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Signs of Fleas

flea

Although most people have heard of fleas, it can be difficult to identify a flea by sight alone. In fact, fleas are often confused with other insects like thrips, gnats or mites or even with specks of dust and static electricity.

Fleas

For this reason, being able to spot other common signs of the presence of fleas can prove to be far more effective in confirming their presence, and ultimately avoiding the misapplication and gross overuse of pesticides due to incorrect identification.

Ehrlich offers a FREE pest inspection of your home. We can check all areas inside your home and in your yard and confirm if you do have a flea problem.

Call us NOW at (888) 976-4649 for advice or schedule a free flea inspection online today.

Fleas in Your Home

Fleas in your home

Fleas can be found throughout the U.S. The most common flea found in homes in North America is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis ). Interestingly, a cat flea can infest both cats and dogs.

The warm temperatures during summertime provide ideal conditions for flea development and this is when homeowners with pets often discover fleas on their animals , and, as result, in their home. However, in the fall, when homeowners switch back on their heating, they create the same ideal high temperatures for flea development inside their home and inadvertently stimulate dormant adult fleas to emerge from their cocoons, leading to a flea problem.

Fleas like to live on warm-blooded animals but prefer humans, cats, dogs, opossums, rats and other rodents. They may also be found on your shoes, pant legs, socks or blankets. Owing to their natural ability to jump (as high as 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally), they can easily spread themselves around your home and amongst your pets and kids.

This means that flea bites can effect multiple people and pets in one home and because these bites can cause allergies and transmit diseases it is important to get rid of fleas at the first sight of a problem.

Bird Fleas

Image of Bird Flea [Ceratophyllus gallinae] | Ehrlich Pest Control

The hen flea is the most common bird flea (Ceratophyllus gallinae ) and is generally a problem for homeowners who have chicken coops and keep hens, as they mainly feed off their blood and live in their nests.

How To Check for Fleas in your Home

Wear white socks! Wearing a pair of white knee-high socks in the areas where you suspect flea activity will help to see fleas more clearly once they have hopped on. In addition, by gently tapping your feet in suspected areas, fleas can also be stimulated to jump / hop about and onto the nearest person (host).

  • Observe your pet’s daytime activity - inspect areas they like to regularly inhabit, not just flooring and pet bedding but also crawl spaces and furniture, where they may lounge. Look for visible adult fleas hopping on your floor / carpet in these places.
  • Inspect cracks and crevices - in wood and linoleum and other hard surfaces and along baseboards, where eggs may be found.
  • Check floor vents and heaters - these are favorite resting areas for many pets and may harbor flea eggs and larvae.
  • Inspect your yard - some common exterior areas to find fleas include garages, porch areas and outdoor kennels.

Flea Bites

Flea bites are often the biggest complaint amongst homeowners when it comes to a flea problem. Unfortunately, flea bites are as irritating to humans as they are to their pets.

Flea Bites on Humans

Flea bites on human

Flea bites on humans are frequently concentrated around the ankles (or feet). Their bites can look very similar to mosquito bites. These bites produce red spots and can be extremely itchy.

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.

In spite of the fact that fleas are wingless insects and adults measure less than ¼ inch long, they have very long, powerful back legs which allow them to jump considerable distances. In the case of humans, their legs permit them to jump as high as our knees. Although fleas readily bite humans, they cannot reproduce by feeding on human blood - an animal must also be present in order for fleas to be able to produce eggs and / or infest a home.

How To Check for Fleas on Your Pets

Dog Itching Flea Bites

Many signs can indicate the presence of fleas, and looking at your pet’s activity is generally a good place to start.

  • Increased scratching and grooming in pets - if your pet is scratching incessantly it could be as a result of irritation caused by fleas feeding on their blood.
  • Examine your pet’s fur - look for visible insects moving amongst the fur. Infested animals often have reddened skin and may lose some hair. The most commonly infested areas in dogs tends to be their hind quarters and in cats, the head and neck are often targeted. Red and black droppings may also indicate the presence of fleas. Flea eggs are tiny and white and may also be spotted on your pet’s skin, although these are designed to fall off the host shortly after they have been laid.
  • Inspect pet bedding - look for the tiny white flea eggs and flea larvae, which do not live on the host (your pet) but in their environment. Although they are very small, they are visible to the naked eye, particularly on dark surfaces.
  • Check indoor pets - even pets, which do not venture outside, should be regularly checked for fleas.

If you are still unsure if your pet has fleas, we recommend you consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

Call Ehrlich at (888) 976-4649 for more advice on fleas or schedule a free inspection online today.

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