Fleas in Your Home: Troubleshooting, Treatment, and Prevention

Fleas may take up a tiny amount of space, but they can create massive problems for your entire household. These pests have the potential to spread dangerous diseases, breed in large numbers, deface your home, and make the humans and pets in your life miserable.

The more you know about fleas, the more effectively you can protect yourself and your loved ones against these parasites. Here are some essential steps to keep in mind in your ongoing fight against flea problems.

Understand the Enemy

A typical adult flea may extend only a fraction of an inch in length. Its tiny stature and ability to jump several inches at a time can make it difficult to spot, especially since this pest spends much of its time hidden. Fleas prefer long grass, piles of leaves, and the skin of animals, often going unnoticed beneath pet fur.

Fleas get their sustenance from the blood of host animals. Flea bites can transmit a number of diseases, including bubonic plague. They can also inject internal parasites, such as tapeworms, into an animal’s bloodstream, which results in secondary infestation and additional health issues.

Flea bites often cause an allergic skin reaction and produce itchy welts. If pets or humans scratch obsessively at these bites, bacteria may enter a wound in the skin, which leads to infection.

Fleas can reproduce at astonishing rates. Once an adult flea has fed, it may produce between 2,000 and 3,000 eggs per week. Larvae that hatch from the eggs transform into pupae and complete their growth in cocoons before they finally make their appearance as adults.

Identify an Infestation

You may find it easier to spot the leavings of a flea infestation than the actual fleas themselves. Flea feces usually resemble collections of tiny brown or red specks. Flea eggs present a similar pattern, but their white color makes them resemble grains of salt or sugar.

If you suspect a flea infestation, check your pet’s bed as well as couches, chairs, and carpets throughout the home for these telltale specks. At the same time, inspect your pet’s skin thoroughly and run a brush through its fur to see if any fleas, flea eggs, or flea feces emerge.

Consult the Professionals

You may have some success controlling a flea problem in progress when you vacuum flea eggs out of your upholstery, wash your sheets, have your pets treated for flea infestations, and apply spot treatments to surfaces. Bear in mind, however, that flea pupae nestled within cocoons can survive spot treatments.

Whole-room foggers or other do-it-yourself products to kill household fleas can prove messy, inefficient, and harmful to the home’s occupants. If you need to kill lots of fleas all at once, engage professional pest control services. Skilled pest control technicians know how to treat indoor and outdoor areas safely and effectively.

To prepare for your scheduled flea treatment, wash or remove bedding and vacuum your carpets and upholstery. Remove all family members and pets from the premises, and make plans not to return to the home for three to five hours (thus giving any flea treatment products sufficient time to dry).

Once you return to your treated home, resist the urge to clean or vacuum your carpets for at least two weeks. The flea treatment must have every opportunity to remain active throughout the life cycle of the fleas, from the larval stage to adulthood, to ensure complete success.

Prevent Future Problems

The easiest way to combat the flea population involves keeping fleas away from your property in the first place. Ask your veterinarian to place your pets on monthly medications that kill fleas before they can create large-scale infestations. Keep your lawn short and raked to deny fleas their preferred hiding and breeding grounds.

A regular indoor maintenance routine can provide additional protection against fleas. Vacuum pet bedding and other potential breeding grounds regularly. Always dispose of the vacuum bag promptly, using a fresh bag for every cleaning, to ensure that no fleas or flea eggs remain in your home.

If you need professional help for your flea problem, Craig & Sons Termite & Pest Control, Inc. can provide it. Schedule service from us today.