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What Are the Best Tips for Flea and Tick Control?

A flea.
A brown dog tick.
Fleas can hide in a pet carrier.
Kittens need flea and tick protection.
Article Details
  • Written By: Robert Ferguson
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 13 June 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The best tips for maintaining flea and tick control include a continuous regimen of maintenance for the pet, treatment of the home’s interior, and treatment of the outdoor area. To break the life cycle of pests, utilizing the services of professional pet groomers to bathe and dip the pet and pest control companies to treat the home and yard may be necessary. To ensure the pet is provided with the safest products available for flea and tick control, it is important to consult with the veterinarian.

Eliminating existing fleas and ticks is the first step in breaking the cycle of egg laying and hatching of new parasites. Depending on the severity of infestation, the pet may need a shampoo or dip to kill the pests. Either option is available at qualified pet grooming salons for pets comfortable with being groomed, or by a veterinarian for pets, such as cats, that do not normally receive shampoos or dips. If the owner plans to shampoo or dip the pet himself, for the safety of the pet he should check with his veterinarian before applying over-the-counter products containing chemicals designed to kill fleas and ticks.

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Once the fleas and ticks are removed from the pet, the owner should immediately begin a monthly flea and tick control regimen using products approved by the veterinarian. Several brand name products are available through veterinarians, at local pet stores, and through online pet supply stores. The dosage for the monthly treatment is determined by the type, age, and weight of the animal.

To maintain a healthy environment for pets, removal of fleas and ticks in the home and yard is the next step. Preparing both of these areas should be done once the pet is flea and tick-free. For heavy infestations outdoors, owners should consider hiring a professional company to treat the areas. Indoors, frequent vacuuming and use of over-the-counter sprays or foggers can be used to treat areas in the home where pests may live, such as carpets, sofas, and under baseboards.

When treating the interior of the home for fleas and ticks, addressing the pet’s sleeping area is equally important to the pest elimination process. Prior to spraying or fogging the home, pet bedding and cloth-type pet carriers should be removed. Any applicable bedding items should be washed for reuse and any non-washable items discarded. After treating the interior of the home, garage, or utility room, new washable bedding or old items that have been washed should be provided.

A monthly flea and tick control regimen should be followed, which consists of applying a flea and tick product to eliminate infestation, and if applicable, having the pet bathed and groomed. The pet’s carrier must be kept pest free and clean bedding should be provided at all times. Pets that go outdoors are exposed to pests brought into the yard by stray animals, wildlife, and neighborhood pets, so continued treatment of the yard is required. If fleas or ticks are found in the home, pet owners should spray or fog areas immediately, following the manufacturer’s safety instructions.

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