Fleas may be some of the most annoying pests out there. They’re extremely difficult to see, and they jump from host to host with ease. Luckily, they typically are attracted to pets and critters over humans, but if your cat or dog brings fleas into your home, it can be one big headache.
In this article, we’ll go over how to spot the tiny pests and what to do if you think you have an infestation.
Know Your Enemy: Fleas 101
While fleas are small in stature at 2.5 millimeters long, you may still be able to spot them if you have a keen eye. Despite their tiny size, fleas can jump as far as 13 inches, helping them travel from one host to the next.
Fleas love the warm weather. They thrive at temperatures between 80℉ to 90℉ with humidity levels around 70%. The flea’s life cycle will vary based on the temperatures in its environment.
At optimal temperatures, fleas have a life cycle ranging from 18 to 21 days. However, if the temperatures aren’t ideal or the fleas don’t have a nearby host to feed on, their larvae can remain dormant for months on end. Typically, fleas infest homes by latching on to pets that have been outdoors.
Getting Rid of Fleas In Your Yard
The best way to prevent a flea-home-invasion before it starts is by cutting them off at the source: your yard. Fleas like hiding in tall, shady grass, where it’s humid and warm. Take a walk around your yard and note any areas you find that could be housing fleas. Mow your lawn regularly and bag the debris. Rake probable flea hiding spots thoroughly.
In addition to mowing and raking regularly, clear out dead twigs and leaves in your flower beds or around any bushes. This will expose the maximum possible amount of your yard to sunlight, leaving fewer places for the fleas and other pests to hide.
You can also spread cedar chips in and around your flower beds. If you have pets, spread the chips around areas they like to lay down on. Additionally, ask your local gardening center about nematodes. These are small worms which love to feast on sulphur granules and parasite eggs. They’re nature’s pest control.
Ridding Your Home and Pet of Fleas
If you notice fleas inside your home or on your pet, you need to act quickly to stop an infestation or get rid of an existing one. Only 5% of infestations are attributed to adult fleas using pets as a host. The remaining 95% come from these fleas reproducing inside your home. So, in order to handle an infestation properly, you need to attack the fleas wherever they may be lurking.
First, you need to get your pet flea-free:
- Give your pet a deep wash with flea shampoo.
- Every few days, wash your pet’s bedding in hot water and dry on the highest heat setting after washing. If you take the bedding to the dry cleaner, make sure the chemicals used are pet-friendly.
- Discuss oral or topical flea remedies with your vet. Avoid flea collars as these tend to be extremely toxic.
- Buy a flea comb, and use it on your pet regularly. Have a bowl of warm soapy water nearby to dispose of the itchy creatures. Look for the fleas around the neck and tail areas on your pet.
Once you’ve gotten your pet clean of all fleas, it’s time to take care of the rest of your home:
- Vacuum all floors, mattresses and upholstery thoroughly. Pay special attention to any crevices or small cracks as these are known to host larvae.
- Steam clean your carpets and upholstery. The intense heat and soap are any flea’s worst enemy.
- Wash all bedding in hot water and dry at the highest heat setting.
- Use chemical insecticides around your home. Keep yourself, your family, and your pets away from the spray until it has dried. Wear protective gloves and only spray when everyone is out of the house.
Vulcan Termite: Professional Flea Killers
Besides their nuisance nature, fleas carry all types of diseases and parasites. In some cases, they can give your pets tapeworm which can then spread to you and your family. All this to say, it’s important to handle an infestation quickly and effectively.
Vulcan Termite & Pest Control, Inc. combines expert knowledge and experience with professional care and execution. Our services are customized to fit your needs; we’ll never sell you an unnecessary service. Contact us today, and let us get to work keeping your home pest free!