Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's tick and flea time

It's getting to be tick and flea time with the seed ticks all over the woods. I pulled four off my pant leg this weekend. Fleas have been an issue for a while. There are years when we get a hard enough freeze that the nasty little things are killed. Then, when you live in the country with a lot of squirrels and other critters, it's hard to entirely get rid of fleas. We use Frontline Topspot which seems to work well for adult fleas. However, it's also advisable to use Progam for the larvae. Brushing and combing helps to determine whether the fleas are present and is good for the skin. It's hard though to get a flea comb through Labrador hair.

Ground treatment is also good to do and we do that twice a year in the paddocks. We till up the ground and then put down lime. There are no really good yard flea control agents that are approved by EPA. We used to use Dursban but can no longer use that. Sevin dust can't be used because it can cause neural tube anomalies in fetal puppies. One always has to check on what side effects could occur when using any pesticide.

In the house, it's best to vacuum frequently and empty the vacuum bag. We also use pyrethrin shampoos that are not toxic to animals. I hate fleas but realize that in the Charleston area where the temperatures seldom freeze, fleas, like cockroaches, are a part of the ecosystem.

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