Flea control: more than a pet problem
Fleas are probably most commonly associated with dogs and cats and other pets. However, fleas are more of a problem than just for pets. Fleas can be transmitted to humans quite easily and they bite, looking for a meal of blood. Flea bites cause itching and can make living uncomfortable, plus they are known to carry a variety of diseases. This is just one reason flea control is especially important.
What makes fleas so potentially dangerous is that they feed on blood. That means that if they bite an animal that is infected with a bloodborne disease, that can be transmitted to whomever or whatever else they bite.
A flea infestation is frustrating because once they get into your home they are very difficult to get rid of. So if you find fleas around your home, your first move should be to call in the professionals who know how to get rid of fleas effectively.
What are fleas?
A flea is a type of insect that feeds on warm-blooded creatures’ blood. You’ll most often find the cat flea in your home. Fleas are dark reddish-brown in color and 1/12 to ⅙ inches in length.
Fleas can live on pets in the home as well as wild animals. Fleas most often infest mammals.
You may be tempted to try and take care of fleas on your own, but they are tough. They are hard to find and once they get into clothing, furniture, other pets and your family it takes special treatments and methods to remove them.
To effectively control fleas, here are some things to try:
- vacuum your home
- wash or replace pet bedding
- eliminate fleas on pets
- clean up and treat indoor and outdoor areas where pets rest.
These little devils are reddish brown when plump full of blood. Normally they are brownish-black to black.
As the name suggests, cat fleas are typically found in cats. If your pet dog has fleas then these are likely to be cat fleas too. These fleas have long hind legs, perfect for lift-off, no wings needed, achieving up to 6 inches in height. They are flattened from side to side, but get nice and plump when they’ve got a belly full of blood.
Cat fleas also feed on other less high-maintenance animals, such as opossums, foxes, mongooses and rats. They linger indoors in narrow cracks where they know these animals frequently visit. Outdoors they live in humid climates, and larvae live in the same locations, especially where there is plenty of moisture.
Female cat fleas can 4-8 eggs in a host animal’s hair or its bed. And she does this after every meal – she can lay up to 400-500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are minuscule white ovals, about 1/64 inch (0.5mm) long, and take 1-12 days to hatch. These may fall or be shaken off into crevices where the animal spends a lot of time. Larvae demand high relative humidity (45-75%) as they go through 3 instars (stages). This can take from 1-2 weeks, to several months. Larvae pupate in a cocoon, camouflaged on the surface so no one disturbs them. This process may last 4-14 days, or up to a whole year.
Not only are cat fleas a real nuisance to whatever they infest, they act as hosts themselves. Dog tapeworms can infest indoor cats, and rodent tapeworms can infest humans. These can transmit plague and marine typhus.
Cat fleas ride around on pets and can even jump 6 inches (15cm) to hitch a ride onto people’s shoes and clothes. They can survive without a continual food source, so the population can grow to be a nuisance even in the absence of their host.
Flea removal service
There are methods such as foggers and other flea control solutions available over the counter that claim to remove all of the fleas from your home. It’s our experience that these removal methods may not completely eliminate the infestation from your home because they kill the adults but do not deal effectively with eggs and larvae.
Our expert pest control pros are trained to know all about the flea and their life cycle. This allows us to find all of the areas where fleas might hide and where they might breed. That way we kill not only the adult fleas but eliminate the eggs and larvae. This is key in making sure that fleas do not return once they have been removed.
Our residential pest control technicians inspect your entire home and talk to you about your flea problems. That way we can come up with the most effective solution to your flea problem, a solution that will not only eliminate fleas but prevent fleas from coming back and that will work well with your family and pets.