Pets without Pests: Keeping Fleas and Ticks Away

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If you enjoy pets, you are likely to deal with the problem of fleas and ticks at some time. These tiny insects hide in grass and on trees, waiting to hitch a ride on any animal that passes by, which can cause an unpleasant infestation of your pet and of your home. Several methods are available to prevent flea and tick problems, and each has both advantages and disadvantages you should consider.

Oral Pest Preventatives

Flea and tick repellent compounds are available that are given to pets in a prescription pill form. These compounds work systemically, killing the adult fleas that bite your pet. However, they do not kill flea eggs or larva. Oral flea and tick repellents sometimes combine compounds that also kill heartworm and intestinal parasites, which is convenient for pet owners.

Repellent Collars

Some new repellent collars are now available that can provide good flea and tick protection. These attach to the pet’s neck just like a standard collar and release chemical protection against fleas and ticks. They are generally inexpensive, but may have an odor and present concerns about human contact with insecticides.

Spot-On Treatments

Spot-on treatments are applied to a small section on the pet’s coat. They work systemically to kill adult fleas, larva and eggs, as well as ticks. They are easy to use and do an effective job of preventing infestations. However, some people do not like being in contact with the insecticide on the pet’s coat.

Natural Products

Many pet owners prefer to use a more natural insect repellent, either because they have heard of serious reactions to these products or know they have a particularly sensitive animal. These products generally contain geranium, lavender or eucalyptus, which can be effective for repelling fleas and ticks, but they do not kill pests at various stages of their development. In addition, these compounds can cause allergic reactions in pets and the people who live with them.

Killing Fleas and Ticks in Outdoor Areas

To ensure your pet does not carry fleas and ticks in from outdoor areas, a Chantilly, Virginia, pest control company recommends you treat parts of the yard where the pet spends time. Trim back any tall grass, bushes and other foliage that can harbor fleas and ticks. Spray dog houses and other sitting areas with an insecticide specially formulated for use around pets.

Pet owners should always use products only as directed and should read directions carefully to ensure they are safe for younger animals, as well as pregnant or sick animals. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about choosing a pest preventative product for your dog or cat.

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