Answers don’t solve flea problems, questions do

Master Po; Answers DO NOT solve flea problems, questions do!
Young Caine; But how can a question be more powerful than the answer?
Master Po; Grass hopper, when you understand this paradox, you may live in harmony in your flea free home.

What’s the #1 thing you’re told before and after a flea treatment? When shouldn’t you treat your pet with a a topical medication like Advantage or Frontline? What triggers outbreaks after things were under control? Why do I have to dust my house for flea control? These are important questions when it comes to flea control and failure to ASK them means you will fail in your treatment.

Well you say, what about the answer? Don’t you need them too? Ahhh, you are wise Danielson, (wait a minute, that’s a different Kung Fu flick) Oh well, yes of course you need the answer and the correct actions to go along but in my experience and having done tens of thousands of flea jobs, the answer alone does not give you the full meaning of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Asking the questions always sparks rivers of thought and answers come so much more freely with the end result being positive, quick flea elimination.

Let’s look at each of these questions before you are fully convinced I’m a kook;

What is the #1 thing you are told to do before and after a treatment?

If you said vacuum you are correct and I’m sure you know at least one reason why. Here’s a few you may not know. Flea eggs are often laid on the host (your pet) but are small and roundish and aren’t cemented like a roach egg might be. They easily roll off and land anywhere and everywhere your pet goes. This could be the carpet, furniture, lawn, car, hardwood floor etc. etc. See any rivers of thought yet? Flea larva are active little boogers and they eat any organic material they can get their chewing mouth parts on. They do especially well when they find adult flea poo which contains undigested dried blood. They go through 3 instars (stages) while a larva and when ready to pupate they head for darker areas in which to settle down and wrap themselves in a cocoon mixed with particulate like dust, sand, hair and more. This cocoon is usually stuck pretty good to the surface its on so a cursory swipe with the Hoover isn’t really a problem, they’ll be fine anchored there until they morph into the adult stage. If things aren’t conducive for them to come out of the cocoon, ie; temperature, humidity, presence of c02 they’ll just hang for a year or so. So, with this in mind do you think you might just vacuum a little more thoroughly or will you just go through the motions to say it was done?

When shouldn’t you treat your pet with something like Frontline or Advantage?

This is an important question because the treatment of the pet is so KEY to any successful program and besides, that stuffs expensive. The time NOT to treat your pet is a couple of days before and a couple of days after you bathe them. One would think it’s because you don’t want to wash the medication away but that’s not it. The product is not so much designed to work as a coating that you lather all over the animals body. It does however work with the natural oils of the pet and these oils get washed away and in most, it takes about 2 days to build back up allowing the flea drops to work their magic.

What triggers outbreaks?

It is very common to have sudden outbreaks of fleas when it seemed like the day before you had none. Several things can account for this

and knowing them will help you track down the source and wipe it out. Remember our little pupae we talked about above. Well he or she does not have to come out if things aren’t right and will just sit there in this very protective cocoon and your spray may be the most useless thing in the world. You could win a world cruise on The Price Is Right and be gone for 6 months or maybe a year and they’ll be waiting and very hungry. As soon as they feel your vibrations, a little c02 to clear their heads and WHAM they start popping and heading towards the first shadows they see. Another way is when a pet dies. Adult fleas finding themselves without a host will often times jump on the next warm blooded creature that passes by and that so often is humans. Neighbors bringing pets over, squirrels in the attic a mouse in the kitchen are also ways that flea outbreaks happen. Knowing where they came from is an excellent starting point and usually lets you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Why do I have to dust my house?

This flea control thing is a lot of work, I already vacuumed now you want me to dust? Well, yes is the short answer but knowing why will guide you to the best places to dust. Do you have a cat that gets on top of the kitchen cabinets? If yes then refer back to our egg & larva scenario. Anywhere your pets go should be cleaned by either dusting or vacuuming. This picks up the material they use for pupating, food material for the larva and you’ll be picking up the tiny flea eggs as well. Doing a little housework goes a long way, doing it with understanding goes even further.

I leave you with this my young Shaolin pest control monk;

Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Caine: No.
Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?
Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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