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icks, which are usually dark brown or black, have pincers and can be spotted by the naked eye.

Protecting pets from pests

Protecting dogs from fleas and ticks is an important part of responsible pet care. Distressing and harmful for your pet, parasites can cause diseases that affect you and your family.

Flea bites can spread tapeworms and cause skin disorders, infections and allergies. Bacteria spread from infected tick bites can cause Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can affect humans, dogs and cats.

Lyme disease is characterized by lameness, swollen joints and fever. Ticks carrying Lyme disease don't discriminate, so it is imperative to take the initiative in protecting not only your pet, but your family from this debilitating disease.

“The fleas and ticks on your dog are a small component of your concern,” says Caryn Stichler, vice president of marketing at Sergeants Pet Care Products. “Fleas and their eggs can live outside in grass, soil and crevices in sidewalks, and inside on rugs, carpets, floor cracks and bedding. Treat your pet first and foremost and then the animal's environment.”

Treat the pet

The first step is to apply a preventive treatment on your dog, such as PetArmor Plus IGR. PetArmor Plus IGR contains fipronil, which kills fleas, ticks and chewing lice. It also contains an insect growth regulator that kills flea eggs and stops the reinfestation cycle. More information can be found at

Treat the home

“Washing pet bedding, vacuuming carpets and treating with household insecticide sprays, powders and foggers are good first steps to ridding your home of fleas and preventing infestations,” Stichler says.

Use a spray that's designed to reach the hiding places of fleas – carpets, drapes and upholstery.

Treat the yard

Your yard should be a safe zone for pets to play, not a place to pick up parasites. Ticks, which are usually dark brown or black, have pincers and can be spotted by the naked eye. Fleas are tiny, brown insects and can be difficult to spot.

Inspect your yard wearing a pair of long white socks. Secure the infested socks in a plastic bag and throw them away. Now spray your yard and around the foundation of your home to kill flea populations.

– StatePoint