Hello, I recently moved to Coos Bay, near the bay, and I’m having terrible flea control problems. I’ve been getting somewhat good results with Vectra for the cats and poor results with everything I’ve tried with the dog. That being said it seems (at least with the cats) that a huge issue is them picking up new ones in the yard. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions of how I could treat the property in an effective way without using chemicals that might harm the animals and environment. Keeping the house vacuumed and linens washed seem to keep me from personally getting bitten but I sure feel sorry for the animals. As they are all fairly old and used to going outside, so keeping them in isn’t a viable solution. Thanks in advance! Erik
Thanks for contacting Ask an Expert. Sorry to hear that you're having difficulty with fleas.
You can find some good tips for picking the right flea control methods for your household at http://npic.orst.edu/pest/flea.html
There are some interesting things there but nothing really helpful for outside control. Though after some reading it has occurred to me that since the summer fogs have come in the problem has become much worse.
Are there any local experts who you can suggest that I call? I had been thinking about using a detergent (Dawn) as a surfactant with some essential oil or perhaps a nicotine tincture for outdoor control.
That is an interesting article and certainly has some good information. I’m trying Vectra on the dog as it seems to have worked out with the cats. I’m pretty wary of most chemicals for the yard as I’m right on the bay and most of the labels I’ve looked at have specific warnings regarding aquatic life.
I broached the issue with a PhD chemist friend of mine and he suggested a mix of diatomaceous earth and borax. From what I’ve read they both should be pretty safe for my animals as well as aquatic life.
Do you have any thoughts on this? I’m planning on using my walk behind broadcast spreader for application.