Although fleas can be a problem at any time of the year, they are a particular concern for your clients during the summer. Not only is the warm weather and humidity thought to speed up their lifecycle—but the fact that more pets are spending time outside can mean they’re increasingly likely to come into contact with these pests.
Unfortunately, these parasites can cause major problems for your customers’ pets—and potentially even turn into a home infestation. Besides causing itchy and sometimes painful bites, fleas can also carry and transmit diseases, so they are a pest that people don’t want hanging around their homes.
Joey Steele, lawn and plant health care manager at Master Lawn in Olive Branch, Mississippi, says that a professional flea spray offering is helping keep their clients happy. It’s a service that he says makes a lot of sense for lawn and landscaping companies to offer as they’re already working on the lawn.
Lawn and landscaping technicians are the perfect professionals to treat lawns that have a flea problem. After all, they're already servicing these areas with other treatments such as fertilization and weed control.
Although this might be thought of as a service for pest control companies, Steele says you can offer it as an addition to your already established lawn care program.
The tiny pest that causes major problems
At just 1 to 3 mm in length, fleas are tiny—and difficult to spot. That means that people often don’t realize they have a problem until it’s a major infestation. If your clients’ pets are picking up fleas in the yard, then they can easily bring them inside where breeding can turn a handful of fleas into many.
Unfortunately, fleas do breed like crazy. A female may lay has many as 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. These eggs are typically laid in the host pet’s fur in groups of 20. But the eggs rarely all remain in place. Most of the time they roll off in the lawn—or maybe even your clients’ carpet—and that’s when the trouble begins.
While pets are most likely to bring fleas into the home, it is possible for non-pet-owning clients to suffer an infestation. Wildlife like squirrels or even stray cats can carry fleas to porches, decks, garages, and front doors. Then, fleas have extraordinarily little distance to travel to make their way inside. Because they are so small, they can fit through the tiniest of cracks.
That can make professional flea control a valuable add-on service to any client, says Steele. And since Master Lawn's control product also takes care of ticks, it becomes a relatively easy sell. Since most people are already aware of the dangers of ticks and the attendant dangers of Lyme Disease, with one product the company can offer a two-for-one that takes care of fleas, also.
Competing against pest control services
Steele says that although many pest control companies offer this service, it’s a natural add-on for lawn and landscaping companies—and a relatively easy sale for existing lawn care clients. They like the convenience of not having to hire a separate company for pest control, Steele says.
Since the spray equipment is the same that is used for other lawn and landscaping applications, it also makes good business sense to add a service like this on.
Of course, in this DIY age, Steele says that they aren’t just competing against pest control companies but also those clients who think they can handle this problem themselves. There is everything from flea traps to potions and other various concoctions found online which claim to ward off fleas.
But Steele says he has never seen a DIY product that was truly effective enough against these nasty pests.
He says it’s worth educating clients on the fact that a professional application is going to be your best line of defense.
“When it comes to a pest that can carry disease, we tell clients it’s really not worth the risk of experimenting with DIY products that aren’t proven to work,” he says. “We’ve written several articles on our website about fleas so that clients understand how troublesome they can be.”
A need for repeat control
While professional flea spray can be highly effective against these pests, Steele says that it does not last forever. Because of that, Master Lawn offers an entire flea and tick control program.
The first application will take care of the majority of pests on the property—but even a few remaining fleas can quickly start reproducing. Plus, clients need to know that wildlife can continually bring fleas back into the yard.
“Each application that we perform builds upon the one before it so that clients are protected throughout the entirety of the prime flea season,” Steele says. “Ultimately our clients see a service like this as one that gives them peace of mind. They want to be able to enjoy their yard and not worry that dangers are lurking.”