Fleas are common pests, especially for pet owners. It doesn’t take much for a flea to find a way onto your pet and before long, they can breed and become an infestation. The problem can be a misery for your poor dog or cat, as the itching and feeding of fleas can be downright traumatic for them, but it can be a problem for you and your family.
Fleas can drop off of pets and lay their eggs in carpeting, bedding, and furniture and can develop into an infestation in your home.
The trouble with fleas is they are built to be tough. Nearly impossible to squish, fleas’ legs are designed to grip to things so tightly they are hard to remove. Plus, the tiny pests are fast and jump high and far, as they can easily spread to other areas of your home in a short period of time.
With this article, we take a look at how you can get rid of a flea infestation around your home. Of course, if you want to get rid of fleas in the most thorough and effective way possible, you should contact your local Western Exterminator office and talk to one of our pest control specialists.
What is a flea?
A flea is a type of small, flightless, wingless, insect in the order Siphonaptera. They are parasites, meaning that they feed off of their hosts. Fleas require blood in order to survive and will feed on the blood of their hosts. These tiny insects do not fly from one place to another, but instead, have very powerful back legs that allow them to leap up to 50 times their body length.
Fleas are primarily pests for pets in this day and age. Dogs and cats can often pick up fleas when they are outside in wilderness areas or in a place where they pick up fleas from other animals. They are opportunistic and just need to feed on the blood of mammals, so they can easily transfer from pets and animals to people.
A group of fleas can also breed fast and just a couple of fleas brought into your home via dog or can quickly become an infestation on the animal and then transfer to humans. They can infest bedding, carpeting, and furniture.
These pests are very hard to get rid of. Fleas have flattened bodies so they can move through the fur of their hosts easily and very strong exoskeletons, making them very hard to crush. They also leap out of danger quickly and are very small, so if they do get away they are hard to find again.
Signs of a flea infestation
The signs of a flea infestation are probably seen mostly with pets and are because of flea bites. Fleas have to pierce the skin to get at blood in order to feed. It’s the reaction to this bite that causes the itching. If you see your furry friends scratching a lot, it might be time to inspect their fur and see if you can find fleas.
Remember, fleas are very tiny, but you will see them easily against the skin of a dog or cat. Gently pulling aside the fur until you can see the skin will make the tiny dark insects stand out. You may see several crawling around, trying to hide from the light. You might also see the red flea bites all over the skin of your poor pet.
Of course, fleas can also feed on humans if the infestation is bad enough. If you start itching, you can check your own skin. You may see the red bite marks or find the fleas themselves.
The problem with these inspections is that you may not see the larvae or eggs the fleas leave behind. These are even smaller and much harder to see than adult fleas. Fleas can also hide in carpeting and within furniture or bedding.
If you find yourself or your pet is bitten or excessively scratching, it’s time to look into getting rid of a flea infestation with professional help.
Getting rid of fleas
- Get rid of the fleas on your pet. It is probably best for you to contact your local vet to ask about what flea treatment they recommend. There are dozens and dozens of flea treatments on the market, but your veterinarian should have a recommendation for one that will work well to get rid of the fleas on your pet. You want to get rid of the adult fleas, but also the larva and eggs, so find a treatment that does this without harming your family or your pet.
- Clean up the floors. Fleas can end up in carpeting and cracks in tile or hardwood floors. Sweep up and mop the floors. Use a carpet cleaning service or device to deep clean the carpeting all over your house. Vacuum regularly to stop them from coming back, too.
- Cleanse the furniture. Fleas can also end up in sofas, chairs, beds and other furniture. Clean those, too. Deep clean them with proper cleaning chemicals. Ask vets or pest experts for assistance with this, if need be.
- Straighten up your yard. Fleas may have gotten in via your yard. They can hide in tall grasses and other vegetation around your home before leaping into dogs or humans. Trim back the vegetation, clean up the yard and keep it clean.
- Clean your entire house. You will probably need to clean your entire home. Top to bottom. Clean the dark places where fleas can hide. Wash clothing in hot water and make sure your dog or pet’s bed and toys are also cleaned.
Western Exterminator flea treatments
Of course, if all of that sounds like too much work, you may just want to call in the experts at Western Exterminator. We have the flea infestation experts here on staff and can do entire home fumigation or offer flea treatment options that will not only kill adult fleas in your home but also destroy the eggs and larvae, too. We can also provide follow up treatments to ensure the fleas are gone.
Western Exterminator will not treat your pets or people so you’ll still need to contact a vet or doctor for treatments in those areas. As for your home, we can get rid of the fleas and offer advice on how to prevent them from returning.
Contact your local Western Exterminator office today to discuss your flea infestation and treatment options.