Taken from an article written by Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP

When it comes to flea, tick and external parasite prevention, the old real estate saying rings true: It’s all about location, location, location. Some lawn companies are advertising area treatments for yards that purport to eliminate the need for external parasite prevention for pets. Let’s take a closer look and see if we like the location, location, location!

Where are the parasites located?

As you know from all those thorough dissections of parasite life cycles, adult fleas and most mites need to be located on pets and not in the yard. Just like the idea of bug bombing a house instead of treating a dog won’t work, applying insecticides to the lawn won’t treat a pet for fleas and mites. Ticks prefer tall grass and brush, leaf litter and bushes at the height of their hosts (your pets). Spreading things on the lawn isn’t applying them higher up or in deeper brush where the ticks live. Verdict: The parasites are not usually located where the lawn company sprays.

Where is the pet located?

If a pet never, ever, EVER, sets foot outside a perfectly manicured and treated lawn and you’ve put up a magical barrier that prevents other animals from coming into the yard, including squires, opossums and the like, then yard treatments are probably perfectly appropriate for your pet. But pigs don’t fly, and you are not certain to keep every other flea, mite and tick infested animal off your property. However, if the pet is ever located somewhere else besides the yard, like practically every dog and many cats are, then you need prevention that moves with the pet and isn’t fixed to the lawn. Other animals, even if they just pass through the yard probably bring more parasites with them.  Think about those rascally squirrels your dog has to keep chasing out of the yard. Chances are some of them are covered with fleas or ticks—or both—that are continuously seeding the yard. Verdict: The pets are not always going to be away from areas that may house parasites.

What are your clients putting on the yard?

Ever wonder what these products used to treat the yard have in them? Well, looking at many advertisements, it’s difficult to tell. All the flowery promises lead to no specifics other than vague mentions of proprietary blends of chemicals. If you are counting on them to be effective and not toxic to pets or people, you should be able to look at what it is and what, if any, the possible side effects are of the products being applied. With topical or systemic medications applied to a pet, you should be able to read all the ingredients and pertinent information on the drug label that comes with each box. Verdict: If they won’t tell you what’s in it, don’t use it.

The bottom line: You love your pets, you want what is best for them. Parasite preventatives are only expensive when you are comparing the cost to not providing the protection. Ask what heart worm treatment could cost and you’ll be more than happy to provide monthly protection to your beloved furry best friends and family members. Call today: 931.359.6376