What do fleas look like?
Fleas are small, have six legs, no wings, are reddish-brown in color, and grow to about 1/8 of an inch. Their mouths are shaped like tubes that enable them to suck blood. They are flat (thin) which allows them to easily move through hair. Fleas have strong claws that help them grasp their host. Fleas vary in size and shape depending on the species. There are over 2000 types of fleas throughout the world. The most common are cat fleas, dog fleas, human fleas, and Oriental rat fleas. Fleas don’t only feed on pets and animals they can feed on humans too.
Having trouble with fleas?
Are fleas dangerous?
Fleas don’t typically pose any significant health risks to humans. Fleas can cause itching that when prolonged could lead to infection. They may make respiratory illnesses worse. Some pets suffer from allergic reactions to the fleas saliva. In bad cases, pets may become anemic from loss of blood. Another problem fleas pose to pets is tapeworms. These are parasites that are passed to a pet when it ingests an infected flea. Tapeworms can be the size of a maggot or they can grow to be almost 12 inches long. Tapeworms attach to the intestine wall and feed off of food passing through the pet’s system. Since there is enough nutrient there for both of them they aren’t usually harmful. Tapeworms can cause weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen abdomen, and lethargy.
Outdoors, fleas will live in moist, shady areas. Places like leaf piles, tall grass, lawn debris, thatch in lawn, and woodpiles make great flea hideouts. They can even be found under decks or porches where it is damp.
Of course, you can find fleas happily living on warm-blooded creatures like dogs, cats, opossums, rats, other rodents, and even humans.
Inside a home, you may find them on carpets, rugs, blankets, bedding, upholstered furniture, and the laundry. If left untreated fleas can cause a serious infestation very quickly.
How do I get rid of fleas?
Getting rid of fleas can be a real chore. Start by vacuuming floors with and without carpet, rugs, upholstery, and even mattresses. Vacuum in any cracks, crevices, and around baseboards. These are places where fleas and their eggs and larvae can hide. Steam clean carpets, upholstery, and any pet beds that can’t be run through the wash. Wash all bedding, human and pet, in hot water then dry on your highest heat setting.
Aerosol treatments used properly in the correct places will render any remaining fleas or eggs dead. These treatments must be done with proper protective gear and there should not be any pets or family in the house for several hours. These treatments are best left to professionals who have the proper training and gear to do so.
How can I prevent flea problems at my home or business?
Start off with a routine maintenance pest program from a pest control expert like those at Walker Pest Management then follow these tips should help prevent any flea problems in your home.
- Keep grass cut short and rake clippings.
- Don’t leave food out for stray or wild animals to get to.
- Keep pets on a vet recommended flea treatment program.
- Recurring preventive flea treatment for lawn.
- Vacuum home regularly and dispose of the bag outside not in the trash bin inside.
- Bathe pet regularly with a shampoo formulated to remove fleas.
- Use a flea comb on your pet.
If you suspect a flea problem contact Walker Pest Management for a free quote.
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