FLEA CONTROL

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Dr. Jim Randolph

"No, thanks", the client said to our receptionist, Shalisha, "Now that cool weather is here, I won't need any more flea control until next spring.

Wisely, Shalisha educated him otherwise.

Even though we think of fleas as "the bad guys", they're very much like us in one way: They like their temperatures moderate.

When it's really hot, especially here in the deep south, it's often also really dry. That's bad for fleas because desiccation, drying out, is their biggest enemy. Combine dryness and heat and the outdoor adults, larvae and eggs of fleas can die without ever seeing insecticides.

Indoors, of course, we keep them comfy year-round.

Likewise, when the first cool weather of late summer and early fall get here, fleas, like us, are saying, "Hey! This is perfect!"

It's definitely not the time to drop your guard just when the fleas are ready to party. And reproduction is always on their minds when they party.

So, maintain your usual level of flea control, including adulticides such as Frontline, TopSpot and Advantage, as well as the insect development inhibitor, Program.

Even as the cold weather progresses it may not be wise to let down your guard.

In northern climes, fleas are slowed down in winter only if the humidity drops really low and stays low for days. Really low humidity is evidenced by the shocks you get when you touch door handles. Cold, alone, kills eggs, larvae and adult fleas only if the temperature drops below 30 degrees and stays there for days. While that may happen outdoors in northern states, indoors and in the deep south, it never does.

Indoor humidities, however, may stay low for days in the northern U.S., even though the heater is running constantly. In southern states the indoor humidity only drops to flea-distressing levels for a few hours at a time.

One quickly sees that we have good flea-producing conditions all year long. Any plans to reduce flea control measures may result in an outbreak that causes pain and suffering for your pet and additional work for you to control the outbreak.


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