Flea Identification & Prevention

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a flea on pet fur

What are fleas?

Fleas are external parasites that feed on human and animal blood. They build large populations and are challenging to control and keep away from our North Carolina properties. Our warm, humid weather allows these pests to breed and quickly develop from egg to adult.

These wingless insects are only the size of a speck of dirt, but they often catch our eye as they use their large, powerful back legs to jump away from us or onto us.

Animals like rodents, dogs, cats, and wild animals are their preferred hosts. They spend their adult lives living in the fur of their hosts, feeding, and breeding. While people aren’t preferred hosts, fleas will bite and feed on our blood when given a chance.

Are fleas dangerous?

Most of the flea’s hosts (human and animal) are allergic to their saliva. When fleas bite to feed, a red itchy rash will develop around the bite sites. Flea bites are typically quite itchy, and excessive scratching can lead to secondary infections and, in pets, hair loss. Flea allergy dermatitis (a severe allergic reaction) is always a concern when fleas bite people or animals. In addition, a severely flea-infested animal can develop life-threatening anemia.

Fleas are also problematic because they can transmit diseases and parasites like tapeworms through their feeding process. Cat scratch fever and typhus are two diseases that fleas spread in the United States.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Fleas live in large numbers wherever their hosts congregate. If you or your pets spend a lot of time outside, these biting pests will soon get into your home.

Flea infestations also regularly occur after rodents or wild animals move indoors to nest or forage for food. Another common start to a flea infestation is bringing infested secondhand items like rugs, upholstered furniture, or bedding into a home.

Where will I find fleas?

Adult fleas spend their short lifespan on the backs of animal hosts. The adults feed and breed on their hosts. When the female fleas lay their eggs, the eggs roll off the host and onto the ground, where they will develop into new hungry ticks looking for a host to complete their life cycle.

Some of the most common places to come into contact with fleas include parks, dog parks, wooded areas, meadows, fields, and yards. When not on an animal host, fleas hang out in places that shield them from direct sunlight, like under woodpiles, leaves, mulch, and sandy soil.

When fleas get into our homes, some of the most common places to discover them include stored bedding, pet bedding, rugs, cracks in the floor, behind baseboards, and in the folds of upholstered furniture.

How do I get rid of fleas?

Don’t try to control a flea infestation on your own; DIY flea control options are often ineffective and, if not used correctly, can be dangerous to you and your family.

Get rid of fleas with the help of the pest control experts at B&T Pest Control. Through our PestGuard home pest control service, we can provide you with the ongoing services necessary to remove and control common household pests, including fleas.

If you are looking for inclusive home pest control in Jacksonville, NC, that is reliable, effective, and affordable, look no further than B&T Pest Control! Call today to learn more about our flea control options.

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

One of the best ways to discourage flea activity is to make your yard and home as unattractive to their preferred wild animal hosts as possible.

  • Place a fence around your property to keep your pets in your yard and stray pets and large wild animals out of your yard.
  • Reduce rodent activity by keeping lids on trash cans and recycling bins, removing bird feeders, and picking up uneaten pet food.
  • Remove leaf piles, woodpiles, and other yard debris that can provide cover for wild animals and shade and moisture for fleas.
  • Repair defects in your home’s exterior that allow flea-covered rodents or small wild animals inside to nest behind your home’s walls.

For help controlling fleas on your property throughout the year, contact us today to learn about our three-step flea control process!

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