Where fleas thrive
Veterinary professionals in the western and southern United States know that “flea season” continues year-round. While flea control for pets, homes, and yards remains a hot topic, it is helpful to understand where the flea problem begins, and that addressing the outdoor areas where fleas breed and thrive is necessary for preventing and controlling repeated infestations.
The “cat flea,” Ctenophalides felis, the prevalent flea species on domestic dogs and cats, thrives in habitats where daytime temperatures are moderate and humidity is reasonably high. Thus, coastal areas are prime real estate for these persistent pests. In hotter inland areas, fleas prefer habitats with reliable shade. Vegetation-covered areas near structures and the sleeping places of feral animals, such as crawl spaces, are likely to be flea population centers.
Adult fleas cannot survive in hot and dry environments (temperatures above 95ºF/35ºC, less than 75% relative humidity). Areas that maintain these conditions for more than 40 hours per month naturally reduce flea infestations, as larvae cannot survive for longer than two days there.
Similarly, cold environments tend to inhibit flea populations. Adult fleas die within five days when temperatures drop to 30.2ºF (-1ºC) or below. Low temperatures are more lethal to flea eggs and larvae, which require 55.4ºF (13ºC) at a minimum for development. However, even in colder climates, fleas will survive in wild-animal dens, on the fur of warm-bodied hosts – both domestic and wild – and inside heated structures.
Habitat is a key to flea control
Flea eradication is a multi-step process, often frustrating for clients and patients alike. Treating pets and indoor spaces may eliminate fleas in the short term. But the critical missing step for most clients is to treat the areas where fleas originate – outside the home. Without this key strategy, flea-free pets will continue to bring fleas back inside.
Check the deck!
Feral animals (squirrels, raccoons, opossums, rats) often shelter in hidden crevices under a house or deck, where they provide an ideal environment for fleas to live. Animals that seek shady areas, protected from wind and rain, provide an incubator for fleas to thrive.
The solution – beneficial nematodes
Help your clients treat flea infestations at the source. Flea Destroyer is a non-toxic, chemical-free, biological solution that contains beneficial nematodes. These live, worm-like, microscopic creatures hunt down flea eggs and larvae, preventing them from growing into adult fleas.
Fortunately, the very places that provide ideal conditions for fleas also make a perfect home for nematodes. Easy to apply by mixing them with water and spraying directly onto the soil, beneficial nematodes go to work immediately, penetrating deep into the ground to find their prey – flea eggs and larvae.
Flea Destroyer is odorless and harmless to humans, sparing the families above from the wafting odors and harmful effects of chemical pesticides. Also, beneficial nematodes pose no risk to other beneficial insects who live in the outdoor spaces of homes and gardens.
The beneficial nematodes in Flea Destroyer have been chosen specifically. Steinernema feltiae and steinernema carpocapsae are natural predators for fleas in their early life-cycle. When applied to areas with adequate moisture, moderate temperature, and away from direct sunlight, these nematodes will remain in the areas favored by feral animals, continuing to devour eggs and larvae.
To learn more about complementing your pet- and home-oriented solutions with a natural, microorganism-based treatment that breaks the flea life cycle, call 310-952-5047 or email us at [email protected].