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A Guide to Fleas

How to Rid Your Home of this Risky Pest

It’s likely that everyone has been bitten by a flea at least once in their lives, but what happens when you have an infestation of them in your home? These pests may not only be a nuisance but a downright danger to you and your family if they take up residence in your home. Flea infestations are most commonly associated with pets in the home, but even if you don’t own any animals, you can be at risk for a problem. These tiny creatures can cause big headaches if you don’t take action to curb the issue as soon as you realize there’s a problem. Learning more about fleas and what invites them into your home can help you determine the best course of action to rid them of your property for good and prevent any sort of return.

What are Fleas?

There are more than 2,500 types of fleas but all of them are small parasites that live on the bodies of mammals and birds. Fleas consume blood from their hosts to survive and can grow to be only about 3 millimeters in size. They don’t have wings but instead jump from host to host and are fitted with strong claws to ensure they are not easily dislodged. They are able to jump around 50 times their body length to get to a new host. Fleas reproduce rapidly and the female can lay over 5,000 eggs over her lifetime. They breed close to their hosts ensuring that there is enough food supply to sustain them – typically where the host rests or sleeps. The ideal temperature for a flea’s life cycle is between 70- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit with 70 percent humidity, meaning Florida is a prime location for infestation and reproduction.

Dangers of Infestation

Whether you have pets at home or not, the dangers of a flea infestation are very real. If you do have pets, they are likely to be the first targets of fleas. Not only will they make your pets generally miserable with all the itching, they can cause health problems that you may not realize. Some pets are actually allergic to fleas and their bites which means the situation can get dire quickly. Typical discomfort includes severe itching which causes relentless scratching, chewing, biting, and restlessness. When your pet has fleas, they never get any reprieve. Fleas can also cause a tapeworm infection in your pet if they ingest them. As it turns out, the same manner of contact can also cause a tapeworm infection in humans, too. Fleas pose additional threats to humans, too. In addition to a possible allergic reaction, fleas can carry dangerous diseases like typhus and the plague. Fleas that come from rodents can be carriers of bubonic plague which they can transmit to humans.

How to Stop Fleas

Preventing a flea infestation before it begins is the best course of action. If you have pets, ensuring that they’re treated with anti-flea medication on a regular schedule, whether they’re outside pets or not, can prevent a nasty infestation of these dangerous pests. Wash pet bedding frequently and use a strong vacuum to clean your home. However, pets typically pick up fleas in the yard, so you may even have a problem outside that you didn’t know you had. Once you have an infestation, you not only need to treat your pets, you need to treat your home and property. While there are lots of products on the market that elude to the idea that you can handle it yourself, it is oftentimes more serious. Simply cleaning your home and “fogging” won’t take care of the issue or just be a temporary fix. Working with an educated pest control team like those at Impact Pest Elimination gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re handling the problem effectively. Getting rid of fleas starts with identifying the species, learning about the life cycle, and plotting out a course of action. Our service specialist at Impact have all the appropriate tools and knowledge to effectively eliminate and prevent flea infestation from your home. If you’ve found yourself with a flea problem, let Impact Pest Elimination help. Give us a call today!