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Pine Needles - Home for Fleas & Ticks?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by thfireman, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. thfireman

    thfireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    I had a customer ask a question today about pine needles. I guess I never thought about this one. The question was, "Do Pine needles become infested with ticks or fleas? Can my dog use them as a bed without getting ticks or fleas and if so can the needles be treated with flea an tick spray or powders to keep them out?" I just stood there like a dummy and stared!:confused:

    Can anyone shed some light on this subject? Thanks!:rolleyes:
  2. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 648

    I don't think they'd be any more prone to ticks and fleas than any other type material. Maybe a moderator can copy this thread to the pesticide forum for a little more insight. Good luck.
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    fleas can bed in pine needls ,as long as there is a host for them to feed on.
    cedar shavings will run them off tho.
  4. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Pine needles would provide good harborage for Fleas. Ticks prefer damp, cool, shadey areas regardless of what is on the ground.

    AWMarks brings up a valid point. Cedar Bark Mulch does contain aromatic oils that do more than make a Cedar closet smell nice. The oils repel insects. Thats one reason I use Cedar Mulch here at the house. It also lasts longer than hardwood mulch which is much more popular here (because it's cheap).

    If the area is in full sun, then Fleas will probably be the bigger problem.

    If it's in the shade, then Ticks are a little more likely.

    Either way, in most kennels, some form of IPM & insect pest control is likely. Regardless of the ground cover chosen.

    Bedding material is differant than the kennel run. Bedding should be a washable fabric thats laundered as often as required. Perhaps 2-3 times a week. Bedding can be treated if it needs to be, but washing & renewal is more likely to be the case. Outdoor run covers like gravel, straw, grass, or organic mulches need to be renewed or replaced as they wear or are contaminated. Fecal & Urine contamination are inevitable & cause the biggest challenge. These areas are more likely to require treatment with insecticides if scouting bears the need.

    Scouting/monitoring, ground cover selection, pruning/enviromental modifications for light & air circulation if needed, & a consultation with the animals Vet are all in order.

    The new pest contol products for Dogs make it much easier than ever before to manage insects in the kennel. Insect Growth Regulators (IGR's) like Petcor make treating the infested pet & the kennel safer & more effective too. Fipronil & Imidocloprid (yes, Merit!) make treating the pet & it's sorroundings pretty easy too.

    Drainage of the selected site is a critial issue.

    On his farm. my uncle kept very large dog runs in his kennel. They were about 80' long by 15' wide. Even he had trouble keeping the real turf cover at 100%. So he built two more runs than he actually needed so that that he could alternate use. Two runs were always in the regrowth state. Pest control was practically a non issue. Don's now 85 & he lost his last dog 4 years ago.

    This link is pretty good. You'll learn more here than I can share.


  5. thfireman

    thfireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    Fantastic info!! Thanks all. I will pass this on to the customer and see what he wants to do. Thanks again!


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