Flea Identification

What are fleas?

Tiny, hard to catch, difficult to avoid, and seemingly impossible to get rid of, fleas can be a frustrating pest problem. Many people believe that since they don’t have pets that they don’t have to worry about fleas. The truth is that whether you own pets or not, fleas can become a problem on your property.

fleas in dog hair

Fleas‌ ‌are‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌size‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌speck‌ ‌of‌ ‌dirt‌ ‌and‌ ‌are‌ ‌brownish-red‌ ‌or‌ ‌dark‌ ‌brown‌. Their ‌oval-shaped‌ ‌body‌ ‌is‌ ‌flattened‌ ‌from‌ ‌side‌ ‌to‌ ‌side ‌‌and covered‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌hard-shell.‌‌ They‌ ‌have‌ ‌six‌ ‌legs‌ ‌and‌ ‌tube-like‌ ‌mouthparts‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌use‌ ‌to‌ ‌feed‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌blood‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌host.‌ Their flat body and spiny legs allow them to move easily through the fur of their animal hosts.

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas are more problematic than dangerous. While people are not their preferred hosts, if we are all that is available or if there is a large infestation present, they will bite us to feed on our blood.

Their bites are itchy because most people and pets are allergic to their saliva. Excessive itchng can leady to open sores and secondary infections. In pets, hair loss may occur. A major concern when it comes to fleas is their ability to spread parasitic tapeworms. Fleas are intermediate hosts and infect people and animals with them.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Fleas will become a problem after they’ve hitchhiked a ride onto your property on the back of an animal host like a mouse, squirrel, or a wandering neighborhood pet. Once fleas have found their way into your yard, it is easy for you, your kids, or pets to come into contact with them and introduce them into your home. Fleas move into homes on belongings. Used furniture or rugs may be housing adult fleas, larvae, or eggs.

Also, if you don’t own pets, but the previous homeowners did, a flea infestation could occur. Flea eggs could be lying dormant, and once the right environmental conditions are met, they hatch and create a large infestation.

Where will I find fleas?

Fleas are most active when temperatures are between 70 and 90 degrees, which is why they are most active during the spring, summer, and early fall. After breeding on a host, the female will lay eggs. As the animal walks, the flea eggs drop off of their body and onto the ground. While newly developed fleas wait for a host to come by, they hide in damp, dark areas under leaf or woodpiles, under decks, or bushes. Inside, fleas hide in various places, including on pets, in rugs, on upholstered furniture, and in bedding. 

How do I get rid of fleas?

If you are ready to get rid of fleas from your property, reach out to the local pest control experts at Patriot Pest Management. Our customized services performed by our knowledgeable and friendly experts eliminate pests and stop them from coming back.

At Patriot Pest Management, we won’t hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure that our customers are happy and their properties are free of pests. For exceptional home pest control or commercial pest control services in the Greater Bay Area and surrounding counties of California, contact Patriot Pest Management today!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

Below are some easy to follow tips that will help you keep fleas from taking over your home and yard:

  • Outdoor pets should be on a year-round flea medication under the guidance of their veterinarian.
  • Use a flea comb on pets and bathe them using a flea-control shampoo.
  • Fence in your backyard to keep neighborhood pets from wandering into your outdoor space.
  • Make your yard less attractive to foraging wild animals by keeping lids on trash cans, maintaining outdoor eating areas, and getting rid of bird feeders.
  • Remove areas from your property where fleas can hide in, such as areas of tall grass, dense vegetation, and leaf piles.
  • Avoid problems with fleas in your home by regularly vacuuming floors and upholstered furniture.
  • Frequently wash your bedding and your pet’s bedding.
  • Take care when introducing used furniture or rugs into your home. Vacuum and clean the items before bringing them inside.
 

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