Fleas 101

Fleas are one of the most prevalent pests in the United States. They live and feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans. These tiny creatures use their mouthparts to suck and pierce their host’s skin. While some species feed on one host animal, others can feed on multiple hosts.

If you think you have fleas, call a pro right away. A single female flea can lay 20 to 50 eggs in one day. In addition to that, they continuously reproduce indoors all-year-round, peaking in spring and early summer. Reproduction outdoors, meanwhile, is limited to warm-weather months.

Trying to get rid of fleas yourself will most often lead to recurring problems. Oftentimes, you can catch and kill most of the adults but the eggs are left behind. These eggs then re-hatch and cause another infestation. Call Andy Howard’s Pest Control for help. We know the best methods to a flea-free home and we guarantee our services.

flea in fur up close

All About Fleas

 

Fleas are small, flat pests with three pairs of legs. They are around ⅛ of an inch long and are reddish-brown in color. These insects don’t fly. Instead, they jump from place to place, and host to host. They can even jump as far as 13 inches — that’s 200 times their own body length!

From egg and larva to pupa and adult stages, the process can take two weeks or several months, depending on temperature and moisture conditions. Under normal conditions, their whole life cycle may be completed in around 20 to 35 days. The ideal conditions are about 85F and 85% relative humidity. Development takes a lot longer under less favorable conditions, sometimes it may even take a year.

Eggs normally hatch in two to 12 days. Flea larvae have no legs and are white in color. They prefer protected areas with a relative humidity of 75%. The pupal stage starts when the larva spins to a cocoon. Once ready, adult fleas emerge from this cocoon. Adult fleas use their powerful, long legs to jump onto a host animal, where it remains at all times. While attached, they feed on blood, mate, and at times, lay eggs.

Adult fleas may survive on any warm-blooded creature, but a lot of them prefer to live on dogs, cats, and rodents. In pets, their bites may cause dermatitis. Moreover, they serve as intermediate hosts for tapeworms. In humans, on the other hand, they transmit diseases like typhus and plague. Clearly, having them around is a huge health risk.

To prevent a flea infestation in your home, keep your place clean. Vacuum even the most secluded areas. If you have already found fleas on your pets, it’s time to take action. Clean your pets and keep an eye out for fleas in your house. If you see them, it may be time to call the professionals at Andy Howard’s.

Signs of Flea Infestation

 

  • Sighting of adult fleas around your home
  • Your pets are scratching themselves more than usual
  • Presence of flea eggs which look like salt and pepper in pet bedding
  • Small flecks of brown or black embedded spots in your pets’ fur
  • Bite marks on yourself and your family members.

You can try the white socks test to check for the presence of fleas. Wear a pair of white cotton socks, and then slowly walk around your home. Adult fleas are excellent jumpers, and will most likely hitch a ride on your socks. After a few hours, look at your socks. If fleas are present, a few will be visible on your socks. To confirm the infestation and for a more thorough inspection, give us a call.

Flea Control (When you have pets)

 

1st Step: Do the White Socks Test
Wear white socks around the house, and spend extra time on the carpets. Don’t forget to shuffle your feet — fleas are attracted to heat!

2nd Step: Treat your pet
Take your flea-infested cat, dog, or other pets to the veterinarian for treatments.

3rd Step: Wash your pet’s beddings
Wash flea-infested pet bedding thoroughly.

4th Step: Properly vacuum and clean your house
Focus on the narrowest corners, and dark, secluded areas. Apart from that, don’t forget to check under furniture and appliances.

5th Step: Mop your floors
Mop all hard floors with copious amounts of soapy water, paying more attention to the smallest cracks and crevices.

6th Step: Install flea traps 
Install flea traps in those areas where you feel you’re getting bites. These traps can help you monitor flea activities and trap adult fleas.

7th Step: Call a pro
If you have fleas after these steps, call a pro right away.

How We Handle Fleas

We’ll send you a pre-service checklist. Use this to prepare your home for our visit. Next, a certified pest control technician will come to you for the initial treatment. After the treatment, we’ll ask you to complete a post-service checklist. Lastly, we’ll conduct a follow-up inspection after a week to see to it that the infestation is under control. If needed, additional treatment will be provided. This is to ensure that any fleas left, in all life stages are all exterminated. Service is guaranteed, and we don’t stop until the fleas are gone.

Effective Flea Treatments

Pest control treatments that only target adult fleas won’t solve the problem. Flea larvae and eggs are not affected by common approaches that eliminate adult fleas. Killing the adults alone is not a long-term solution. You need to work with reliable professionals who understand the life cycle of fleas and have the ability to eradicate all of them. Reach out to the experts at Andy Howard’s Pest Control now. We offer reliable treatments that target fleas in all of their life stages.