Fleas are the bane of a pet owner’s existence. Besides the constant itching that plagues our poor dogs and cats, a flea infestation can cause serious illness and even death. And it isn’t just animals that are affected by these pests. Some fleas will latch onto humans if no other host is available. Western Exterminator explains how Phoenix fleas make life difficult for Arizona households.
How Flea Infestations Occur
A flea can jump as high as six inches into the air. This makes it easy for them to hop on clothing, which explains how they sometimes make their way into homes without a ride from your pets. A flea will usually lay eggs (4-8 after each blood meal!) on a dog or cat, though. Flea eggs are smooth and not attached to skin or hair, so they easily fall off of pets onto the carpet, upholstery, or furniture. After hatching, flea larvae must feed on flea fecal blood within three days to survive and complete development.
Where Flea Populations Are Found
Warmth and humidity are required, and you won’t usually find these insects where sun and wind exposure occur. Flea eggs will dry out unless conditions are right. Larvae can remain in carpet fibers or other warm spots for up to four weeks. Flea populations are not often found in high-traffic areas or non-carpet flooring, except in the seams or cracks of hardwood and tile or laminate floors. Fleas usually gravitate towards areas on pets that aren’t self-groomed as often; for dogs, this area is around the hips. On cats, it’s around the neck.
What to Do About Flea Bites
Flea bites are often found on lower legs, but human flea bites can be located all over the body. Luckily for us, fleas generally prefer the blood of animals to that of humans. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. If there are not any animals around, fleas will go for the next best thing…human blood.
Reactions to flea bites vary from person to person, but the bites traditionally result in an itchy, red bump. The bump will have a single puncture point in the center but usually will not swell. You can use an over-the-counter product such as calamine lotion to alleviate the itch. Keep an eye on the bites to ensure that they do not worsen. If you experience symptoms that you believe to be a result of the flea bites, contact your physician immediately.
If your dog or cat falls victim to fleas, be sure to monitor their behavior in addition to treating the fleas. Some pets have an allergy to flea saliva and can develop more severe skin reactions. Pets can also contract tapeworms or other diseases from the ingestion of fleas, and it is important to stay ahead of such problems. If you suspect a problem, contact your veterinarian.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Phoenix
Although a flea problem doesn’t necessarily indicate a dirty household, be aware that thick or dirty pet hair is a flea magnet. Look for flea dirt, or flea feces, on your pet. It looks like black pepper and is often found around the stomach and tail. Use a flea comb to remove the bugs from fur before bathing. Wash pet bedding, and vacuum frequently; place the vacuum bag in a sealed container outside. Contact the flea experts at Western Exterminator as quickly as possible for your best defense against a flea infestation. Treat pets and your home simultaneously; your yard may need to be treated, too.
Eliminate fleas in your Phoenix home with help from Western Exterminator. While in the cocoon, fleas are protected, even against pesticides. Though you may be inclined to try a DIY flea control method, the most effective way to get rid of fleas is to let Western Exterminator fight them for you. Our team of well-trained pest specialists will help you get your home back to normal – and keep your pets free of flea-related itching and disease.
Still curious about fleas? Check out some of our other blogs such as Bubonic Plague and Fleas: What You Need to Know.