All About Fleas: Facts, Identification, and Control
Fleas are literally the worst kinds of nuisances. Although these creatures are visible to the naked eye, it’s harder to catch them than most of us anticipate. Once a flea enters your home, there is no going back. They can reproduce quickly. In a blink of an eye, you will be experiencing a full-on flea infestation. Fleas cause so much grief and frustration not only to pets but to human beings as well.
You can catch them literally anywhere. You can carry it on your clothes or shoes while walking. Your dog can accidentally catch some while playing with other animals or while playing on the grass. As the weather gets warmer, the more likely it is to have a flea problem inside your home.
However, do not be fooled that flea infestation is less likely in the winter than in the summer. Fleas are considered as a winter pest because of their inability to ward off cold outdoors. Indeed, the flea population decrease during the cold months. But these creatures will always find a way to survive even if it means infesting another home. When this happens, you are going to need more than just precaution. You are going to need advanced methods for pest extermination.
If you want an easy way out of your pest problem, call for your local pest exterminator near Huntersville. Getting rid of fire ants can be very tricky because of their aggressive behaviour. For this reason, you are going to need more than just manual pest control. You may need professional help. If you do, contact your local pest exterminator near Mooresville. If you are looking for the best pest control service around you, call Lake Norman Pest Control. This company has been proven to provide top-quality service using safe and environmental-friendly methods for pest control. The best part is, Lake Norman Pest Control offers a basic service plan that covers your entire home eliminating and preventing all kinds of pests including flies, cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes, and many more.
4 Fast Facts about Fleas
To get to know fleas better, here are some fast facts about fleas that you should know.
- These creatures feed off of the blood of their hosts. When they move away from the skin, they can live for more than 100 days without feeding. For this reason, fleas can live everywhere inside your house without needing a host for months. Moving your pets away will not get rid of a flea infestation. They can just feed on you whenever they feel hungry.
- Did you know that a female flea can consume up to 15 times its own weight? Female fleas grow up so fast and reproduce quickly. The more blood they consume, the more flea eggs they hatch in the future.
- Most people think that flea infestations are limited to dogs. Actually, they also feed on cats, humans, birds, and rats. The types of fleas and identification will be discussed shortly.
- Fleas have well-developed leg muscles. This gives them the ability to jump at least 7 inches high depending on the need. That would be 150 times their own height. Their bodies store a substance called the resin that allows them to have the leaping power of a superhero. For this reason, fleas are known as the superman of the insect world.
Are you at Risk?
Although fleas do not pose as much danger as rats, cockroaches, and mosquitoes, they can still pose nuisances to human beings. They can cause skin irritations that could lead to skin infections, especially among children and infants. According to studies, fleas can also cause respiratory illnesses and complications to humans. Humans may suffer allergic reactions to the secretions of fleas.
Practical Ways to Prevent Fleas
Trust me, you don’t want to have a flea infestation at home. It could cause more harm to your pets and your family as you think. To prevent and control the population of fleas, here are some practical methods to do so.
- Always conduct a weekly or monthly treatment of your lawn to get rid of any unwanted lawn pests including ticks and fleas. If you do not want to use commercial pesticide, you can always create your own using essential oils. Experts have found that using peppermint oil, lemon oil, cilantro, and neem oil can reduce the number of pests in the lawn. You can also apply some on your dog’s or cat’s coat before they play outside to prevent fleas from latching onto their bodies.
- Experts also recommend keeping your debris away from the perimeter of your house. Just like cockroaches and rats, fleas love clutters. They hide within these litters and wait for a potential host for food and warmth.
- Leaving pet food outside can increases your pet’s probability of acquiring fleas. It urges it to go outside more often. When it does, it has no protection over fleas that are waiting for a potential host.
- Walking your dog is one of the best gifts you can give to them. However, to prevent any flea infestation indoors, always comb your pet using a flea comb before letting them come inside. Better yet, you may also use treatments to your dog’s or cat’s fur to kill any larvae or fleas that have already latched onto your pet’s coat.
- Fleas are almost invisible outside your dog’s coat. So, to reduce the flea population, always remember to vacuum everything that can be vacuumed such as rugs, carpets, and many more. It’s also best to clean and wash the bedding that your pets use. Where do they often relax? Where do they often sleep? These are the places where you can find fleas and flea larvae.
Common Species of Fleas
The name “cat flea” is a bit deceiving. Even though it is often associated with cats, they also target other animals such as dogs. Plus, they can target humans! The body of a cat flea is the thinnest among all the flea species. It can move easily among the host’s hair. For this reason, flea combs are not that effective in getting cat fleas. These creatures are always found in carpets as it is their comfortable hiding place and site for laying eggs.
Do not underestimate cat fleas. They can transmit parasites to its host. To identify cat fleas, here are some of its most distinct characteristics. The name is a bit deceiving. Even though these pests are often attached to cats, they may also target dogs, other animals, and humans. The body of a cat flea (like other fleas) is so thin it can move between its host’s hairs. The most common location where cat fleas get comfortable and lay its eggs in the carpet.
- They are brown to black in color
- They are characterized as having very narrow bodies with hair.
- Cat fleas have six long legs that enable them to jump from one host to another
- Cat fleas are more common in warmer places, especially in the southern United States
- Experts confirm that they are carriers of the murine typhus that can affect both humans and animals.
- Luckily, the bacteria can be treated using DIY methods.
The hair on our bodies acts as a cover or a safe haven for these creatures. They are known to bite the legs and feet of their hosts, including underarms and the head. The bites leave a reddish spot surrounded by distinct, reddish halos. Good hygiene will help eliminate if not prevent the existence of human fleas.
The adult human flea is characterized to be 1.5 to 4 millimetres in length. These creatures are characterized as reddish to brown colour. They are commonly found in moist and warm places. This explains their preference for human skin. According to experts, the bite of the human flea can be treated with do-it-yourself methods. All you need is a skin ointment to get rid of the red marks and itch.
However, there are instances where the bite of this flea could lead to an allergic reaction. In worse cases, it causes anaphylactic shock. If you ever get bitten by human fleas, remember to wash the area with warm soap and water. Use an antiseptic solution for treatment. If you experience worse symptoms, consult your doctor.
According to entomologists, there are two species of rat fleas: the Oriental Rat Fleas and the Northern Rat Fleas. The Oriental fleas are found near coastal areas. The Northern rat fleas are found inside houses and other infrastructures.
These creatures are characterized as light brown to dark brown colour with a 2.5 mm body length. The rat flea can be found in large cities where rat populations are numerous. According to experts, rat fleas are attracted to warmth and moist. They do not limit themselves to the bodies of rats. They can also jump from one host to another, wherever they can feed.
If you got fleas at home, do the necessary procedures for control. Without action, these creatures will cause a greater nuisance.