A home is a safe haven. It provides a sense of security and comfort to the whole family. It is where you should feel the most relaxed and carefree. This bubble of safety can be shattered by the presence of little invaders called fleas.
Fleas, from order Siphonaptera, are tiny bloodsucking parasites. They are wingless insects that live on the exterior of their host. Fleas are not a harmless nuisance. They can pass on diseases to you and your entire household.
Fleas depend on blood as their primary source of nutrition. Once done with a blood meal, a female flea can lay 50 eggs every blood meal. That is almost 500 eggs every few days.
An adult flea develops a jumping mechanism that allows it to spread from one host to another. Adult fleas are hungry bloodsuckers that can consume up to 15 times their body weight in blood per day.
Flea bites cause severe inflammation and skin itchiness. They can cause allergic hypersensitivity reactions to some people. They can also transmit parasitic and bacterial infections.
How are fleas introduced into a home?
Fleas thrive in a warm and humid environment. During the summer, an outdoor environment is a perfect place for fleas to grow in numbers.
Fleas’ common targets are dogs and cats. When your pets are outside, the fleas attach themselves to your pet’s fur and skin. When your pet scratches their skin while inside the house, flea eggs will fall off and invade the surroundings. It can grow in your beddings, carpet, and sofas. During severe flea infestation, these parasites can feed off humans as well.
Fleas can also use an item of furniture or clothing that came from a flea-infested house as their mode of transportation.
Fleas can jump as high as 7 inches off the ground. They can also enter the house using an open window or a crack in the door.
On some rare cases where there are no pets in the house, fleas usually come from raccoons and squirrels. Check your attic and chimney for these animals. Call pest control professionals to address the problem to avoid harming the animals.
How to eliminate them?
Flea extermination is a weeklong battle. The complex life cycle of fleas makes it hard to get rid of them. You need to devise a plan that can remove every form of flea in your home: adult flea, eggs, larvae, and pupae flea.
1. First, locate the parasite’s primary source. Your pets are their target and the cause of flea infestation in your home. Comb your pet’s fur with a flea comb. Comb firmly but gently from head to tail. Then soak the comb in hot water to kill the fleas on the comb.
Next is to consult a veterinarian. Vets can give your pet the right kind of medication. Flea treatment is available in oral and topical form. These treatments vary depending on your pet’s size, age, and extent of flea infestation.
All pets should remain treated to ensure the eradication of fleas.
2. Implement flea extermination strategies on your entire household.
Vacuuming- sanitation of your entire household is the best way to start flea removal. Clean and vacuum your whole house thoroughly, especially in the areas where your pet sleeps and lounges. Vacuum every part of the house, even beneath the furniture. Vacuum flea’s favorite spots like carpets, cushions, sofas, and little crevices.
After vacuuming, seal the bag tightly and throw it in a trash bin outside your house. Vacuuming is an effective way to remove fleas’ eggs and larvae.
Insecticide- flea insecticides come in liquid and aerosol form. Make sure to check the product if it contains active ingredients like permethrin, dinotefuran, or imidacloprid. These chemicals stop the development of flea eggs. It is also deadly to adult fleas.
Apply insecticide to all areas of the house where your pet usually spends time. Let the insecticide dry before letting your pets and family inside the premises.
Use insecticide or pesticides with caution. The risk of pet or human poisoning is present when using these harmful chemicals.
Laundering- hot water with soap is also lethal to all life stages of fleas. Wash pet beddings in hot water with soap or detergent. For severe flea infestation, wash your beddings in a separate laundry machine to eradicate fleas that are stuck there.
3. Flea infestation rarely happens outdoors. Fleas cannot live in direct sunlight or heavy rain. They prefer warm and moist environments. Remove fleas from your backyard by applying the indoor approaches mentioned above.
Clean the favorite areas of your pet in your yard. Clean and vacuum pet shelters and beddings.
How to prevent them from getting in?
After exterminating the fleas, preventing them from ever infesting your pet and home is the next step.
1. Flea control always starts with your beloved pets. Regular bathing and grooming is a must. Bathing them with anti-flea shampoo can help prevent them from getting these pests. It is also safer to use anti-flea shampoo instead of pesticides.
Bathe them, especially after their morning walk or an outdoor play. Comb their hair with a flea comb to check for the presence of fleas.
Regular cleaning of pet shelters and beddings is also a good way to prevent flea infestation.
2. Keep your home clean. It is not necessary to make it shiny and spotless every day. Vacuuming twice a week will do. Pay extra attention to areas where your pet spends most of its time.
3. Keep your outdoors clean. Trim shrubs and mow overgrown grass in your yard. Make sure to get rid of stagnant water that may produce moist and damp areas. Exposure to direct sunlight will kill fleas in an instant.
Do not leave litters of food or pet food in your yard. This will prevent a flea-infested raccoon, squirrel, or possum from coming into your yard.
Make sure to seal small crevices or openings that may lead to your home. Close all entryways into attics, garages, and sheds when not in use. This will prevent unwanted animals from making it their breeding place.
Unwanted home invaders such as fleas pose a health risk to the entire family. They are not just nuisance. Fleas can transmit serious diseases to you and your pets. As responsible pet owners, flea control is something that we should know about.
Early detection of these parasites can help stop flea infestation from spreading but if you do find yourelf with fleas in the home, you can always have Fromms provide our Flea Extermination service to help rid you of these unwanted pests.