Everything You Need to Know About Fleas
April 20, 2018
When it comes to fleas, pets are the main culprit for bringing them into your home. The most common type of flea that makes its way into homes is the cat flea. This type of flea can live on cats, dogs, and humans for up to four days. These pests are not only annoying but can cause harmful and itchy bites on your body, making it uncomfortable to live in your own home. Here at Epcon Lane, we want to give you back the comfort of your home. Check out these tips, tricks, and facts about fleas so you are prepared if they should ever make their way into your space.
Facts About Fleas
Any homeowner can agree that fleas are something you do not want to invade your household. Many people, however, do not know much about fleas. Some important facts to know about fleas are:
- A flea has a lifespan of about 100 days. While that may not seem long in the grand scheme of things, a lot can happen during those 100 days. Any female flea during their life can produce anywhere between 400-500 offspring. That’s a lot of fleas!
- Fleas move around by finding a host to live off of. Their host can be any warm-blooded creature like dogs, cats, mice, and even humans. They will also hop on wild animals such as opossums, raccoons, and skunks. When they use humans as their host they can be found on shoes, pant legs, and blankets.
- Along with painful and itchy bumps, fleas can carry harmful diseases. Fleas can carry tapeworms, and can cause anemia, allergic reactions, and are the most common transmitter of the rare bubonic plague.
So what does that mean for you? Since fleas can jump from host to host it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of fleas in your home. That's why our expert exterminators at Epcon Lane are here to help. We are highly trained and ready to tackle any flea infestation that your home may have.
Immediate Relief From Fleas
If you find fleas in your home you will want to take care of them as soon as possible. Here are a few tips for taking care of fleas on your pets and in your home immediately.
Immediate Pet Treatment for Fleas
- Purchase an oral or gel topical flea treatment. Ideally, it should target adults and larvae. These flea treatments can be purchased from a vet, reputable online dealer, or local retail store. FrontLine is an example of a gel topical flea treatment.
- Regularly bathe your pets until the fleas are gone. As a money-saving alternative, use Dawn dish soap rather than brand name flea shampoo. The parasites will jump off your pet like they’re trying to escape a sinking ship!
- Remove surviving adults with a metal flea comb. Have on hand a small container filled with Dawn soap. Make sure the sides of the container are slick with soap. As you brush, drop the fleas into the soap. This will prevent them from escaping and spreading while you finish the job.
Immediate House Treatment for Fleas
- Regularly wash rugs, pet bedding, and any human bedding the pet has slept on.
- Vacuum daily for up to two weeks. Thorough sweeping will gather adults, eggs, and larvae. Don’t forget to sweep along baseboards, under beds, and under couches. If attended to faithfully, this can be the single most effective way to eliminate fleas, combined with treating your pets.
- Sweep or disinfect upholstery as needed. You can purchase from retailers spray bottles that contain flea-eliminating spray. Use it judiciously.
The prevention of fleas is something that is quite simple to do. If you are a pet owner, be sure to check with your vet to see what type of flea prevention program you should have your animal on. Even in the colder months, it is still important to maintain the program! You should also be sure to keep your dogs on a leash when they are outside, as well as keep them regularly groomed.
Homeowners alike should keep their homes clean and vacuum frequently. By vacuuming frequently you can prevent any laying of eggs as well as remove flea populations that may have entered your home. Other ways to prevent a flea infestation are:
- Buy a monthly flea treatment for your pets—especially outdoor pets. In northeast Ohio, the height of flea season is summer and into the fall. You should resume treatment in March or April, depending on how quickly the temperatures rise.
- Maintain pet areas: Keep cat boxes clean, pick up dog piles in your yard, and wash pet bedding before it gets unsanitary.
- Overall, keep your house clean and in good repair. A secure foundation, sealed windows, properly stored food, and clean floors go a long way in preventing any type of pest problem.
If Your Flea Problem Persists
Fleas can be very tricky to get rid of. If your flea problem persists it may help to add a step to your sweeping regimen:
- Sweep once.
- Use a hand sprayer to douse carpets in a flea-killing spray.
- Wait for carpets to dry.
- Sweep again. Throw away the bag when you are finished.
Flea traps can be used as a supplementary defense. They lure fleas onto sticky inserts with an electric light that gives off heat. These are not effective by themselves, but they help in tandem with your regular sweeping and washing.
If you suspect that you have a flea infestation in your home and you have animals, then the first step is to take your animals to see the vet and get on a flea treatment right away. After that, give a professional pest control company like Epcon Lane a call and we will remove the fleas from your home. Contact us today and find out how we can help!