Friday, April 11, 2014

Cocktails For Better Results Part 3 Fleas & Growth Regulators

The series continues…Cocktails For Better Results Part 3. If you missed part 1 and 2 and would like to see them, go to and look under Horticulture Hotline tab.

Fleas (roaches and bedbugs) are very persistent insects that are a challenge to control. The use of an adulticide and a growth regulator (ie cocktail) will increase your odds of success greatly.

Adult biting fleas only account for about 2% of the population, the rest are in the egg, larva and pupae stage. If you are using a product that only controls adults, you are going to have to spray regularly to kill the new adults as they emerge. This constant spraying is a battle most people do not want to fight. However, if you mix in a growth regulator (many aerosol products have a growth regulator already mixed in), within about 2 weeks (it takes a little time fleas to emerge and for the growth regulator to break up the life cycle) your flea population should ‘crash.’

There are some cultural steps (part of the cocktail if you will) that would help you with your flea control success as well. Vacuum, spray, let area dry then vacuum again. If your vacuum has a bag, be sure to take it outside to remove it and put it in another bag in the garbage can, so any fleas (eggs, adults, larva, pupae) you might have sucked up will not re-infest your home. Vacuum often, at least daily, for best results.

Treating your animal will also add to your success.  Prefurred One or Prefurred Plus are post patented Fipronil products that you apply directly to your dog or cat every 30 days. Being a “generic”, the price has dropped significantly (customers tell us 30 to 50 percent off). Petcor, Biospot or a flea collar will also protect your animal.

Treat your yard and bed areas with IC3 (National Organics Program compliant), Essentria G (National Organics Program compliant), Bug Blasters, or Sevin. Pivot is a growth regulator that you can use outdoors to break up the life cycle of many pests. Pivot works on many different flies, mosquitoes, fleas, roaches and many other pests.

By treating the family pet, the home and the yard proactively, you should have good success against the flea. If this sounds like too much work or something you would rather have a professional tackle, there are many good Pest Management Professionals in the area. If you call a Pest Management Company, give his products 2 weeks to work before you call him back out to your house (unless the company tells you otherwise). The process simply takes that long.

If you are thinking about aerating this spring, while you have the holes open in your lawn, some good additives are: SeaHume G, 04-04-04 Bolster, Mule Mix, BGK 7500, Crab Shell and / or Cotton Burr Compost. Get the full benefit from the aeration! Sounds like another cultural / product cocktail!!