Flea and Tick Control: Not just a summer problem

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 Fleas and ticks don’t just cause uncomfortable itching for your dogs and cats; ticks in particular can cause serious diseases like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Even out here in the desert we have fleas (from the prairie dogs) and ticks, so it’s best to protect both your yard and your pet from disease causing insects like these.  And yes, fleas CAN survive inside during winter months, so use these tips to protect you and your pet year-round.

For your yard, try to find an eco-friendly spray that will kill fleas and ticks.  Make sure that the spray won’t directly run off into lakes or streams.  If you tend to find quite a few ticks in your yard, you’ll want to do this every few weeks right through early winter.  That’s right, ticks are around even then!

If ticks or fleas become problematic in your house you’ll most likely need to fog it.  Fog bombs are easy to use and will take care of any fleas or ticks living there.  As a preventative measure, make sure to wash your pet’s bedding often.

For your pet, first make sure that whatever product you use on your cat does not contain permethrin. It can be deadly to cats.  Be careful with products containing its natural counterpart, pyrethrin, as well, as they can cause problems in small dogs.  There are a variety of products out there that you can use to keep ticks and fleas under control on your pet.

  • Probably the easiest to use and longest lasting product is a once-a-month topical solution like BioSpot.  They also make a yard and garden spray.  These solutions are usually applied at the back of the neck.  They last a full month and are minimally invasive to your pet.
  • Sprays can be used as well; cats will prefer a pump spray vs an aresol spray.  If you use a spray it is sometimes best to spray a cloth and then rub your pet with the cloth.  Around their eyes you can do this or use cotton balls to wipe the substance on so that you avoid getting the spray in your pet’s eyes. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area when you spray your pet.  Many sprays contain permethrin, so be sure to check for that before using this product on your cat.
  • Powders, while messy, are easy to use.  They should be used in a well-ventilated area and shouldn’t be used on dogs with asthma.
  • Dips and rinses are effective as well, but you’ll need to make sure to avoid getting the product in your pet’s eyes or ears.  Some people put cotton balls in their pet’s ears to help with this.
  • Shampoos usually only rid pets of fleas and ticks that are already present. Many of these contain pyrethrin, so make sure to just read the labels carefully and only use approved products for cats, small dogs, puppies, etc.
  • Collars are effective if used properly.  Make sure you can fit two fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck.  Clip off any excess material so that your pet won’t chew on it.

If you have any questions about what products are best for your pet feel free to stop in and see us at 2851 North Avenue in Grand Junction, or call us at 245-2526.

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