Inspection (Be very thorough.)
- Deer ticks are as tiny as a freckle and hard to spot- dog ticks maybe about as large as a match head. Both like to burrow in along the hairline – so carefully look and feel along the back of your neck, around your ears and forehead and those of your pets and children, especially in the hair.
- Look in rooms where dogs sleep, under the edge of rugs, under furniture, in cracks around baseboards, window and door frames, in dog boxes.
- Ticks prefer still, damp, shady areas, so turn on the lights and dehumidifier and fans.
Habitat Alteration and Control (They prefer shady areas.)
Advise occupants to:
- Forget modesty: Thoroughly and carefully inspect pets, children and one another regularly (at least once a day) for ticks. Try lightly using Safe Solutions Insect Repellent, neem oil, food-grade diatomaceous earth in your pet’s fur or menthol on their fur as a repellent.
- Wash dog bedding frequently with Safe Solutions Pet Wash or their enzyme cleaner with sodium borate.
- Keep grass cut short around buildings and paths and vegetation trimmed. Screen and caulk. Keeping
grass cut under 3” in height lowers the humidity at ground level making it difficult for ticks to survive desiccation and their predators.
- Caulk/seal all tiny spaces, crack and crevices where ticks hide. Don’t forget to check behind mop boards,
mouldings, frames and baseboards, in furniture and carpets and rugs and inside window pulley openings.
Lightly dust with food-grade DE, boric acid, table salt, baking soda, talcum powder, medicated body powder
or powdered sulphur or Comet®. Spray Not Nice to Bugs® or diluted enzyme cleaners as needed.
- Routinely launder your pet’s bedding with diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaner and borax and groom
your pets. Then lightly dust with Safe Solutions Food-grade DE.
- Fogging for ticks with volatile pesticide poisons is useless and dangerous.
- Keep grass, weeds, shrubs and brush cut short and severely trimmed or cultivated wherever you walk or
- Practice proper sanitation. Remove clutter and debris.
- Avoid tick-infested areas and/or wear appropriate clothing.
- Seal all cracks, crevices and other openings into your home or buildings. Remove leaf litter and debris.
- Raise and allow Guinea hens roam free for them to search out and destroy ticks.
- Read and utilize this Master IPM Planning Manual.
It is important that everyone know that dogs should be protected or inspected daily even after treatment since eggs can take 30 days to hatch. Take time to assure occupants that brown dog ticks do not normally bite humans and will, therefore, not transmit a disease. The fear of Lyme disease can createbhysteria and a desire for overkill; explain that the brown dog tick does not spread Lyme disease.
Intelligent Pest Management® Non-toxic Dust Mite Control:
1. Practice proper sanitation and avoid using humidifiers. Reduce the relative humidity with dehumidifiers or air conditioners. The one thing that dust mites never do is drink; they suck moisture from the air, so dry conditions will kill them. Remove (if possible) any dander, dead skin and/or dust and/or dust catching materials, e.g., books, magazines, clutter, stuffed animals, rugs, textiles, furs, feathers, woolens, drapes, carpets, etc. and/or enclose mattresses, pillows and box springs in plastic or zippered allergen-impermeable encasings designed to block dust mites and spray all surfaces with diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaners with Peppermint (1 oz. per 1 qt. water) as needed. Install allergen trapping filters in air conditioning/heating systems. Keep all clothing in closets with the doors closed. Keep windows closed in the spring. Clean the air with HEPA air filtration or electrostatic air filters. Tannic acid neutralizes the allergens in dust mite and animal dander; so dust problem areas with tannic acid powder.
2. Avoid sleeping with or keeping pets – especially cats and dogs or wash them often with Safe Solutions Pet Wash. It is best to keep your pets outside; if you can not, HEPA vacuum carpets, rugs, floors, mattresses, pillows, drapes, etc. daily and wash your hands after petting your pet. Dander stays around long after the pet has gone.
3. Keep windows and doors closed and as weather-tight as much as possible to avoid the entry of pollen and insects. Clean window coverings every two weeks or replace with shades or mini-blinds.
