We love our pets, but as temperatures rise in our region, so does the flea population and the likelihood of our furry friends bringing these pests indoors. Many people aren’t aware that while fleas are actually a threat year-round, they are even more active in the warmer months, increasing the chances that your dog or cat will get fleas.
We asked one of our resident entomologists to give us all the details on the most common type of flea, tips to prevent them, and what to do if you’re already dealing with a flea infestation. Check out what he had to say!
Cat Fleas Aren’t Just for Cats
Cat fleas are the most common type of flea found across the country. Cat fleas prefer feeding on cats but will also infest dogs and other animals such as opossum and raccoons.
These parasitic pests are wingless, laterally flattened, reddish-brown to black in color and about ⅛ inch long with six legs. The adult fleas will be relatively easy to spot and can look like black flecks that show up on light carpets, socks, and other materials around the house.
First Steps to Flea Prevention
No one wants fleas in their home in the first place. These preventive steps can help you keep them out!
- Trim unruly grass and shrubbery in your yard regularly.
- Check your yard for signs of wildlife making nests there. They might bring fleas along for the ride!
- Seal up any crevices, cracks, or opening in your home’s crawl space and attic to prevent wildlife from getting inside.
- Make sure your pets are on flea prevention medicine before letting them roam around outside.
These simple steps can really go a long way in flea prevention. But if you find yourself thinking you might already have a flea infestation on your hands, don’t panic. We have tips for that too!
Signs of a Flea Infestation
On your pets, the first indication that you have a flea problem will be excessive biting, scratching, or licking. You may also see the adult fleas on light carpeting, fur, and clothing.
The bite of a cat flea is also easy to distinguish, as it will produce an itchy, red bump potentially on both you and your pets. While the itchy bite is not pleasant, the more serious risk is from the range of diseases that a cat flea can transmit. It’s important that you find the source of the infestation right away to protect your family and your pets.
How to Get Rid of Fleas, STAT
If this pest has found a way into your home, your top concern now is how to get rid of fleas. Fleas multiply quickly—a female cat flea can produce up to 500 offspring in its lifetime. They will lay four to eight eggs at a time, which hatch in about two days. Flea eggs can be found in the hairs of its host, as well as in the bedding where its host sleeps. Pets commonly shake off eggs deposited on them, leaving flea eggs in cracks near where your dog or cat sleeps as well as anywhere they may travel in your home.
But there are steps you can take to help rid your home of fleas if they have found a way indoors. Take a look!
- Thoroughly vacuum your home and be sure to empty the contents of the vacuum cleaner outside.
- Launder any pet beds or soft surfaces that your pets sleep on or regularly lie on.
- Take your afflicted pet to the vet for flea treatment.
- Last but certainly not least, contact the professionals at Terminix to have our expert pest control treatment remove all fleas, eggs, and larvae.
If you keep your pets on flea prevention medication year-round and ensure their indoor areas are kept clean, you should be in the clear. But these pests are nasty suckers, so don’t try to handle them on your own if a problem does arise. We’re here for you and your home!
Want more helpful info on fleas and other common pests? Check out our Pest Library!
Contact us today for your free inspection, and get peace of mind for you and your pets.