vacuuming and mopping. We recommend our clients vacuum all floors and furniture where the dog sits or lays, including all bedding at least twice a week.Supplement these steps with mopping non-carpeted floors with hot, sudsy water. It is vital to understand that vacuuming and mopping in

this case is quite different than doing so in the context of regular “everyday” house cleaning. In this case, concentrate on the edges of the floor and areas underneath furniture, rugs and furnishings. Flea eggs and larvae won’t survive in high traffic areas and are easily eliminated using the focused vacuum and mopping procedure. Flea pupae are more difficult to remove because they tend to attach themselves to the fibers of carpet.

treatment in the home should always include a deliberate follow-up treatment within five to seven days after the initial treatment. If treating the dog and a regimen of vacuuming and

Jim Swayne, President and CEO of Safer Home Services, and his dog Sage, a sixty pound Hound he adopted.

Tips for a Flea-Free Home. by Jim Swayne

Here in Florida we enjoy many natural things in abundance. However, pests, particularly fleas, are one of those “not so nice” things we experience, and protecting our dogs from these nasty little critters can be frustratingly difficult – especially if pet owners try following some of the confusing information found on the internet. Let’s start with the facts: Fleas are a serious problem. They can cause allergic reac-

tions in pets and people and in severe cases can contribute to the death of your pet. To solve an existing flea problem and prevent reoccurrence,

you must treat your dog. It is highly recommended you con- sult a veterinarian to prescribe the best professional flea control product based on the dog’s size, age, and physical condition. Unless the life cycle of the flea is broken by controlling the adult fleas on the dog, the recurring flea problem will not be eliminated. Fleas go through four distinct life cycle stages: egg, larvae,

pupae, and adult. The adults must have a blood meal in order to lay fertile eggs – so if your dog is treated with a systemic con- trol product, when an adult flea bites, it receives a lethal dose of the control product, and dies. Not only does this treatment stop a biting adult, it also eliminates the possibility of egg pro- duction from that same adult flea. The second most important thing a dog owner can do is disrupt the other three life cycle stages of the flea by frequently


mopping doesn’t control the flea problem, a thorough treatment using a control material that will kill the adults; combined with an insect growth regulator (IGR) should be applied to all floor surfaces and areas where the dog lies. The IGR will prevent future pupae from emerging, thus breaking the life cycle. Let’s address some of the more common questions Safer

Home Services receives about flea control: Should I have my lawn sprayed for fleas? Some sources report that, frequent lawn spraying is the best

way to prevent flea infestations. But the truth is, flea eggs and larvae cannot survive in full sunlight nor do they do well in wet soil – so, in almost all cases; if fleas are using a yard as a tempo- rary staging area - ready to jump on board a passing dog or cat - they are most likely in a shady, dry areas – not the lawn. Additionally, pesticides used for lawn insect control, break-

down very quickly once applied - typically in just a few days. There are situations where Safer Home Services would recom- mend an outdoor application as part of an overall treatment strategy, in severe infestations or, in situations where dogs are kenneled outdoors. This is only necessary where fleas have easy and regular access to the dogs or other animals. Does spreading borax or boric acid or diatomaceous earth on the floor and under the cushions on your couch control and prevent fleas from infesting your house? The short answer is no. Not only does spreading these

powder remedies all over the house create a huge mess, it can create an inhalation hazard for your dog. In the Florida humidity these products clump up and lose the ability to affect pests. Plus, as discussed earlier, regularly vacuuming furniture and floors coupled with thoroughly mopping floors is one of the best practices for eliminating and preventing flea infestations. It wouldn’t make sense to spread powder all over the floor, then vacuum it all up.


Safer Home Services is offering readers of THE NEW BARKER a free pest and termite inspection. Call 727.800.2992 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

This is why a flea

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