4. Keep food products in glass containers and control all insect pests.
5. Reduce the relative humidity below 60%; repair all plumbing/moisture problems; install a dehumidifier and/or air filtration system. Hot air vents should be covered with HEPA filters.
6. Avoid wet mopping and dusting unless you use diluted or Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaners and borax. Then use diluted enzyme cleaner in a rinse-and-vac or spray diluted enzyme cleaners, but vacuum very thoroughly with a rinse-and-vac, water vacuum or Li’l Hummer with a HEPA filter at least once a week – go very slowly and allow the vacuum to actually suck up all materials; dust furniture and shelves before you vacuum. Carefully and slowly vacuum beds, pillows, drapes, carpet, upholstered furniture, floors, etc. Steam clean everything but make sure everything is dry. Don’t allow smoking in the building.
7. Shampoo or steam clean or dry clean (off premises and air out thoroughly before returning) or better yet, simply put into the sun all non-washable carpets at least once a year.
8. Weekly washing sheets, pillows, rugs and carpets in Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners, soapy water or borax at least 122o F. for 5 – 8 minutes will kill all mites. Use silk or tightly woven linen sheets and pillowcases; dust mites cannot pass through them.
9. Direct sunlight also kills mites and bedding is the prime harborage for dust mites, with stuffed furniture a close second. So put furniture, bedding, drapes, clothing, etc. out in the sun and/or line dry your washing. Replace heavy drapes with washable shades, mini-blinds or lightweight curtains.
10. Put plush toys in a plastic bag, tie the bag and freeze for 24 hours. Repeat as needed, e.g., once a week or wash them weekly. It is best to only purchase washable stuffed toys and wash them weekly with enzyme cleaner in water (100o – 120o F.).
11. To help control dust and dust mite allergens take a (square box) window fan, using duct tape attach two
(charcoal) furnace filters (cut to size) to the fan grills on both the intake and exhaust sides. Turn on the fan to filter the air. Activated charcoal will increase the filtration results and help remove odours and some toxic gases. Change filters as needed. You can also use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner.
12. Over 25% of the mass of an old pillow might be dust and dust mites – so get a new one every 6 months. Remove carpeting and drapes if needed.
13. Clean any mould in the basement, bathrooms, kitchen, etc. with diluted bleach or borax or, better yet, with diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners and/or borax or sodium borate.
14. As a last resort, if none of the above options works on your dust mites, there are two insect growth regulators,
Altosid® and Altonar®, the mosquito repellent diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET), and the herbal mixture Paragerm®, which contains solo, thymol, terpineol, citrus fruit natural essence, natural essence of Syringa and Nardus spp. plants, two halogenated phenyl alcohols and light liquid paraffin. The herbal product, hopefully, will not affect asthmatics or those with allergies. Always remember most pesticide poisons have little effect on dust mites. You should instead try diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint with borax or sodium borate or use a steam cleaner first.
Fleas – Typical First Strikes by Housekeeping and Maintenance
1. Steam clean or vacuum thoroughly every day for two weeks (and on a regular basis throughout the year) and/or mop with ½ cup borax per gallon water or wash or rinse-and-vac floors or spray with diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint. Use a steam cleaner weekly to clean carpets, floors and furniture. If you spray the carpet with 1 gallon of a 2% solution of borax, boric acid or sodium borate per 2,000 sq. feet – and then respray with another gallon of hot water you take the toxic material (crystals) down to the map. Remember to test spray a small area first and be sure to launder all pet bedding regularly.
Remember that vibrations from walking and vacuuming will stimulate new adult fleas to emerge from their pupal sacs – so vacuum again in one hour. Spray with Not Nice to Bugs.
2. Mop or spray the floors with 2 oz. per gallon water or spray 1 oz. per quart diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint and/or ½ cup borax per gallon water. Spray yards and crawls with 1 oz. per quart diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint or salt water (salt water will also kill plants). Sprinkle gardener’s lime or salt. Repeat as needed. Salt and/or boron will also kill plants.
