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Summer is Near and the Enemy is HERE!

How to Control Fleas in Your Outdoor Living Space

Summer is time for outdoor family fun, picnics in the backyard, and all around relaxation!  If your family includes any of our beloved four legged friends, then you have certainly fought the battle of the flea on a regular basis. There is nothing more frustrating and disappointing then having your families’ outdoor retreat invaded by that tiny little nuisance known as the flea.  We put so much effort into making our outdoor living spaces welcoming and inviting, it is worth the few extra moments needed to keep them free from fleas.

The first line of defense in the war against fleas is controlling the flea population to begin with.  As your family pet begins to spend more time in the outdoors and on long neighborhood walks with you, it is likely that fleas without stable homes will hitch a ride back to yours.

To control fleas on your pet, you should brush him regularly, wash him weekly and look at investing in a few natural remedies for flea control.  Adding B complex vitamins (50 mg’s daily for cats and small dogs), Omega 3’s and 6’s, or a table spoon of apple cider vinegar (in his water dish) to your pets’ diet can assist in keeping the fleas off of your pet in the first place.   You can also create a flea repellant by bringing 6 cut lemons to a boil in a quart of water, allowing it to steep for a few hours, and then misting it over your pet with a spray bottle.  (Avoid your pets’ eyes, please.) These steps will help you to prevent a flea infestation in your home since you are monitoring it regularly and can adjust your regimen to include stronger flea products if you should notice an increase of flea activity on your pet.

Even with the best attempts at flea infestation prevention, your outdoor living area may fall victim to flea infestation at the hands of area animals that you cannot control.  If there is a flea problem, you will be aware of it quickly by witnessing bites and/or fleas themselves on your pet or yourself.  At that point it is time to take action in controlling your flea infestation. 

Fleas enjoy cool shady areas close to moisture.  To assist in controlling the flea population you need to clear damp brush and weeds around your flower beds to give them less places to hide.  The life cycle of a flea includes four life stages during approximately three to four week period.  In order to effectively kill fleas in all life stages, you will need to address the adult flea as well as the larvae.  You will need to spray your outdoor area with a chemical targeted to kill adult fleas, something like Permethrin, but also, include one that includes an IGR, or insect growth regulator.  This will kill immature fleas as well as prevent any larvae from hatching.  Be sure to pay special attention to those areas where pets frequent and shady damp areas.  The application may need to be repeated within three to four weeks to ensure that you kill all flea larvae. You can also us a granular insecticide to protect your yard from fleas for the season.

This should ensure that your outdoor living area is family and pet friendly and free from fleas.  Now relax and enjoy!

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