon Professional Products Division of Central Life Sciences, the flea resurgence is industry wide not just specific to the Delmarva Peninsula. O’Neil recently indicated in a recent talk at the Delaware Pest Control Association Short Course that, in the early 1980’s, flea infestations were handled primarily by pest management professionals. In the early 1990’s, topical flea treatments, applied directly to pets, were introduced and applied by veterinarians monthly and consistently, as part of a flea maintenance program. In the late 1990’s the topical treatments were made available directly to consumers through veterinarians and retail markets. Unfortunately, it is suggested that, due to human nature, the topical treatments were not administered by consumers consistently, therefore, allowing the flea population to develop a tolerance or resistance to active ingredients.
Treatment methods and chemical technology have changed drastically in the last twenty years for the pest control industry. We are now able to control all life stages of fleas within a structure, outside of a structure as well as on the pet. A treatment for an active flea infestation can take up to 4 weeks to eliminate the various life stages. Activ Pest Solutions has developed a preventative flea treatment that is effective for up to seven months using environmentally friendly or “green” chemicals. As part of the treatment, the customer is provided with a product that he or she applies directly to his or her pet. Please Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained technicians to address any of your flea or pest control concerns. 302-645-1502
The focus of this specialized treatment is to eliminate populations of biting fleas from your living environment. The success of this treatment is largely dependent upon the cooperation of the customer. To enhance the effects of this treatment and to allow for faster results, we require you to make specific efforts and to take specific precautions.
BEFORE the Flea Treatment:
- Expose as much carpeted area and baseboard as possible by moving furniture away from the walls. Remove stored items and small furniture from the areas to be treated, under beds and in closets etc.
- Vacuum all carpeted areas prior to the treatment and dispose of the sealed vacuum bag outside of the house.
- Wash all pet bedding in hot water and dry if possible on highest heat setting available. Check the labels to ensure you do not damage the items using this method.
- All residents and pets must vacate the home until the treatment is complete and the treated surfaces are completely dry. We recommend that you make arrangements to be out of the home for 4 to 6 hours after we complete the treatment.
- Be sure to have all pets treated by your veterinarian prior to/or on the day of Activ’s treatment. We also recommend that you consult your veterinarian in relation to any chemical sensitivity issues that your pet may have. Cats and small dogs may experience adverse reactions to the products that we use. We suggest that you relocate them away from the treatment areas for at least 4 to 6 hours or until the treatment areas are completely dry. Activ will not be held responsible for any adverse reactions by your pets. Activ reserves the right to request copies of receipts for animal treatments.
- Once the pet is treated, do not bathe the pet with shampoos that contain soaps as these wash off the pet’s natural oils. Choose a natural cleaning remedy such as oatmeal based cleansers. Your veterinarian can recommend products for use as many common flea treatments applied directly to the pet are spread across the skin via the pet’s natural oils. Removing those oils renders the treatment ineffective. We recommend cleaning the pet no more than once per month. Bathing is not a concern with pets that are treated systemically via oral pills.
DURING the Flea Treatment:
Activ utilizes treatment methods that address all life stages of the flea. Products that provide for rapid knock down, long lasting residual and growth regulation are used in concert to control the flea populations within your residence. Bathroom and overhead ceiling fans may be turned on upon our departure to facilitate aeration prior to re-entry. Additionally, you may find seat and sofa cushions turned over and daybeds open when you return.
AFTER the Flea Treatment:
- All people and pets must completely vacate the treatment areas until the treatment product are completely dry. We recommend that all people and pets stay out of the treatment areas for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Vacuum any areas previously infested every day, if possible, for the next two weeks. Vacuuming stimulates the emergence of fleas from pupae and quickly exposes them to the residual treatment. Remember to discard the bags properly. Please understand that if a home is vacant, fleas will sit in waiting for months until a potential host comes along. It is very common to see activity when you or your housekeeper returns in this situation.
- Be aware that you may still experience flea activity up to thirty days after the treatment and possibly longer if the pet has not been treated or has been exposed to other infested sites such as kennels, groomers, etc. Activ recommends using an ongoing on-pet treatment program (I.E.: Frontline, Advantage). Fleas will live for only a few hours once exposed to the treated areas. This activity may occur in waves as emergence occurs.
- Do not shampoo the carpet as this removes the residual effect of the treatment.
- Activ will not provide additional treatments for 10 days after the initial service and will only retreat areas where activity is confirmed by our technicians. We are very cautious about adding pesticides to your living spaces as our products have at least a sixty day residual effect.
- Any questions or concerns you may have can be directed to your technician, or any of our courteous staff!