Fleas are a common pest problem in homes especially when cats or dogs are present. Not only are they a concern for pets but they are also bite humans.
Fleas are usually found in the homes with pets but they can also be a problem for new homeowners that move into previously infested homes and apartments.
Flea control is important not only because of the discomfort bites cause to pets and people but also because fleas are carriers of the tapeworm parasite.
Fleas are small - 1/32” to 1/16” long - reddish brown insects that spend most of their adult lives clinging to and feeding on the body of their chosen host.
Adults are wingless and have flattened bodies that allow them to move freely between the hairs of dogs and cats. Fleas are also extraordinary jumpers and can jump hundreds of times higher than their body length. In human terms this means that they can jump about 6 inches. Immature fleas or larvae do not live on a host.
Flea larvae live around and feed upon on the organic flecks of skin and other similar materials that collect wherever pets spend time. This includes favorite resting areas and bedding sites.
Proper cleaning in these areas can go a long ways towards flea control.
Newly developed adult fleas emerge within a protective cocoon they created when they were larvae. Adults within their cocoons can remain dormant for long periods of time and are stimulated to emerge by the vibration of footsteps.
The ability to remain dormant is one reason why fleas seem to suddenly emerge in vacant homes once new owners move in and start walking around.
Also it’s important to note that fleas aren’t always associated with a previous owner’s pets. Sometimes wild animals living in crawl spaces or other similar areas bring fleas with them which cause problems for homeowners.
When fleas are present homeowners generally notice them first by the bites they leave behind. Typically, bites are concentrated around the ankle and look very similar to mosquito bites.
Fleas can be selective and will often feed on only one or a few people living in a house. Many times the people most affected are small children and infants.
Please refer to Ehrlich’s treating insect bites page for further advice.
Even with the best care, it is difficult to fully protect your dog or cat from fleas. A pet with fleas will frequently scratch or try to bite the fleas in its fur.
Although a flea comb may be sufficient to prevent some flea infestations, generally pet owners need to consult their veterinarian for advice on eliminating fleas from their pets.
If you choose to use an over the counter flea treatment for your pet you must be aware that the materials used on cats are different that those used on dogs. Be sure you only use a cat or dog specific material on your pet and consult your vet if there are signs of irritation such as reddening of the skin or if there are thin patches in your pet’s coat.
If you have pets, it is essential to prevent fleas becoming established in carpets and bedding:
Although many homeowners struggle with do it yourself pest control products the results are often less than satisfactory. Small problems can develop into large ones and this is when many people seek out the services of a pest control professional.
Ehrlich technicians are skilled, experienced professionals – they are state certified, licensed applicators and are required to participate in regular training programs to maintain their expertise.
They understand the habits of each species of flea and use that knowledge when developing a flea control program for your home. They also have respect for you, your home, your family, your time and – as importantly – your pets..
At Ehrlich Pest Control, we pride ourselves on fast, responsive service every day. We are always available 24 hours a day for any emergency pest concerns that may develop and all appointments are scheduled at times that are convenient for you - our customer.
If you would like further advice about fleas or to arrange a visit by an Ehrlich technician, call us free at .