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Checking Your Dog or Cat for Fleas and Ticks is part of Good Grooming.

Check your dog or cat when you comb or brush them.
Fleas and ticks can seem to be a daunting problem for your dog or cat. However if you are brushing, combing, and providing routine grooming, outside the weekly or monthly expert salon grooming, then you can catch them before they reach infestation. All dog and cat owners may at one time or another have to deal with an infestation of fleas or ticks or both..  It’s a good thing that we all know the solutions are simple and supplies readily available in dealing with this problem because both fleas and ticks can cause humans everything from discomfort up to even severe illness.  Lets take them one at a time:

By Erturac (Own work)[CC-BY-SA-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Fleas are by far the lesser of two evils.

You can tell if you have a flea problem by looking between your dogs legs and under the tail when giving your pet their daily brushing.  Fleas congregate in warm moist places. You will see small black critters moving around and lots of small black flecks of dirt (flea poop). Once you have identified the problem the next step is to treat the problem in three places: Your yard, your house, your pet.

The yard:
First treat your yard with “Spectricide” from Home Depot. Spectricide is a granular lawn and insect killer that gets released every time it gets wet. You can find it in the garden department. I apply it every two months instead of the 4 months it calls for in the directions.

The house:
Second, fog your house with flea bombs (available at Purple Poodle). Be sure to follow the directions on the label and remove all pets while fogging and for the following three hours afterward.   This is also the fourth or last step because fogging must be repeated 10 days after the first fogging.  This last step is important because while fogging correctly done will kill all the fleas in your house not all of the eggs will be killed. They will all hatch sometime during the next ten days. If you fog again at the ten day mark you will kill all the rest who have hatched before they have a chance to lay more eggs.

The pet:
Third you need to treat your pet with a topical spot on product like “Frontline Plus”. Then be sure to close this deal by following through with last step as described above by  repeating the fog inside your home ten days later.

By w:User:Borislav Dopudja ( [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons By User:Borislav Dopudja CC by SA 3.0-via Wikimedia Commons

Ticks are more difficult than fleas!

Ticks are a different problem. They are much harder to kill than fleas. The fogging you do for the inside will kill some but it is not an effective treatment for ticks. For example, ticks became such a problem for my customers after Hurricane Wilma  that I asked a friend of mine, who owns a pesticide company, what product would be safe to use, still kill the ticks and have a residual killing effect to prevent re-infestation. He told me “Demon-WP”.
Kill ticks inside your house.
I have used and sold “Demon-WP” ever since I had that conversation with my friend.. It works like a charm. It comes in a package that contains 4 water-soluble packets. You drop two packets in a one gallon sprayer full of water and shake the container. Make sure all the animals are out of the house and spray the floors with the Demon-WP. Leave the house for three hours after spraying. Re-treat by spraying the baseboards  once a week until you don’t see any more ticks.

Treat your yard with Spectricide as described above and try a “Preventix” tick collar for your dog. These are also available at Purple Poodle.  

So to recap, good grooming in between salon visits can help you sopt flea or ticks before they reach the point of infestation.  Treating your yard with Spectricide is good for both fleas and ticks.  The inside of your home will require a flea bomb for flea infestation, and “Demon WP” solution for tick infestation..  “Frontline” is a topical solution applied monthly and is available in formulas for both dog and cats, and “Frontline Plus” treats both fleas and ticks. 

There are still both flea and tick prevention collars available if you choose to treat these problems jointly or separately.  The flea and tick collars are usually less expensive than the 2in1 topical treatments now available.  However you may want to speak with your veterinarian about 3in1 treatments that come in pill form given monthly for fleas, ticks, and heart worms.  They are more expensive and have some documented side effects so talking with your dog or cat's personal vet is very important.  All of these solutions will help you rid yourself and put an end to any flea or tick infestations, and have a happy dog or cat.

David Wimberly

Owner-Purple Poodle Pet Center
Established 1999
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