Use Insect Growth Regulators for Flea Infestations

Insect Growth Regulators are a relatively newer class of pest control agents that have less harmful effects on our environment. In this article, we will discuss ways that Insect Growth Regulators can be used to control flea infestations for the do it yourself pest controller.
Insect growth regulators were developed by entomologists as they studied the growth cycle of insects. Insect grow regulators are much more specific to insect development and therefore have less impact on other life forms, including mammals. Insect growth regulators can perform their magic my mimicking juvenile growth hormones in insects and either altering the production of chitin (the compound insects use to make their exoskeleton) or by altering an insect’s development into adulthood. In some cases, the insect will develop too quickly, in other cases, IGR’s stop development.
Most other pesticides work by delivering neurotoxins to the pests, and since basically most animals neurological functioning is similar, the pesticides are toxic to numerous organisms. IGR’s circumvent this by delivering the chemical directly relative to that pests biology to alter development. This gives the do it yourself pest controller an additional tool against pests that can be used with much more peace of mind.
Why Use Insect Growth Regulators:
• They Target Specific Pests
• Less impact on our environment
• Decrease chances of insects developing resistence
• Breaks the life cycle of the pest
In regards to controlling flea infestations, IGR’s are a godsend. Fleas have four life stages and have different needs in each. The different life stages have different requirements for the flea, and different requirements for controlling the flea. A pesticide that kills the adult flea may have no effect on the developing eggs or larvae. But the IGR acts on the immature stages of a flea’s life cycle. Flea eggs deposited on or flea larvae crawling onto treated surfaces will not develop into adult fleas. If an IGR is not used, you will have adult fleas again bouncing around your home within four weeks. By using an IGR, you have broken the life cycle of the flea and can effectively contain your flea infestation.
The do it yourself pest controller must also be certain to treat outdoor areas and pets for fleas at the same time that the home is treated so that your fleas are not being continually reintroduced to your living area. If your yard is infested with fleas, you can be sure that they will find their way in doors, so it is important to contain the outside infestation as well. Indoors, there are some items that you will not want to spray with pesticides, such as bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, etc. Be sure to wash all of these items in a hot water cycle on your washer to kill any fleas/eggs that might have found their way there.

Monica Bird (946 Posts)

Monica’s compassion for her customer's struggles with pest control issues and passion for pest control stems from over 10 years in the industry. With a master’s degree in entomology, she uses her knowledge and experience in chemistry, insects and pests to educate her customers.


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