12 Mar Flea and Tick Prevention: Keep Your Fur Babies and Your Apartment Pest Free
As temperatures rise, so do the chances of your fur babies bringing home unwanted pests. Here are some easy, affordable flea and tick prevention options to keep everyone in your apartment itch-free.
Flea and Tick Prevention: It Starts Outside
Wild animals like squirrels and raccoons are adorable- especially the baby ones that will be bouncing around soon. What’s not so adorable are the flea and tick eggs that fall off of them as they scamper through your yard. The eggs hatch, and the tiny bugs wait patiently for a warm host to attach to. In no time, the grass your fur babies play in can become a huge health hazard.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to make the yard inhospitable to pests. Natural and chemical pesticides are used to treat the ground, which kills fleas, ticks, and their eggs on contact. An infestation of fleas can spread at lightning speed, so there’s a good chance your apartment manager is already having the lawns treated. Ask to make sure; if the yards aren’t being treated, point out the advantages of having it done.
If you have a grassy patio, treat it yourself. Diatomaceous earth is a great, all-natural option that’s completely safe for humans and pets. You can also plant a pest deterrent patio garden to keep fleas, ticks, and mosquitos at bay. Lavender, mint, and lemon grass are all great options.
Treating Your Fur Baby
Pet owners are pretty divided over flea and tick prevention. Some don’t want to treat their fur babies with harsh chemicals if it isn’t absolutely necessary. Others prefer to prevent flea and tick infestations at all cost. If you choose not to use preventative treatments on your pets, limit their outdoor activities to areas where the ground has been treated. Avoid areas with high animal traffic like dog parks and grooming salons. And check your pet carefully after any outdoor activity. Fleas and ticks like to hide in dark crevices like behind the ears, under the arms, and around the tail. Immediately remove any ticks you find on your pet. A fast acting, one-time treatment like Capstar will kill fleas within 24 hours, but will not prevent reinfestation.
In addition to being a nuisance, fleas and ticks carry diseases. They also won’t hesitate to hitch a ride on you until they can find a hairier, more hospitable host. If you live an active, outdoor lifestyle, it’s best to use flea and tick prevention medications on your pets, even if they’re inside animals. Your fur babies should already be taking a monthly heartworm preventative. Make things simple by opting for a broad spectrum treatment like Trifexis or Revolution. Your pet will be protected from heartworms, fleas, and ticks, in addition to other common parasites.
Some pets don’t tolerate oral flea and tick preventatives very well. If your fur baby falls into this category, use a milder heartworm preventative like Heartgard with a separate flea and tick preventative. Frontline is an effective, affordable option for monthly topical treatment. If you’d prefer a one time treatment option, invest in a Seresto collar. The time release medication will keep your fur baby protected for up to eight months!