Fleas are parasitic, blood-feeding insects that often enter homes in the fur of household pets. The life cycle of fleas involves four distinct life stages – egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Recognizing the pests in each of these stages is vital for control:
How Did I Get Fleas?
Flea infestations most likey will come from a pet dog or cat. Fleas will attach to the animal when they go outside for a walk or in the back yard and then infest its fur and transfered to where the animal sleeps indoors. Flea prevention for both the home and yard is very difficult without a proactive flea removal plan.
Seek a host for blood
In order to survive fleas will need a blood meal from its host. When the host is not readily availiable then the fleas can infest the inside and become a problem. What we mean is the host that the flea origionally fed on is no longer there such as a mouse in a trap. When the mouse is removed then the target is shifted to you are your pets. Understand?
How Serious Are Fleas?
Flea bites may leave the host with numerous swollen, itchy marks. They may cause allergic reactions in some people and can transmit several diseases. Furry pets are the most at risk. Fleas can bite people and pets and can be a big nuisance.
The most serious aspect of a flea infestation is often the time and effort it takes to remove. Dealing with the problem requires treating infected animals, cleaning flea-infested areas, and taking preventative measures to keep the fleas from returning.
How Can I Get Rid of Fleas?
What Truly Green Pest Service Does
Since the immature stages of fleas are very obscure and mysterious, the first thing the homeowner should do is contact their pest control professional for assistance. Over the counter products can cause the misuse of a label and cause the problem to get worse.
A technician will perform a thorough inspection and find areas where the immature stages of the flea population are residing.
After completing the inspection, the next step is preparing the flea management plan. This plan will include:
- Species – identifying the flea species causing the problem.
- Education – explaining the flea’s life cycle and how their habits, habitat and behavior affects the control plan.
- Hosts – inspecting for the presence of other animals that are the flea population’s source of food. This may include rodents either inside or outside the home or perhaps a raccoon or feral cat that is living in the crawl space.
- Vets – homeowner contacting their veterinarian for advice and purchase of flea control products that can be used on pets.
- Bathing – regular bathing and grooming of pets.
- Chemicals – explaining the use of growth regulators that will interfere with the flea’s normal development into the adult stage.
- Vacuum – using a strong vacuum to physically remove flea eggs, larvae, pupae and adults.
- Bedding – frequently washing and drying pet bedding.
- Products – treating affected areas by using safe and effective flea control products where immature fleas may be located.
- Inspections – scheduling a follow-up visit.
For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact your local Truly Green Pest Service branch office.
Signs of Fleas
Many signs can indicate flea activity:
- Pets Scratching – A common indication would be pets that repeatedly scratch and groom themselves. This is caused by the discomfort of the flea activity as the adult fleas feed on the pet’s blood.
- Bites – People also may experience bites which leave behind itchy bite marks (a medical doctor can be consulted, since there are other sources of skin irritation beside fleas).
- Feces – Flea dirt, the adult flea feces, also can indicate activity. Flea dirt looks similar to coarse ground black pepper and may be seen in pet beds, carpets, rugs and other areas where the animal host rests.
- Adult fleas – Since fleas are relatively easy to see in their adult stage, most of the attention is directed at adult fleas. Adult fleas are usually easy to locate, especially if the homeowner and their pets return to the house after a long vacation or other absence during which the resident flea adults were not able to take a blood meal. Upon returning, the homeowners are often greeted by fleas jumping around and trying to land on them and their pets.
- Flea Eggs – The flea eggs, larvae and pupae are another situation. Since these stages are much more secretive and much less active, they are found in out-of-the-way places like:
- behind, under or in furniture
- in a pet’s bedding
- inside cracks and grooves in the floors
- in carpets
Flea eggs that were deposited by the female adult, fall off your pets as they move, allowing them to be disbursed throughout the environment where a pet spends time.