100% Non-Toxic, Biological Flea & Tick Control Program: Beneficial Nematodes Really Work!

1220328_triple_threat_bnWe now sell a unique pack of beneficial living nematodes for use around your home and garden to control BOTH fleas & ticks.  The brand we carry is ARBICO ORGANICS and we’re offering the Triple Threat Combo Packs for 1/2 garden size applications.

This combination pack will help control multiple stages of development – larvae, pupae and adult stages of fleas and the egg, nymph and adult stages of ticks.

1/2 Garden Size = 5 million Nematodes. Treats approx. 1,600 sq. ft. 

If you want to purchase these, please stop in while we’re open to pick them up. You can also call in to pay over the phone and have us reserve them for you for later pick-up or email us (sfraw@sfraw.com) to get them delivered along with your regular monthly order.

triple threat nematodes


Nematodes are living, microscopic organisms. They need to be applied while still alive and handled with a lot of care. We are having them shipped overnight and will store them in the walk-in cooler/cooler display. The company has assured me that they will be viable for up to 10-14 days when stored in this manner. We recommend applying them within a few days of purchasing because the sooner you get them into the garden environment, the more viable and effective they will be.

Learn more about Arbico Organic nematodes here:

http://www.arbico-organics.com/category/beneficial-nematodes/89 (includes how to apply and how it works)

TICK LIFECYCLE: “After acquiring a blood-meal, the larvae are inactive until the next spring when they turn into nymphs. In late spring and early summer the nymphs feed on larger animals (dogs, birds, deer, etc.) they advance into an adult tick. In the fall, adults attach to and feed on a host (dogs, cats, deer, human, etc.). In the next spring the cycle starts again. Adult ticks only die after they live their two year cycle. Ticks do not die off in the winter months. Adult males do not feed on blood and die shorty after mating. Ticks continue to feed whenever the temperature is above 35 degrees. Adult ticks are typically found in un-maintained vegetation between ankle and waist height. The habitat for ticks is primarily in forested areas grass lines, shrubs, flower beds, areas of dense ground cover, and around stone walls and woodpiles.”

This is an exceptional product that I strongly recommend for all of our members that have any outdoor space (even small patios) as a critical component of your flea (and tick) control/prevention program. What’s wonderful about this product specifically is it kills all life stages of the fleas AND TICKS. Most nematodes do not control ticks at all, so this is a very unusual and unique aspect of this product – will be great for people living in areas outside San Francisco proper.

Now is the time to apply the nematodes – many of you experienced terrible flea issues last October, and this is why I’ve decided to bring this product on for the benefit of the group. I think if we all follow along with a regular application program, we can enjoy a flea-free (or greatly reduced/manageable) season this Fall and, if we stick with a regular natural flea prevention program, we can even prevent fleas in our households through next year and beyond.

Even if you don’t have fleas now, I recommend that you apply nematodes now (and 3-4 times a year) to prevent fleas.

If you are struggling with fleas now, you need nematodes ASAP, and should be applying them every two weeks until there are no fleas on your pets or in your home/garden.

Why implementing a NATURAL flea and tick prevention protocol is so important:

Even if your pet doesn’t have fleas or ticks at the moment, I have been noticing the past few years, even more and more problems with pets experiencing flea problems for the first time in their lives and/or experiencing their first allergic reactions to flea bites (this is when a pet is bitten by just one flea, they experience a dramatic allergic inflammatory skin/itching and hot spots or skin eruptions reaction that can take weeks, or even months, to recover from, even with diligent care and prevention after the single bite).

While your pets may not have fleas and may be naturally resistant to flea infestations if they have a healthy and robust immune system, fleas can be brought into your home or yard/garden by roaming neighborhood cats, raccoons, squirrels, rats or mice – as these animals always bring fleas with them and drop their eggs where they nest or travel through. In the past, this was not a problem for most pets with robust immunity, but things seemed to have changed over the past few years. We’re now seeing animals and households suffer from fleas and flea bite reactions for the first time in decades or ever.

My theory is that because people have been using the spot-on type treatments and chemical preventatives since the 1990s, we have effectively created “super fleas” that are resistant to these chemical treatments. These “super fleas” also appear to cause serious immune responses to flea saliva in pets that have never had a problem with fleas before, even if they have never been treated with the chemical preventatives themselves. I realize that I don’t have any scientific evidence or studies to support my theories, I merely have anecdotal evidence and my own experience witnessing these changes in people asking for help over the years. I was initially concerned about this happening when the spot-on treatments first came on the market. Unfortunately, my concerns about how the popular use of spot-on treatments would play out appear to becoming realized. Back then, MRSA was a new/emerging problem in livestock due to the overuse of antibiotics, and I could see this type of biological response eventually happening with the way we were approaching flea prevention in our pets.

FLEA LIFECYCLE: Adult Fleas make up merely 1-5% of the total population of fleas; 95-99% of the fleas you have are ones you typically cannot see (eggs, larvae & pupae) and these are found in your pet’s environment — the garden, home, car, bedding, couches, etcetera. Adult fleas start to drop eggs after 2 days; the eggs fall right off your pet into the yard, their litterbox, their favorite sleeping spots – anywhere your pet travels. Interestingly, the pupae stage can remain easily dormant for 6 months, but even up to 12 months under the right conditions. Our nematoes work to eliminate all stages of the flea, even the resilient pupae stage – while most other products cannot.

I think is important for us to resist the urge to use those spot-on or monthly tablet treatments (even the new ones) because this approach is not the safest for effective, long-term flea control. Using poisons to control pests simply creates an insect population more and more resistant to stronger and stronger chemicals, while damaging our own pet’s health and inhibiting the host’s vitality. If we can manage to do things like vacuum areas where our pet’s frequent (home & car) daily, bathe and flea comb our pet’s regularly, keep our pet’s bedding clean, and regularly apply nematodes in the garden, most households will successfully keep fleas under control all year while not damaging our pet’s immunity/health or helping to develop a “super flea” population.

If you have fleas now or are concerned about fleas, we also recommend FleaBusters service (http://fleabusters.com/Services/usa.html#CA) for the interior areas of your home. Their application of a non-toxic borate substance in your home comes with a 12-month guarantee. This borate substance is safe to use in food areas. It acts as a desiccant to the fleas (abrades the wax from their exoskeleton) and remains in the carpets and cracks & crevices of hard floored homes for a long time.  You can find the MSDS for this product here: http://www.diypesticides.com/catalog1/labels/rx_for_fleas_msds.pdf

I’d be so happy if everyone took the time to apply nematodes to their outdoor areas now so that our Fall flea season is not nearly as bad as it was last year. So many pets suffered last year; it would be wonderful if we could prevent this from happening again!

If you have any questions, just ask!

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