If you notice a pet scratching more than normal or you and your family are finding small red, itchy bumps, especially on your arms or legs, you may have fleas. In addition to itchy, uncomfortable bites, fleas can carry disease and once they’re in your home, they are notoriously difficult to get rid of. However, with the right steps, you can get rid of fleas in your Raleigh home and keep them from coming back.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas, or Order Siphonaptera, are small, parasitic insects that consume blood from a host, typically mammals and birds. They are only about 3mm long with dark brown or reddish-brown bodies, but they have powerful back legs that allow them to jump large distances and have claws that hook into the fur, feathers, or clothing of a host.
A Flea’s Life Cycle
Fleas go through four life cycles: egg, larva, pupa, and adult, and a female can lay between one hundred to several thousands of eggs in her lifetime. They also live and lay eggs in the host’s nest, sleeping area, or on the host themselves. This is especially problematic when fleas infest your home because they will lay eggs in places like your dog or cat’s bedding, carpet, or directly on your cat or dog.
Given how many eggs a female can lay in their two to three month life cycle, it doesn’t take long for a home to become completely infested.
The Danger of Fleas
The most common frustration regarding fleas are the red, itchy bites they can leave on both you and your pets. Additionally, flea bites can trigger allergic reactions, making the bitten area even more uncomfortable, and infections are common in the area. In serious infestations, fleas can transmit tapeworms while smaller animals may become anemic due to blood loss.
Fleas can also transmit diseases to humans, though it is rare. In fact, the bubonic plague that wiped out a third of Europe’s population around 1340 is thought to have come from fleas who bit infected rats and then bit humans, transmitting the disease.
How to Get Rid of Fleas
If you discover fleas in your home or on your pets (or yourself!), you want to get rid of them fast. It’s important to know that a store-bought fogger probably won’t do the job, and powerful insecticides are better used by a professional pest control company. When you schedule service with an extermination company, there are some ways to prepare to ensure your home is entirely flea-free.
- Wash all pet bedding and human bedding in hot water. If your pets’ beds can’t be washed, it’s better to throw them out and replace them after flea treatment.
- Vacuum all carpeting, including in closets and under beds, and upholstered furniture, especially between and under furniture cushions, making sure to dispose of your vacuum bag outside the home. If your vacuum has a canister, wipe it out with a disinfecting cleaner and wash the filter in hot water.
- Mop all hard surfaced floors and clean all surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Pick up toys and other items off the floor, including closets) to ensure thorough coverage of treatment.
- Schedule a flea treatment for any pets.
Preventing Future Flea Infestations
To prevent fleas from coming back (and to avoid the hassle of having to re-do all the washing and treatments!), here are some tips:
- Use a flea preventative medication for your pets all year long – the pupal stage for fleas, where they are protected by a hard shell, can last several weeks.
- Keep your home vacuumed and wash pet bedding regularly.
- Schedule regular pest control service around your home to keep your yard free of fleas. When there are no fleas in the yard, your dog can’t bring them in the house!
Contact Our Raleigh Pest Control Company to Get Rid of Fleas!
If you have fleas in your home, don’t try to rely on powders and foggers. You need professional help to get them gone, and we provide affordable rates and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee! To schedule service, call us today at (919) 231-3392 or fill out the form below.