Every day we are asked “how do I get rid of *fill in the blank*?” We thought it would be useful to write a post on the most common pests we are asked about. This month we look at chiggers and fleas.
How do I get rid of chiggers?
Chiggers can be found anywhere, but they gravitate to dense vegetation and are at their peak in early summer. In Texas, they are a problem for far longer than the northern states. You can’t do much for the itch except calamine, hydro-cortisone and other topical options.
Prevention is in two parts. Firstly, minimize your contact with chiggers by wearing tall socks (a stylish look in the summer) and tightly fitting clothing. An insect spray containing DEET will help ward them off.
Secondly, in your own yard you can reduce their numbers by cleaning up. Overgrown weeds and shrubs, tall grass, twig piles and leaf litter. The less home they have the better. Mosquito Joe can treat your grass on a cycle to dramatically reduce the numbers, so feel free to give us a call for more information.
How do I get rid of fleas?
Fleas are about 3mm long and are easiest to spot by their jumping – they can leap 7 inches and are considered the second-best jumper in the world. They have a rapid life cycle and no one has determined how to kill them in their larval stage. There is also no way to kill them in egg form, and considering the average female lays several thousand in her lifetime (2-3 months) it is easy to see why they are so hard to manage. Whatever pest control option you opt for, it is ESSENTIAL that you repeat it several times in order to gain control.
In Texas, particularly in the country, controlling fleas in your yard is very difficult. While you may have a fence, a mouse, rat, deer or other wildlife can bring them in. A good rule of thumb for fleas is if you see one you have many and they will be everywhere.
Next month we will tackle fruit flies, bed bugs and fire ants.