Warm weather brings out pests

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 5, 2012

While other areas across the state may be seeing an influx in flea and tick problems a little early, County Extension Agent Chuck Simon said he’s only received one call thus far, but said it’s getting to be that time of year.

“This is the time of year that they begin to come out,” he said.

Simon said if you do find your home or pets infested with fleas or ticks, there are three things you must do to exterminate the pesky pests.

“One, you must take care of your animal and use the proper veterinarian-recommended medicines,” he said. “Then you must vacuum out your house and rugs and dispose of the bags because if you don’t, you run the risk of having them crawl out. Thirdly, you must treat your yard with proper chemicals.

“You have to do all three of them because one can affect the other,” Simon said. “And you may have to do this several times.”

If you locate fleas in your house, follow these helpful tips:

• The first place to look is your pet. Using a flea comb and products such as Frontline and Advantage will help get rid of the fleas and also help stop them from returning.

• Try foggers. You will probably need one for each room. Remember they are flammable, so turn off your pilot lights. Foggers are toxic, so don’t breathe the fumes and thoroughly air out the space before introducing small children or vulnerable animals to the environment.

• Don’t forget to remove all bedding, wash and dry clean the bedding in addition to vacuuming.

• Try a flea killing powder such as Fleabusters, which may be sprinkled inside sofa cushions, and along the perimeter of walls and on the floor, then vacuum the access.

• For your yard, purchase a yard product available at a local lawn and garden or hardware store. Attach the product to your garden hose and spray thoroughly on all affected area. Remember not to spray fruits, flowers and vegetables.

For more information about fleas or tick bite prevention and treatment, contact the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Andalusia Office at 334-222-1125.