Fleas are probably most commonly associated with dogs and cats and other pets. However, fleas are more of a problem than just for pets. Fleas can be transmitted to humans quite easily and they bite, looking for a meal of blood. Flea bites cause itching and can make living uncomfortable, plus they are known to carry a variety of diseases.
This is just one reason flea control is especially important.
What makes fleas so potentially dangerous is that they feed on blood. That means that if they bite an animal that is infected with a blood-borne disease, that can be transmitted to whomever or whatever else they bite.
For example, fleas have been connected to the spread of bubonic plague.
How Did I Get Fleas?
Flea infestations often come from a pet dog or cat. The pests attach to the animal when it's outside, and then infest its fur and the places it sleeps indoors. Flea prevention for both the home and yard can be difficult. Without a proactive approach, any pet owner is vulnerable to an infestation.
Seek a host for blood
Fleas depend on a blood meal from a host to survive. On some occasions, fleas may become an inside problem when the host they previously fed on is no longer around. Then fleas focus their feeding activity on other hosts that reside inside the home. An example of such a situation is when a mouse inside the home is trapped and removed, the fleas that previously fed on the mouse are then forced to feed on pets or people.
How Serious Are Fleas?
Flea bites may leave the host with numerous swollen, itchy marks. They may cause allergic reactions in some people and can transmit several diseases. Furry pets are the most at risk. Fleas can bite people and pets and can be a big nuisance. According to a recent CDC statement, the number of illnesses caused by flea bites tripled between 2004 and 2016.
The most serious aspect of a flea infestation is often the time and effort it takes to remove. Dealing with the problem requires treating infected animals, cleaning flea-infested areas, and taking preventative measures to keep the fleas from returning.
How Can I Get Rid of Fleas?
What CouncilMen IPM Does
Since the immature stages of fleas are very cryptic by nature, the first thing the homeowner should do is contact their pest control professional for assistance. Most of the time simply using over-the-counter products for controlling fleas will not resolve the root causes of the infestation.
A Risk Inspector will conduct a thorough inspection and locate areas where the immature stages of the flea population are residing.
After completing the inspection, the next step is preparing the flea management plan. This plan will include:
Species - identifying the flea species causing the problem.
Education - explaining the flea's life cycle and how their habits, habitat and behavior affects the control plan.
Hosts - inspecting for the presence of other animals that are the flea population’s source of food. This may include rodents either inside or outside the home or perhaps a raccoon or feral cat that is living in the crawl space.
Vets - homeowner contacting their veterinarian for advice and purchase of flea control products that can be used on pets.
Bathing - regular bathing and grooming of pets.
Chemicals - explaining the use of growth regulators that will interfere with the flea’s normal development into the adult stage.
Vacuum - using a strong vacuum to physically remove flea eggs, larvae, pupae and adults.
Bedding - frequently washing and drying pet bedding.
Products - treating affected areas by using safe and effective flea control products where immature fleas may be located.
Inspections - scheduling a follow-up visit.
A flea infestation is frustrating because once they get into your business they are very difficult to get rid of. So if you find fleas around, your first move should be to call in the professionals who know how to get rid of fleas effectively.