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Flea and Tick DIY Pest Control

posted this on Oct 18, 2016


Flea and Tick Overview

flea and ticks

Fleas and ticks are one of the more common household pests that you can encounter. These itchy critters are usually associated with pets such as dogs and cats, and often attach themselves to these animals when they are outside exploring. Once they hop on board of your pet, they will gain access into your home and that’s when you will have an infestation on your hands.


These parasitic insects survive by biting and feeding on the blood of both the animals in the house and the humans. Their bites can leave red welts and are extremely itchy. Often times, you can be getting bit over and over and not be able to catch the flea or tick because they are so mobile and tiny. With this in mind, getting rid of fleas and ticks should be a top priority if your home comes down with an infestation.


Dealing with fleas and ticks comes with the territory of being a pet owner, but they are not necessarily just an irritation for those who have pets. Homeowners with flea problems may simply be dealing with the leftovers from a dead rodent or other intruder. The great thing about Solutions Stores is that we have your back when it comes to eliminating your flea and tick control problems once and for all. We offer the largest selection of professional flea and tick solutions for any size job. Whether you are a homeowner, Pest Control Professional or a property management company, we can assist you in selecting the right products and teach you how to treat for fleas and ticks like a professional.


Flea and Tick Characteristics


Fleas and ticks serve pretty much the same purpose. They are parasitic blood suckers. As much as they are similar they do have their own unique qualities. To protect your pets and yourself from these parasites it’s important to know their differences. This helpful table breaks down some of the more notable differences between the two nuisances.


Flea and Tick Chart.PNG


How To Guide




Identifying fleas and ticks can be tough as they move around a lot when they are not on a host. That’s because a flea is the size of the top of a ballpoint pen. When they are seen, adult fleas are a dark brown or dark reddish brown color. Their immature stages where they are larva, pupa and eggs are even smaller and can hardly been seen by the naked eye without a microscope. Fleas love to jump and they can jump quite high for their size, which of course is how they are able to land onto a host.


White sock test is a good indicator of fleas, if you can put white socks on and then walk around, fleas will typically jump on the socks and are easily seen.


Ticks range in color from brownish black to whitish grey depending on the species, gender, maturity, and feeding habits of the tick. There are seven types of ticks that are common in the United States: The American dog tick, Blacklegged tick, Brown dog tick, Gulf Coast tick, Lone Star tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick and the Western blacklegged tick. Aside from grossing us out and being a pain in the butt, ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Colorado Tick Fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Tularemia to name a few.




If you suspect that you have either a flea or tick problem there are three main places to check: on your pet, inside of your home and outdoors where your pet commonly spends its time. By finding out where these ticks and/or fleas are located you can then use the right method of product to deal with the infestation and focus in on the problem areas.


  1. Checking Your Pet

If your Pet is scratching frequently and is more restless and irritable or is starting to lose hair or acting as if he or she is trying to shake something off, that is the first sign that your pet has fleas. Use a flea comb to comb through your pet’s hair. Fleas can typically be found around the neck area, groin area, around leg folds and around the base of the tail. Any fleas found can be disposed of by putting them in soapy water.


Scanning your flea for ticks is a little trickier as ticks tend to have a very strong grip on their host. Check your pets regularly for ticks and when you find one use a set of tweezers to carefully pull the tick off of your pet, making sure to remove the biting mouth parts of the tick.  Live ticks can easily be killed by dropping them in a bowl of rubbing alcohol.


2. Inspect Your Home

After you’ve combed through your pet, it’s time to comb through your home. Fleas and ticks in the house is not a pleasant experience so inspecting them as soon as you realize you have them is important. Ticks and fleas are commonly found in bedding (this usually makes them mistaken with bed bugs), carpeting or on upholstered furniture. You can also check door frames, bedding and baseboards to see if ticks are residing in and cracks or crevices.


Look around the area’s that are typically frequented by your pet, jumping on and off a bed is usually a easy place to spot them.


3. Inspect your Yard Outdoors

If you have found fleas or ticks on your pet it’s highly likely that you may have an outbreak in your yard. If you can pinpoint where the fleas and ticks are residing outside, you can then spot treat those areas with the proper control equipment. Anywhere your pet spends most of his time outdoors should be a start for your outdoor inspection.


A helpful tip is to wear long white socks as you move about your yard during the inspection. Shuffle your feet in target areas and then shine a light on your socks to check for fleas or ticks as they will be more easily visible on white socks.


