As Austin temperatures rise, we get more calls about ants crawling on people’s homes. These are typically wood boring ants such as carpenter ants or acrobat ants. These ants do not eat wood like ter…Read More
Fantastic Flea Control
It is important that you read this before calling us about fleas.
We are more than just a flea exterminator. We have an excellent natural flea control program using boric acid inside and nematodes (microscopic parasitic worms which eat flea eggs) outside. Boric acid is less toxic than table salt, odorless and non-staining.
This is a layman’s explanation of how pets and fleas are related. There are many opinions about flea treatments but based upon our decades of experience and application, this works!
The four stages of flea reproduction are egg, larva, pupa and adult. The pupa is extremely hard and durable – next to impossible to destroy with pest control methods – growth regulators supposedly make the resultant fleas sterile, however the pupa may be hard to hit with spray as they are tiny and can be in tiny cracks. The larvae and the eggs can be killed easily with boric acid or spray as they are soft.
Fleas jump on an animal. They lay eggs on the animal and the eggs stick like velcro to the fur. When the pet lies down, the flea eggs fall off. This is a flea survival technique, as pets generally lie in the same place and the fleas want to be near the pet when they are ready to hatch out of the pupal stage into the adult stage.
Boric acid is preferable to spraying as it is more pervasive and thus less likely to miss the egg or larva. A boric acid for roaches is available at many stores – 99% boric acid, 1% inert ingredient is the best as the inert ingredient keeps it from crystallizing due to humidity – thus it lasts much longer. We use a boric acid powder product engineered to go into carpet. Areas that are not carpeted should just be swept, mopped and vacuumed on a very frequent basis to prevent accumulations.
Nematodes are great outdoors. The ones from Texas that are refrigerated – Gulf Coast Biotics – are the ones to purchase – available at The Natural Gardener. They definitely work. They will live in the soil as long as they have enough moisture and there is food for them to eat. Thus they will live as long as flea eggs are present and the soil doesn’t get terribly dry. Before applied, it is advisable to soak the area thoroughly. It must be kept moist for about 3 days after so that they can “worm” themselves deep enough into the soil to survive. The areas to focus on are where the pets lie around.
You can discover flea location by putting on light colored pants (you can pull up white socks over the cuffs so the fleas don’t get on your skin) and walk around outside. FLEAS HATCH ON VIBRATION, so if there are fleas present you will see them. Do this on a warm day, to make sure, as the more moist and warm it is, the faster they will go through their cycles. The pet must be away when you do this, as their favored host is the pet.
If you have a pier and beam house and animals can get under it, blowing under with boric acid or diatomaceous earth will be effective.
Once again, where the pet lies are the main spots to cover. Carpeting is simple to handle by sweeping boric acid into it. Boric can be dusted into the cushions of furniture. It is advisable to have a rug under wherever the pet sleeps (if not in a crate – boric can just sit in bottom of crate – a light dusting will do and it won’t hurt the pet). If you don’t have carpets, we recommend vacuuming and mopping. The last we heard, adult fleas won’t crawl out of a vacuum – I don’t know for sure if this is true so we recommend emptying vacuums in an outside trash can away from the home. Mop with a wet mop so the eggs will come up and have a bucket right there to rinse the mop out frequently.
Do not waste your money on bombs. They don’t work for fleas well at all.
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO: NEVER REMOVE THE PET UNTIL THE FLEAS ARE HANDLED! NEVER EVER EVER.
The fleas will jump on YOU! If you are stuck in this kind of situation, a shallow dish or water with a drop of dishwashing soap and a light shining on it will attract the flea. He will jump in and drown. You need the drop of soap or else the surface tension of the water will keep him afloat and he will jump back out. This is also a good way to test for adult fleas in a room.
Keep in mind that a house can be vacant for months, yet when you enter it hundreds of fleas can hatch and jump on you – remember they hatch on vibration – another survival technique.