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Fleas are probably most commonly associated with dogs and cats and other pets. However, fleas are more of a problem than just for pets. Fleas can be transmitted to humans quite easily and they bite, looking for a meal of blood. Flea bites cause itching and can make living uncomfortable, plus they are known to carry a variety of diseases. This is just one reason flea control is especially important.

What makes fleas so potentially dangerous is that they feed on blood. That means that if they bite an animal that is infected with a bloodborne disease, that can be transmitted to whomever or whatever else they bite. For example, fleas have been connected to the spread of bubonic plague.

A flea infestation is frustrating because once they get into your home they are very difficult to get rid of. So if you find fleas around your home, your first move should be to call in the professionals who know how to get rid of fleas effectively.

Do you have a flea problem? Contact a Western Exterminator flea control professional by calling 800-937-8398 or fill in the online form to schedule an appointment.

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What are fleas?

A flea is a type of insect that feeds on warm-blooded creatures’ blood. You’ll most often find the cat flea in your home. Fleas are dark reddish-brown in color and 1/12 to ⅙ inches in length.

Fleas can live on pets in the home as well as wild animals. Fleas most often infest mammals.

Cat fleas

As the name suggests, cat fleas are typically found in cats. If your pet dog has fleas then these are likely to be cat fleas too. These fleas have long hind legs, perfect for lift-off, no wings needed, achieving up to 6 inches in height. They are flattened from side to side, but get nice and plump when they've got a belly full of blood.

Cat fleas  also feed on other less high-maintenance animals, such as opossums, foxes, mongooses and rats. They linger indoors in narrow cracks where they know these animals frequently visit. Outdoors they live in humid climates, and larvae live in the same locations, especially where there is plenty of moisture.

Female cat fleas can 4-8 eggs in a host animal's hair or its bed. And she does this after every meal – she can lay up to 400-500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are minuscule white ovals, about 1/64 inch (0.5mm) long, and take 1-12 days to hatch. These may fall or be shaken off into crevices where the animal spends a lot of time. Larvae demand high relative humidity (45-75%) as they go through 3 instars (stages). This can take from 1-2 weeks, to several months. Larvae pupate in a cocoon, camouflaged on the surface so no one disturbs them. This process may last 4-14 days, or up to a whole year.

Not only are cat fleas a real nuisance to whatever they infest, they act as hosts themselves. Dog tapeworms can infest indoor cats, and rodent tapeworms can infest humans.  These can transmit plague and marine typhus.

Cat fleas ride around on pets and can even jump 6 inches (15cm) to hitch a ride onto people's shoes and clothes. They can survive without a continual food source, so the population can grow to be a nuisance even in the absence of their host.

Color of cat fleas

These little devils are reddish brown when plump full of blood. Normally they are brownish-black to black.

Flea removal service

There are methods such as foggers and other flea control solutions available over the counter that claim to remove all of the fleas from your home. It’s our experience that these removal methods may not completely eliminate the infestation from your home because they kill the adults but do not deal effectively with eggs and larvae.

Our expert pest control pros are trained to know all about the flea and their life cycle. This allows us to find all of the areas where fleas might hide and where they might breed. That way we kill not only the adult fleas, but eliminate the eggs and larvae. This is key in making sure that fleas do not return once they have been removed.

Our residential pest control technicians inspect your entire home and talk to you about your flea problems. That way we can come up with the most effective solution to your flea problem, a solution that will not only eliminate fleas, but prevent fleas from coming back and that will work well with your family and pets.

Is flea removal necessary?

Fleas can enter the home by attaching to an animal outside. Because they feed on blood from their host, they can easily move on to other suitable hosts inside the household. Aside from the fact that fleas are a nuisance, they can also be dangerous for your family and pets. Flea bites can cause swollen, itchy marks on the host, allergic reactions, and can occasionally transmit diseases or internal parasites to people and pets.

Even if you don’t own a pet, flea infestations can also occur in residential yards where wildlife populations are dense. Most commonly, raccoons, opossums, deer, cattle, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and skunks will carry fleas, bringing flea eggs and larvae into your yard. Once fleas have infested your home, they can spread quickly to your bedding, pet items, carpets and rugs, furniture, baseboards, and more. Catching an infestation in its early stages is always the best way to stop fleas from spreading. The best way of doing this is by always enlisting the expertise of a flea pest control expert.

Signs you need flea control

When your pets or home has fleas, you likely don’t think about getting professional flea pest control. However, a professional can help not only get rid of the fleas but also keep them away for good. Seeing any of the below signs means it’s likely time to contact your local flea exterminators:

  • Odd pet behavior: Excessive scratching, reddened skin, hair loss, pale gums, restlessness, and welts or bumps on your cat or dog are all signs they may have fleas.
  • Flea feces: Adult flea feces, or flea dirt, looks similar to coarse ground black pepper and may be seen in bedding, on pets, or in other areas of the home.
  • Bites on humans: People with flea bites experience itchiness, irritation, and raised red bumps at the site of the bite.

How to get rid of fleas

You may be tempted to try and take care of fleas on your own, but they are tough. They are hard to find and once they get into clothing, furniture, other pets and your family it takes special treatments and methods to remove them.

To effectively control fleas, here are some things to try:

  • vacuum your home 
  • wash or replace pet bedding 
  • eliminate fleas on pets 
  • clean up and treat indoor and outdoor areas where pets rest.

Home pest control

For over 100 years, Western Exterminator has protected families just like yours from pest infestations.

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About Western Exterminator

Western Exterminator has been providing proven pest control solutions for over 100 years. Since 1921, we have been the most efficient and reliable answer for homeowners who need termite and pest control services to rid their property of nuisance pests.

Flea exterminator

Western Exterminator specialists are ready to take care of your flea treatment needs. We consider where your pets spend time, as these spots are the places where most of the larvae will be located.

Our specialists can treat the areas where the pets have been able to go, such as under throw rugs.

Lice exterminator

Similar to fleas are lice. They are small, wingless, insects which can cause tremendous discomfort to pets and people. Lice are often found in hairy areas of a human body such as on top of the head or other areas. Lice can also end up contaminating furniture or clothing, can be very easily transferred to other people or pets and infest a home quickly.

Western Exterminator are lice exterminators. We know how to get rid of lice as well as fleas. Our lice and flea removal services will get rid of a full infestation during all life stages.

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