Shaded areas will be where the highest amount of fleas will be located, under trees, porches, etc.




Once a thorough inspection has been complete it is time for treating with the proper control products. The process for treating both ticks and fleas follows largely a similar procedure. If you have a pet, this phase should start with them. Once the pet is treated then you can move onto your home and yard. For best results, treatments should be done around the same time of day.


1. Treating Your Pet

Whether you have a dog, a cat or some other household pet, there are a few common ways of getting rid of their fleas. A flea bath or special flea shampoo works well but you could also either use flea drops or flea pet sprays. This of course is up to you and depends on your personal preferences and what you are comfortable with.  We have great options for flea and tick spray, and pet treatments for prevention.


2. Treating Your Home


Once your pet is clean and flea and tick-free it’s time to zone in on your home. Make sure to first treat all the prime areas where your pet rests, plays and grooms. The most important thing even over products is patience as it can take some time, between 2 weeks to a 2 months to have your home cleared of fleas and ticks, depending on the severity of the infestation. For indoor flea control you can use baits, IGRs or Novacide spray or a combination of them all.


  • First, prep your home for flea/tick control by vacuuming and cleaning the carpet thoroughly and spray and wipe down all surfaces. If you wish, you can take things a step further and steam clean your carpets and furniture.

  • Remove all clutter from the floor, you want to be able to spray and get good coverage.

  • We recommend you use at least two products to control fleas and ticks, an insecticide spray and an IGR (insect growth regulator). Here are some common areas where these products can be applied.

    • pet beds and resting areas

    • Carpets and rugs

    • nearby cracks and crevices

    • along and behind baseboards

    • window and door frames

    • localized areas of floor and floor coverings where ticks may be present.

    • Spray around the bottom of furniture and under furniture

  • You may need to reapply treatment every few days along with vacuuming at least once a day for two weeks to ensure that any remaining fleas/ticks or their eggs are exposed and not hiding in the carpet.

Our preference for application is to use an aerosol flea control product, easy to apply and will not stain fabric and floors.  Novacide is our number one chosen flea and tick control product.


3. Treating Your Yard Outdoors


An effective method of treating your yard for ticks and fleas will include some diligent yet basic yard sanitation and maintenance as well as treating those outdoor areas where you noticed flea and tick infestations with control products.


Again as recommended in the indoor treatment step, it is most effective to your both an insecticide like the, Permethrin SFR Flea and Tick Killer to kill exposed ticks and fleas on contact and an insect growth regulator to prevent the eggs of ticks and fleas from growing.


  • Treat the entire infested area Permethrin, making sure to get great coverage and soil saturation.  

  • Treat all grass and soil areas of the yard. Fleas will reside in high traffic areas for easy access to hosts, but can be dropped anywhere. The more thorough you are, the less places a flea can safely hide. Flea cannot survive in direct sunlight so pay special attention to the shady areas. Cut down as much brush as possible for ticks.

  • We recommend applying a granules insecticide after spraying with the first product.  Bifen granules are a great option and this will continue to kill for 90 days.



So the flea and tick treatment has been rendered a success. Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. Just because your pet, home and yard are free from fleas doesn’t mean you can just relax. There are some preventative measures to take to make sure another infestation doesn't happen.


  • Protect your pet from a reinfestation by giving him or her a monthly flea and tick treatment using the products you used during the control phase. Bathe and groom your pet regularly and check for fleas and ticks and re-apply those flea and tick prevention products.

  • Vacuuming carpets, rugs and furniture at least one time a week to remove any traces of flea and tick eggs or feces that may have been brought into the home by your pet. Cleaning and replacing your pet’s bedding regularly can also help to remove any flea eggs that may have been deposited.

Outdoor Prevention


Preventing fleas  and ticks in your yard is a bit more tricky because stray animals like rabbits or raccoons can venture upon your property and leave behind flea or ticks. Regularly maintaining your yard is the best way to deter animals from coming onto your property and make the area less savory for fleas and ticks.


  • Mow your lawn regularly and keep your grass trimmed short

  • Trim your branches and bushes to allow sunlight to reach the soil and provide less shade.

  • You can also always spot treat areas whenever you feel that another infestation may be on the horizon such as during the changing of seasons.

React quickly when you figure out that you may have a flea or tick problem, this will help to keep you and your pets safe and flea and tick free.


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