Mild winter leads to flea explosion

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What an interesting winter we had in the Lowcountry. The temperatures never got super cold. I never drained my well (every year for the past 17 years, I have drained my well). The night time temperatures seem to stay in the high 30s and the day time temperatures stayed around the high 50s.

In the past, we would get more peaks and valleys (some temperatures freezing in the low to mid-20s and in March maybe a few days in the 80s).

Fleas love moisture. With the winter we had and the rain that came with it, I’m thinking fleas are going to be extra bad this year. I do not have to have a crystal ball. I have three stores, and I can look at how many flea control products we have sold all winter. Knowing that the weather also favors flea population growth, I can go out on a limb – a horticulture pun – and predict that fleas are going to be bad this year.

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 say 30-50 percent off). Petcor, Biospot or a flea collar will also protect your animal.

Be proactive and treat the house with a product that contains a growth regulator. Precor 2000, Ultracide, I G regulator, IC3 (National Organics Program compliant but no growth regulator) and Alpine Flea Insecticide are a few good products for use in the house. If you apply these products before you have an issue, your success will be much greater and will save you from all the vacuuming, washing of beds and the sleepless nights with a scratching pet.

Treat your yard and bed areas with IC3 (National Organics Program compliant), Essentria G (National Organics Program compliant), Bug Blasters, or Sevin.

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.

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.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a federal law.

Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations including one at 481 Long Point Rd. in Mount Pleasant (971-9601). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location or visit us at http://www.possumsupply.com. You can also call in your questions to “The Garden Clinic,” Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m., on 1250 WTMA. The Horticulture Hotline is available 24 / 7 at possumsupply.com.

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