Fleas are one of the smallest pests you’ll have to deal with. At 1/12 to 1/6 of an inch, they can seem almost invisible. And as they appear as small, brown flecks, they are frequently mistaken for dirt. This makes it difficult to realize you have an infestation until it’s too late.
The cat flea is the most common form of flea, feeding on many warm-blooded mammals such as cats, dogs, squirrels, rats, mice, etc.; they will feed on humans, but prefer non-human hosts. They can jump 7 to 8 inches vertically and 14 to 16 inches horizontally. Fleas are frequently brought into the home by pets, but simply putting your animal outside isn’t enough to stop the infestation. Often, this will make the fleas feed on humans instead. They are attracted to body heat, movement, and carbon dioxide.
Aside from their size, the trouble with flea infestations is their resilience. Fleas burrow down into fabric and carpeted surfaces, even into cracks in floorboards. If you do manage to reach them, penetrating their protective shells can be difficult, even with strong insecticides. Treatments for fleas usually go through two rounds: one to kill off the adults, eggs, and larva, and another to kill the pupae after they’ve hatched.
Discovering you have a flea infestation can be scary, especially considering that the adult fleas you see are estimated to account for only 5% of the total flea population in a given area. For every adult flea you see, there are 19 other fleas in various life stages that you cannot see.
Some signs to look for when determining if you have a flea infestation include:
- Excessive scratching by pets
- Moving, dark flecks
- Non-moving red or black flecks
- Small, itchy red bumps
Fleas can be seen moving between long hairs on pets, or can be identified by the droppings they leave behind, red and black flecks. Flea larva, are more difficult to see, but appear as 4mm off-white, oval-shaped specks.
Once a flea infestation has gotten bad enough and there is a shortage of animals to feed on, they will switch to human hosts. This is when the red bite marks will begin to appear.
Treatment for Flea Infestations
Inspecting every animal and piece of clothing that comes into your home is impossible, but taking some basic steps to make it harder for fleas to get in is important. First, make sure to use some form of flea repellent or killer on all of your animals, especially if you have a dog that goes to a dog park. These repellents are widely sold in liquid, pill, and wearable forms.
Keep the wooded and grassy areas around your home neat and cut back. Fleas can ride on the backs of many warm-blooded mammals, including rats and squirrels, which can get into your home without invitation. Check out our pages on squirrel, rat, and mouse control for more information.
To ensure we get every last flea we do an extremely thorough spray to all floor coverings. As we mentioned before, fleas like to hide in tiny crevices, so it’s important to get the mist to settle and dry everywhere possible. The spray we use is a mixture of three liquids which, when combined, work against the fleas in different ways. This approach allows Healthy Home Termite & Pest Control to knock out your flea problem quickly, and to keep preventing infestation long after treatment.
Resolve Your Flea Infestation Today
Have you noticed the warning signs of a flea infestation in your home? Don’t hesitate to contact Healthy Home Termite & Pest control now — call us at (770) 505-9040 or fill out our online contact form.