3. The oldest form of flea control was to catch the flea, place it between your thumbnail and forefinger nail and press until you heard a nice pop. As each flea female can lay one egg an hour, this may not be a very practical or “easy” job. Make some knee-high flannel boots that fit over your shoes and pant legs.
Fleas will jump on and become entrapped in the nap long enough for you to monitor and/or vacuum them up. You could also use duct tape (sticky side up) to trap them. Lightly sprinkle baking soda, borax, food grade DE and/or talcum; leave on overnight and then vacuum. Routinely remove dust and debris and caulk and/or seal all cracks, crevices and other openings.
4. Steam clean and/or rinse-and-vac with diluted enzyme cleaners and/or borax. This will remove dried blood, carpet fibres and other debris, diluted excrement, some flea larva and their silk, eggs, pupal cocoons, adults, faeces and other food sources. Note: Most flea larvae coil themselves around carpet fibres and are not easily removed. Carpet is the perfect flea environment!
5. Spray pets with (1 oz. per qt. water) Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint or bathe them in Safe Solutions Pet Wash and wash bedding weekly in their enzyme cleaner and borax.
6. Use a hose-end sprayer and spray the yard with nematodes or with (2 – 4 oz. per gal. water) of enzyme cleaner or citrus-based oils or soaps or dust with neem seed powder to control outside flea sources.
Note: 90% of opossums in urban Midwest areas are infected with fleas. Hot summer temperatures (especially when dry) normally prevent fleas from developing. Only shady and moist areas need to be sprayed.
7. Put a goose-neck lamp 8” – 10” (with a green light) over a pan of “fizzy” seltzer water with a few drops of dish soap at night. The fleas are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide and drown.
8. Heat the area to 103o F. for 1 hour. Reduce the relative humidity. (Larvae need a moist area to survive.)
9. Routinely clean and mop with 1 oz. of Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint per gallon of water. Sprinkle salt where animals lie; salt dehydrates the fleas and they die.
10. A handful of leaves from the black walnut tree, southernwood, rue, camphor, lavender, sage, rosemary, catnip, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, peppermint, feverfew and tansy can be brewed in a teapot with boiling water. Steep overnight, strain and spray to repel fleas.
11. To monitor infestations, slowly walk through suspected areas wearing white knee socks. When the fleas jump on you, you should clearly be able to see them on the socks. See item 3.
12. Outdoors, organic matter can harbour flea larvae. If you dry out these areas or saturate them with salt water, you will kill flea eggs and larvae. Remove any rodents or wildlife nesting in or near your buildings.
13. As a last resort spray with Not Nice to Bugs® or lightly apply Safe Solutions, Inc. food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) (using a dust mask and goggles) to the carpeting (litter boxes, roosts, bedding, furniture and other areas your pet frequents) and then rub some dust (or diluted DE) through your pet’s fur to the skin, especially on the scalp and tail, behind the neck and in an area where your pet can’t bite or scratch. Caution: Diatomaceous earth can dry out your pet’s skin, so lightly use it no more than once a month.Remember to vacuum up all residue after a few days. Pets eating about 1% diatomaceous earth intheir food will also kill internal parasites. Food grade DE is also thought to stimulate the digestion and to add 14 trace minerals to benefit the pet. So if your pet eats food grade DE it will continue to kill internal parasites.
14. Howard Rustin said that he washed his large dog with about 1 oz. Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint and never saw such a clean dog. The old hair, dirt, fleas and skunk odour were gone immediately.
15. Dan Dickerson’s Flea Trap: 1 rodent glue board, 1 piece moist sponge, 1 Alka Seltzer® tab; Place Alka Seltzer tab on top of moist sponge piece; cover lightly with plastic wrap on top of seltzer tab to hold it in place. CO2 and moisture in to attract fleas. Flea traps catch few fleas when cats are present.
16. If you are still seeing fleas, read the entire chapter.