Among the many benefits of living in Augusta is the warmer climate, beautiful scenery, and many outdoor recreational activities. But unfortunately, with all the benefits of living here come a few minor inconveniences that have the ability to become much bigger ones, such as mosquitoes and other warm-weather-loving pests. Fleas happen to be one of them, and because of the climate, “flea season” is actually year-round. These wingless bloodsucking insects are of the order Siphonaptera, and tend to love feeding on our furry friends. As tiny as they are, they can turn into a huge problem. Mosquito Squad of Augusta also offers flea control as an addition to our already-successful mosquito barrier treatment.
The comfort of our four-legged family members is equally important as it is for our human ones. In addition to the itchy bites, fleas can transmit some nasty illnesses that affect both people and pets. Tapeworms, skin dermatitis, anemia, and tularemia are only a few of the problems that come with fleas.
If you’re not certain that your pet has fleas, an easy way to tell is turn them on their back, give them a nice belly rub, and do a little searching through their fur with your hands. It’s not always easy to determine the presence of fleas, however. Sometimes you need to look for flea dust. Take a paper towel (toilet paper or cotton balls should work, too) and put a small amount of water on it. Gently rub your pet’s fur on their belly, collar, and/or under their legs where their “armpit” is. If you see a reddish-brown color, it’s highly likely they’ve got fleas. Note, however, that because cats are constantly grooming themselves, flea dust may be more difficult to find.
Not to disgust you, but flea dust is old blood and feces that are left behind when fleas feed on your pet. This dry blood gives it a “black” appearance on skin or hair. If you touch it, it will feel slightly “grainy", much like fine sand. While fleas are very small bugs, they actually consume quite a bit of blood when feeding on your pet, especially if there are a lot of them.
Fleas and flea dust can also be found in blankets, beds (both yours and your pet’s), rugs, carpet . . . well, anywhere, really. It’s safe to say that nobody wants fleas, and nobody wants flea dust. Most often, fleas get into your house by hitching a ride onto your furry friend while they’re outside in your yard and after that, your home can become the home base of well. . . a flea circus. Therefore, outdoor flea control is a vital component in your Augusta flea control arsenal.
In addition to our traditional mosquito barrier treatment protocol of applying our odorless and colorless EPA-registered solution to foliage and other surfaces, we also treat the ground. Mosquito Squad’s flea control treatment includes an extra ingredient called “insect growth regulator.” As fleas grow, they shed their exoskeleton (much like reptiles molt their skin). Growth regulator prevents an insect from reaching maturity by interfering with the molting process. This curbs infestations because immature insects cannot reproduce. It also prevents flea eggs from hatching, thereby ceasing the life cycle. It usually takes a few treatments to eliminate an existing flea infestation, which is why we recommend signing up for season long flea control services, which are an add-on to a seasonal mosquito and tick barrier treatment package.
Unfortunately, Mosquito Squad’s flea control treatment won’t get rid of all of these tiny biters. It’s always a possibility that your dog or cat could pick them up elsewhere. For example, while on a walk, at a park, or from another animal. This is why it’s essential that owners still take preventative measures such as topical or oral flea control recommended by your veterinarian. This will ensure a much happier and healthier pet.
A flea-free pet is a happy pet, and a pest-free yard means that you and your family can enjoy summers outside without having to worry about itching or contracting dangerous illnesses from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting bugs. This means more cookouts, more lawn games, and for your furry friend . . . more fetch, fun, and doing that cute rolling around in the grass thing that they do.
If you’re a current Mosquito Squad of Augusta customer, flea & tick control is simply a small additional fee. Give us a call today at 706-922-9675 to start your bite-free, worry-free, season-long protection for your entire family. Not only will your family be more comfortable, but Spot and Smokey will thank you, too!