It’s one thing for a bug to bite us, but when they start biting our pets things go to a whole different level. Fleas are bloodsuckers. They love the heat, love to live on animals like dogs and cats, and feed all day long. In fact, a female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood every single day. And a typical household that is infested with fleas has thousands around at all times.
Currently, we are in the beginning stage of flea season. But as soon as the weather gets a little warmer they will be out in full force looking for places to nest and feed. So if you have animals in your home that are not on any sort of flea prevention program, now is the time to start. Because unlike other bug infestations that take a while to get out of control, it only takes fleas a few days.
“Fleas are bloodsuckers just like mosquitoes and bedbugs, and are always in search of a blood meal,” said John Moore Services Pest Control Manager. “Pets are the number one cause of a household becoming infested with fleas, and anyone with dogs or cats that go outdoors is very prone to getting them. Fleas populate very heavily so even if you don’t have any in your home but take your dog for a walk, your home is still at risk for getting infested.”
How do I know if I have a flea infestation?
In Houston during the summer, you can count on fleas being around and even being in your front or backyard. But determining if you have any living inside your home is a different story. Here are some things to check for:
Check your pets for scratching:
Pay attention to your pets and see if they are scratching themselves more than usual. Fleas are bloodsuckers and if they are living on your animals, your animals are going to do all they can to try and remove them. If the infestation gets bad enough, animals will start to develop infections and even lose hair in certain areas that are exposed.
Look for flea dirt:
Fleas are tiny and jump really fast, so even if your pets do have fleas it might be hard to see them. A flea is able to jump 8-inches high, which is equivalent to a human jumping over a tall building in a single leap. Because of their agility, it’s hard to find or physically remove them from your animals. But if you think your pet has fleas, you can check them for flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like little black specks and is actually flea droppings. The more flea dirt you find on your animals, the worse the infestation is.
Do the “white sock” test:
Ultimately, a flea wants to live on an animal, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Female flea’s lay eggs on animals but most of the time the eggs are not able to stick on the animal and will fall off on the carpet, rugs, or couches. And this is when the real infestation begins. If you think you are at risk, put on a pair of white tube socks and stand on your carpet. If you notice black specks jumping on and off your socks, then you have an infestation.
What if my pets are on flea medications, can I still have a problem?
Flea medications do help to keep fleas off of cats and dogs. Most of the medications work by staying in your pet’s bloodstream and when a flea bites your pet it will die. But just because your animals do not have fleas, doesn’t mean that your home will be without them. And if fleas are in your home and not biting your pets, they will start to bite you and your family. Fleas still lay eggs and the medications do not stop the eggs from hatching. And each time a flea lays eggs, hundreds of fleas are born.
How can I stop an infestation in my home?
The key with fleas is stopping their life cycle. A lot of people buy flea bombs or spray at a store and try to treat them themselves, and it just doesn’t work. They might go away for a few days but they will always be back. The reason for this is store-bought flea treatments only kill adult fleas; they do nothing to the eggs, nymphs, or pupa, which are the different life stages of fleas. In order to effectively remove fleas from a home, the professionals at John Moore Services use an IGR, which is a growth regulator. This not only kills the adults but also stops the eggs from molting into adults. It is the only product that will stop fleas, no matter what life stage they are in, from turning into an adult.
Once our Pest Control experts have treated a house for fleas, we wait two weeks and come back to do a follow-up to make sure everything hatched out and died. Depending on the severity of the problem, it might take several treatments to remove them for good. For example, if you live in a heavily wooded area, or live in a part of town with a bad possum or raccoon population, your home is going to be more prone to fleas and you will probably need a few extra treatments. If your home has fleas or your home is prone to having fleas, now is the time to take preventive action. John Moore Services has many different pest control options available. You can call now and have a pest control expert evaluate your home and determine a treatment plan that is specifically designed for you based on the needs of your home. As a homeowner, you have plenty of things to worry about and fleas should not be one of them. Call now and get treatment today!