Summer is the right time for fleas and ticks to thrive in hot and humid Atlanta. Your pet can easily invite unwelcomed house guests causing you a big headache. Pay particular attention to these tiny pests as exploding populations can quickly lead to an infestation.
Flea and tick infestations are most easily confirmed by examining your pet. A telltale sign is excessive scratching. If you are unsure, check with your veterinarian as not all scratching is necessarily an indication of a flea or tick infestation.
- Fleas. Part your pet’s fur in several places and look for tiny black pepper-like specks, known as “flea dirt” (actually flea feces) scattered on your pet’s skin. Fleas are very tiny and do not like light, so they prefer hiding in your pet’s fur. They are commonly found at the base of the ears and the rump (just in front of the tail). Look closely at places with less hair like on your pet’s belly and inner thighs for the best chances of spotting a flea scurrying along.
- Ticks. Regularly check for ticks around your dog’s neck and ears, between the toes, and in the armpits. Ticks attach themselves to the body and feed by sucking blood. In addition to being irritating, they are also capable of spreading infectious diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The longer a tick is attached, the higher the chance of being infected so quick removal is important.
Once you’ve established that your pet is infested, remain calm and take things one step at a time to get rid of the infestation.
- Treat Your Pet. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best flea and tick treatment solution that works for you and your pet.
- Clean Your Home. Pay particular attention to your pet’s favorite places to hang out.
- Vacuum. Thoroughly vacuum the entire house including hard surfaces. Once you are finished, immediately seal your vacuum bag and throw it away to prevent the fleas from crawling back out and re-infesting your home.
- Hot Wash All Linens. Wash all linens and pet beds at the hottest temperature they will tolerate. If washing is not an option, discard it in an outside trash receptacle.
- Let Truly Nolen Inspect, Identify & Determine a Course of Action. Flea and tick infestations can be difficult to eliminate, so it is a good idea to call your professionally trained Truly Nolen pest control experts. We understand that each home is unique, and will take the time to provide you with our personalized service, backed by our reliable Truly Nolen guarantee.
Although it’s virtually impossible to completely eliminate all fleas and ticks from Georgia, you can reduce their populations and decrease your pet’s chances of coming into contact with them.
- Limit Access. Your pets are first affected when they come in contact with another animal that is already infested with fleas. Wildlife, including opossums, raccoons, and untreated cats and dogs, can deposit flea eggs into your yard. Limit the access these animals have around your home.
- Keep a Neat Yard. Eliminate places for fleas and ticks to hang out by removing any yard and garden debris such as stacked wood, leaf piles, and discarded pots. The more clutter, the more places fleas and ticks can thrive.
- Mow and Prune. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. Keep lawns cut short. Prune back bushes to increase the amount of sunlight in your yard. Both fleas and ticks prefer moist environments, so avoid overwatering.