If you have pets, you may have had to deal with fleas at some point. Especially if your pets love to go outside to play, you will probably deal with fleas at some point. Even if you have a pet that stays indoors, he or she can still get fleas! Even on an innocent trip to a clean, sterile area like the veterinarian's office, one of your pets can get fleas and bring them home. They are simply prevalent pests, especially in warm, humid regions like Southeast Texas.
Cleanliness at home and a well-kept yard are always the best ways you can help control fleas at home, but no matter how clean your home is, and no matter how well you maintain your yard, you still might get fleas at some point or other.
Fleas at Home, Flea Bites on Humans
Fleas are often confused with bed bugs because of similarities in their appearance (they're both small, brown insects), and because of similarities in what their bites on your skin look like (both leave red, itchy bumpy bites on your skin when they feed on you). One thing you should know about fleas is that they're not just limited to your pets to feed on. Their first host of choice is any number of rodents (mice, rats, raccoons, squirrels, etc.), so keeping your yard and home free of these pests will help keep your flea populations down. But you can get fleas, even if you DON'T have pets! Fleas are very crafty at hitching a ride indoors one way or another, and if they don't have pets to latch onto and feed on, they will latch on and feed on you and your family members.
Fleas are not just nuisance pests because they inflict itchy bites. They are also a health hazard. They are known to have helped spread the Plague (Black Death) during the Middle Ages, which ended up killing hundreds of millions of human beings in Europe. We've come a long way since the Plague as a civilization with cleanliness and medical technology, but fleas can still spread a number of diseases, bacteria, and bloodborne contaminants.
Controlling fleas at home, especially after they've established a presence, can be tricky, but there are some things you can do yourself to help keep fleas at bay. Understand that they multiply quickly, and if you find a flea or two on one of your pets, there's a good chance that there are plenty of eggs, larvae, and pupae lurking around in your carpet, furniture, pet areas, pet bedding, etc. The faster you act, the more success you'll have of controlling the fleas in your home and making sure they never come back. The first step is that you should keep your home regularly cleaned and vacuumed, you should regularly bathe and groom your pets, and if necessary, you should use appropriately labeled flea control products. Be sure to follow product label directions.
How can you avoid flea bites at home?
What Do Fleas Look Like?
Fleas are small creatures, but still visible to the naked eye. They are external parasites and to survive and reproduce, they need blood meals. Note that they can go from a month to three months without a blood meal.
Full grown adult fleas usually measure from about 1/10" to 1/5" long, and range from brown to reddish-brown in color. Some fleas may even be a darker brown to black. Fleas have very vertically narrow bodies (to allow them to burrow through thick animal hair), and six legs. Compare their vertical flatness with the horizontal flatness of bed bugs (from above bed bugs look "spread out," whereas fleas look "spread out" from a side view).
How Do I Get Rid of Fleas in My House Fast?
How Do You Get Rid of Fleas Outside?
Indoor flea problems are almost always a reflection of outdoor flea problems. And remember, they are crafty travelers and can stealthily hitch a ride into your home. Outdoors, fleas are usually found in shady, cool areas of the yard, especially in tall grass, near bushes, among yard debris, and in other foliage.
- Regularly mow your lawn and trim your shrubs back at least an inch from the side of your house.
- Clean up lawn clutter (leaf piles, tree branches, tree stumps, etc.).
- Mulch and firewood should be kept at least 20 feet away from the side of your home, and trash should be kept as far away from entrances to your home as possible. If you live in a wooded area, the easiest way to keep fleas away is to keep away rodents, raccoons, squirrels, deer, etc.
How Can I Get Rid of Flea Bites in My House?
Getting rid of any kind of pests in your home always involves cleanliness. Clean floors, regular vacuuming, free of clutter, etc. Fleas find their way into even the most clean and tidy homes, so don't think you're a bad housekeeper simply because you find fleas on your pet.
Most flea problems in a home are found in the carpets, pet areas, furniture, pet bedding, etc., where flea eggs, larvae, and pupae are hiding. Keep these areas well vacuumed and laundered, too, as appropriate. After vacuuming, dispose of vacuum cleaner bags tightly wrapped inside of a trash bag, as far away from your home's entrances as possible.
Keeping Fleas Off of Your Pets
Pet care is a critical component of flea control at home. Regular shampooing, grooming, etc. Consult with your pet's veterinarian about flea control products, and use them according to label directions. If you are treating your home for fleas using anti-flea products, you should be treating your pets simultaneously, otherwise you defeat the purpose.
There's lots you can do to help prevent and control fleas at home, but even with all this, you may still find yourself dealing with flea problems. Fleas reproduce quickly, and the sooner you address a flea problem, the sooner you'll be rid of them. Call our Texas pest control experts today at 832.898.0190! Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation. We can help you, your family, and pets get rid of fleas and keep them out of your home.