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Have you had an itch in the middle of your back that you could not scratch? It is frustrating as you contort your body and twist to the side as you attempt to reach the itch on your back, only to fall short. In desperation, you go to the kitchen, take out the pasta scooper and pray that the handle gives you enough extension to satisfy the itch. Of course, few things are as satisfying as finally being able to scratch the itch. 

Multiply the itching sensation by a hundred, and you know what it is like to have fleas. While you sit on the couch trying to relax, you can feel them jumping on and off your body, crawling in your hair, and biting your arms. Amazingly, they even seem to be able to get underneath your clothing. When fleas are present, there is only one thing on your mind; how do I get rid of fleas in my house? 

If fleas interrupt your evenings, disrupt sleep, and annoy you, get The Woodlands pest control team from All-Safe Pest & Termite. Our family-owned company has removed fleas since 1984. Decades of serving our community with low-toxicity products and superior customer service have made us one of Texas's largest independent pest control companies.

We wrote this article to help you because we understand how frustrating and overwhelming it is to have fleas infesting your house. Please keep reading to learn about fleas and how to prevent a future infestation. 

Fleas: Facts and Identification

To provide you with a quick reference, the following are flea facts: 

  • Body size: 1/12 to 1/6 inch
  • Body color: Dark reddish brown
  • Legs: Six with two large hind legs
  • Wings: None
  • Preferred Hosts: Animals
  • Jumping ability: 150 times body height
  • Food source: Blood

Let's unpack these flea facts in more detail. Fleas are insects. Although they have a 1/12 to 1/6 inch dark reddish brown body flattened from side to side, fleas are visible to the naked eye. Like all insects, the flea insect has six legs, two antennae, and an exterior skeleton. Due to their ability to vertically jump as high as eight inches using their large hind legs, they may appear to fly, but they can't because they do not have wings. 

Fleas in The Woodlands are parasites. Like most insects, fleas hatch from eggs that have fallen to the ground. After two to five days, larvae emerge from the eggs. The tiny, white worm-like larva feed on the undigested blood in flea feces (flea dirt) over the next two weeks while they grow (assuming favorable conditions). Once the larvae develop, they form cocoons and become pupae. The pupae may remain in its cocoon for a year or longer if conditions are not conducive. They eventually emerge from the cocoon into adulthood when they sense a host nearby. 

How does a flea know when a potential host is near? Fleas are similar to mosquitoes because they detect hosts through body heat and breathing. One of the functions of a flea's antennae is heat detection. Fleas prepare to jump when they notice a heat source, especially over 104℉, so the higher the body temperature, the more likely a flea will make its move. However, heat isn't the only attractant for fleas. Carbon dioxide (CO2), which mammals produce when exhaling, is another attraction for fleas. Fleas can jump over 150 times their height, but they don't want to miss, so movements and ground vibrations are other ways they determine a host's presence. Fleas leap and land on their host when these four elements are present.

When pupae sense heat, vibrations, movement, and carbon dioxide, they evacuate the cocoon and jump on the host. After emerging from the cocoon, the new adult feeds on pets and people for 30 to 100 days. Although both male and female fleas need blood, females require blood to produce eggs. Once a female flea has a blood meal, it will deposit 20 to 50 eggs; over its lifetime, it delivers upwards of 2,000 eggs. 

Fleas feed primarily on dogs and cats but will use humans as a host if no animals are present. In the wild, fleas use raccoons, opossums, skunks, and foxes as hosts. Fleas also use rats and mice as hosts. These rodents spread disease in homes in The Woodlands through contact, biting, and scratching, but they also serve as a transport for fleas that distribute infectious diseases. Although fleas consume human blood, female fleas need non-human blood to stimulate egg production. Like bed bugs, fleas can live for an extended time if no blood is present. 

If you need to get rid of fleas, All-Safe Pest & Termite is the solution to your problem. We can stop fleas from disrupting your life in your house. 

How Fleas Can Be Harmful To Both People And Pets

Unlike mosquitoes that eat nectar and the females need blood only for egg production, male and female fleas feast solely only blood. When a flea ingests a blood meal, it gets the protein, iron, amino acids, and other nutrients it needs to sustain life. However, in addition to nutrients, a flea ingests any infectious organisms in the host's blood. 

When you smell a steak or cooking or baking, your glands produce additional saliva in anticipation of a sumptuous meal. When you eat, your body mixes saliva with the food to enable swallowing and digestion. Fleas are no different; they produce salivary secretions, although not in response to steak or chocolate chip cookies. When a flea bites, it inserts a needle-like structure (proboscis) to draw blood and injects saliva into the victim's bloodstream. If blood from a previous host infected the flea, it passes on the disease-causing organisms into its new host through its saliva.

Murine typhus, tungiasis, tularemia, and bartonellosis are common bacterial diseases spread by fleas. Fleas also spread parasitic organisms like tapeworms in humans. These pathogens cause fever, bloating, stomachaches, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. Tapeworms in pets cause a distended abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. If you see these symptoms and others, please seek veterinarian help. 

Flea saliva triggers an allergic reaction. A flea bite itches and swells because the body views flea saliva as an invader and dispatches histamine to remove it. It is histamine that causes itching and swelling at the wound site. 

The best way to get rid of fleas in the house is to use the services of our professionals at All-Safe Pest & Termite. 

Let Us Help With Your Flea Infestation!

When you contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for a flea removal estimate, a friendly customer service representative will listen to your concern and note the details regarding your flea issue. We will schedule a trained technician to investigate the interior and exterior of your location for attractants and flea hot spots. Based on our findings and your input, we will develop a custom plan to strategically treat your home with only the necessary amount of the low-toxicity product. Our treatment not only eradicates the flea population in the house but also helps to form a protective barrier. 

Flea treatment for home from All-Safe Pest & Termite is essential because fleas are good at hiding. Fleas hide in carpet, hardwood floor cracks, pet bedding, clothing, and furniture. While vacuuming and other prevention tips will stop future infestations, once fleas invade your home in The Woodlands, you need a professional treatment that eliminates fleas where they hide and keeps future generations from developing. 

We have removed fleas from homes in The Woodlands since 1984. You can rest assured that decades of experience have allowed us to perfect our pest control methods and products. 

Effective Tips To Prevent Fleas From Returning

When All-Safe Pest & Termite removes fleas in the house, you don't want them to return and restart the process. Here are some flea prevention tips to keep fleas from reinfesting your home: 

  • Cut the yard grass to a short level
  • Remove standing water in the yard
  • Eliminate junk and debris on the property
  • Keep outdoor garbage containers closed
  • Vacuum the house regularly
  • Suction out cracks and corners
  • Wash pet bedding frequently
  • Remove clothing piles from the floor
  • Inspect pets before allowing them to enter the house
  • Use a veterinarian-approved flea prevention product with supervision
  • Wash and groom your pets

Because animals, including wild animals, are preferred by fleas, taking steps to deter wild animals on your property will reduce the possibility of a future infestation. Food, water, and shelter are attractants for rodents, raccoons, opossums, and other wild animals. Eliminating attractant elements from your property will discourage rodents and wild animals from entering, and when they are not on your land, they will not enter your house. 

Consult your veterinarian when treating your pet for fleas and discuss a proper grooming schedule appropriate for the animal to prevent causing other problems. 

The best way to get rid of fleas is to apply these tips with a flea treatment and routine service from All-Safe Pest & Termite. Contact us today to learn more about our plans and to get a free estimate.

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