With the warm weather upon Houston residents, that means lots of time spent outdoors, but it also means fleas. A minuscule pest measuring only ⅛ of an inch, fleas have the ability to wreak havoc on your health and on your home. Adult fleas tend to be reddish-brown in coloring and are wingless. Their hind legs are notably very long, which makes them adept at jumping. Flea larvae and eggs are barely visible to the naked eye, so if you have a flea infestation, you're unlikely to spot it easily.
Most importantly, fleas are a dangerous parasite that can consume 15 times their body weight in blood if you let them. With their incredible ability to jump, once inside your home, fleas essentially have free rein to feed on any warm-blooded body that they choose. Did you know that fleas are able to cause dermatitis and anemia, as well as transfer tapeworms with their saliva alone? Fleas infest places such as furniture, blankets, and clothing, and wait for the right time to strike.
Where Fleas Come From
These ravenous blood-feeders are also known as parasitical hitchhikers because they latch onto other animals or items and go for a free ride, causing a slew of damage along the way. Because they’re so small in size, it’s important for Houston homeowners to understand how and why fleas could be making their way into the home. A few ways that fleas take over your home are by:
Wildlife and rodents. Fleas are not particular about who they gravitate toward, so don’t be surprised if they latch onto deer, squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons. These animals spend a good deal of time hanging around your property and roam around your property freely, which gives fleas easy access to your yard and the inside of your home.
Fluffy and Fido. Fleas love a good piggyback ride on your cat or dog, and an infestation is easy to obtain when most Houston homeowners let their pets out in the backyard for some exercise or play time.
Fleas can survive for up to three months without a blood meal, so they can continue to be a threat to your health and home even when they are not latched onto any of your pets. In order to keep your home free of fleas, here are a few tips to try:
Address rodents and or wildlife on your property. Fleas love wildlife, so making your home and property inhospitable to them is key for Houston homeowners. This includes clearing up rubbish regularly, storing trash bins securely, sealing up any cracks and crevices around your foundation, replacing worn weather stripping, and removing sites of excess moisture or still water.
Keep a tidy property. Be sure to trim any trees and plantings back from your home or in places that your cats and dogs frequent. This also means sealing off any openings to crawl spaces, sheds, garages, underneath decks, and similar spaces. This will also help deter other pests or wildlife that might give fleas a ride from your yard.
Treat your pets. Responsible pet parents should be sure to treat their cats and dogs year-round for fleas and ticks. Flea bites are far more detrimental to them than they are to humans, so consider discussing topical or oral treatment with your vet. Always check your pets for pests after spending time outdoors and be sure to clean bedding and toys regularly.
Practice good hygiene. Because fleas thrive in dirty conditions, ensuring that your home is cleaned and sanitized on a consistent basis is key. This means vacuuming carpets, cleaning floors and furniture, and washing bedding thoroughly and regularly.
If you have a flea infestation, or for further flea prevention assistance, contact the professionals at All-Safe Pest & Termite today! We offer many pest control services to Houston.