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The Flea

In controlling fleas it is best to treat simultaneously both the host nest or bedding area, which is the breeding site of fleas, and the infested host, since the larval and pupal stages usually develop away from the host’s body.

 

For infested animals a commercial dust, spray, dip, or aerosol containing an insecticide or growth regulator is used. However, in some regions, fleas have become resistant to some insecticides, and new materials are required. For the control of larval and adult fleas away from the host, insecticides or growth regulators may be applied to the pens and haunts of the affected animals. Repellents may be effective in preventing attack by fleas.

The Mite

You don’t need a crazy whole-house treatment or fumigation. You just need to remove the animals and animal nests that are bringing mites into your home.

 

“Everybody always wants a spray to solve these types of mite problems, but the real solution is getting rid of any animals nesting in your home, and animal proofing your home,” he says. Basically, call in a home pest pro.

The exception here, again, is the scabies mite; in addition to getting medical treatment, you can take steps to eliminate the mites from your household. Scabies mites don’t survive very long when they’re not on human skin. Vacuum your home the day you start treatment and decontaminate your bedding, clothing, and towels by washing these items in hot water and drying on high heat. You can also dry-clean or seal these articles in a plastic bag for at least 72 hours.

When it comes to dust mites, on the other hand, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them all. But frequent home cleaning and dusting, installing HEPA air filters, and buying bedding that can be washed in hot water and that resists dust accumulation can limit allergic reactions.

The Tick

We get it: No one wants to think about ticks. They’re creepy, gross-looking, and spread diseases. Well, that’s exactly why you should start paying attention to them.

In the United States, ticks are responsible for spreading potentially-life threatening infectious diseases, some of which can trigger not just chills, nausea, and a fever, but also neurological problems and even death. The most infamous of these infections is Lyme disease—according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. (A “vector” is any living thing that can transfer diseases.) And while the rates have steadily increased since the 1990s, thousands of Lyme disease cases may go unreported.

So when it comes to ticks, ignorance is the opposite of bliss. Start reading up on what ticks look like, where they camp out, and what to do if one latches onto you. Developing an action plan now can potentially save you from a lot of suffering in the future.