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Flea Identification & Prevention

Fleas

What are fleas?

The two most common species of fleas living across the United States are dog fleas and cat fleas. Despite their name, they both feed on similar hosts and look very similar to the naked eye. The most widespread species is the cat flea, and if fleas are on your pet or in your home, they are the most likely culprit.

Fleas are tiny reddish-brown insects with flattened bodies covered in a protective shell. Despite their small size, these insects are incredibly hard to squish. The shape of the flea’s body and large pair of back legs allow them to move easily through the fur of their hosts. Their large back legs also enable them to jump onto their hosts and out of the way of danger.

Blood is the sole source of nutrition for fleas, and their primary hosts are cats, dogs, rodents, and wild animals.

Are fleas dangerous?

Having fleas living in your yard or home is never ideal and does pose some threats to you and your family. Fleas can spread some diseases that make people ill, including murine typhus, tularemia, and plague.

Many people and animals are allergic to flea saliva. Their bites leave behind red itchy welts that are uncomfortable. Fleas bites can also result in secondary infections, scabbing, and scarring.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Rodents are common household pests typically heavily infested with fleas. As rodents and other wild animals move to and from your property, they transport fleas. As animals move around your yard, flea eggs will fall to the ground, where they develop into new biting adults. Fleas are prolific breeders, and a large infestation can take quick hold of any property they get onto.

When rodents or other animals find their way into your home, they will bring fleas inside, leading to a large, difficult-to-control indoor infestation. Fleas are quite capable of breeding and feeding indoors.

Where will I find fleas?

While fleas can become a problem throughout the year, they generally don’t like extremely hot or cold weather. Fleas are most active and problematic on North Carolina properties during the fall. The temperatures are warm but not too warm, and there is plenty of leaf litter, woodpiles, and other debris that provides them with humid, dark areas to hide.

If fleas are in your home, you will likely find them in rugs, upholstered furniture, bedding, and linens; they are also problematic in areas where pets spend a lot of time.

How do I get rid of fleas?

Fleas are pests that live and breed outside and are constantly being introduced onto properties by wild animals, so keeping fleas away from your North Carolina yard can be difficult. The most effective way to lower the number of fleas on your Durham property and get rid of them from your home is to partner with a local professional.

At Eco Man Pest Solutions, we use innovative and eco-friendly products to eliminate fleas and protect you and your family from their relentless and unpleasant bites. If you live in the Durham area and want to learn more about our flea control solutions, reach out to us today. We will be glad to work with you to take back your property from biting fleas.

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

The following five easy steps will help you prevent problems with fleas in your yard and home:

  1. Make your yard unappealing to rodents. Keep grill areas clean, seal spaces in exterior walls, and place locking lids on trash cans. 
  2. Keep your yard’s grass cut short.
  3. Remove dense vegetation, leaf piles, and compost piles from your yard where fleas can hide.
  4. Regularly vacuum upholstered furniture and carpets and routinely wash pet bedding to remove stray fleas.
  5. If you own pets, make sure to place them on a year-round flea preventative under the guidance of their veterinarian.

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