Successful flea control involves multiple steps. The first: preparing the site for treatment, which involves setting customer expectations, gaining their cooperation and learning as much as you can about the flea situation at hand.

“If somebody calls me and they have fleas, it starts with questions,” said Dan Ledbetter, Eagle Pest Control “The Ant King of Brevard.”

These include: Does the customer have dogs or cats? Are they indoor or outdoor pets? Where do pets spend most of their time in the house and yard? Do they lay on furniture or sleep on the bed? Where do they jump down from furniture? Where do they eat? Do they visit dog parks or doggie daycare? Are animals treated with an on-pet flea treatment?

Cats pose additional challenges. “They climb, they sit in places where a dog just doesn’t normally go,” said Tony DeJesus, Big Blue Bug Solutions. This may include window ledges, the top of the refrigerator or a shelf in the closet. “Ultimately it can be more difficult to treat a house with cats than it can be with dogs,” he said.

Flea eggs, larvae and pupae are found where infested animals spend time. But in addition to identifying these “hot spots,” it’s essential to set proper expectations for treatment.

“There is no magic wand,” reminded Kerry Lindsey, Terminix Service Company. While customers will see an immediate decline in the flea population after treatment, early adult fleas may continue to emerge from existing pupae for a few weeks; these fleas then will come in contact with the residual treatment and die.

Flea control is not easy, reminded Lance Griggs, Spectrum Pest Management. “You have to be very diligent in how you do it, and how the customer reacts and how you get the customer involved, or it’s not going to work,” he said.

The average callback rate for flea control service was 5.2 percent, found the PCT 2021 State of the Flea Control Market survey.