Flea Treatment Protocol
Flea identification & behavior
The Cat Flea is one of the most prevalent fleas in the United States, and its primary host is the cat; however, it can live on other animal hosts. Cat flea adults are about 1/8-inch-long with a body that is flattened from side to side and brownish-black to black in color.
After each blood meal, a female flea can lay up to 4-8 eggs on the host and up to 400-500 in its lifetime. Eggs fall off or they are shaken off the host and hatch within 1-12 days depending on conditions. After the eggs hatch, the larvae usually live in carpet, cloth furniture or soil in shady areas. The larvae stage needs high humidity, 45%-95%, when going through three instars that take one week to several months to complete.
The cocoon stage (pupae) usually lasts 10-30 days but could be longer in some instances. The cocoon is resistant to insecticides; this is why adult fleas are seen for an extended period of time after a treatment has been performed. The time frame for seeing adults depends on how heavy the infestation was and the amount of fleas in the pupae stage at time of treatment. Adult fleas seen after 3-4 weeks of the treatment may need to be retreated, including the pets.
The most efficient way to prevent a flea infestation is to keep pets treated. Keeping other pets and animals from entering your property is also a good practice.
Regularly treat pets with either an oral or on-skin flea treatment product.
Thorough vacuuming daily or at least weekly will help suppress the infestation from growing to large numbers indoors.
Keep pet bedding washed regularly.
Keep grass cut and bushes trimmed off the ground to help prevent damp, shady areas.
Chemical applications indoors
Customer should be asked to remove all toys, clothing and stored items from floors, under beds and closets. This is necessary so areas are accessible for treatment.
Have pets treated at the same time of the indoor treatment.
Perform a slow, thorough vacuuming on all carpeting, vinyl, wood and tile floors the day of treatment. Paying close attention to the crack and crevices around baseboards. This will remove eggs and adult fleas; it will also stimulate the pre-adult fleas to emerge into adults sooner.
Discard vacuum bag or empty container in a garbage bag and discard in trash can outside.
Remove pets, pet food and water dishes. Also, cover and disconnect fish tank aerator before application.
Wash and dry all pet bedding.
Treat flooring area with approved insecticide: *Alpine Flea & Bed Bug, Precor 2625 Premise Spray, Zeprox w/ Nyguard IGR. Always use a product with an IGR or add one to the product being used.
Make sure people and pets do not contact treated area until dry.
Vacuuming all flooring should be performed each day for a minimal of 7-10 days. Discard bag or dump out vacuum canister into the outside trash container after each vacuum.
Most active infestations found around homes on the exterior do not require the entire yard to be treated. It's always a good idea to walk around yard and see where the activity is found and treat accordingly. Areas to inspect include all shaded areas, under porches and wood decks, tall uncut grass and where pets frequently visit throughout the yard. These are areas that should be treated when fleas are found.
Application rates are different from general HPC; most products allow a certain amount of active ingredient per square footage using 1-10 gallons per 1,000 square feet.
If treatment is performed in the heat of the summer, treatment should be performed either early morning or late afternoon. It also helps if there is moisture in the soil before treating.