When fleas invade, they make life difficult for you and your pets. These pests feed on blood and can leave you and your furry family members with itchy bites. The more you know about fleas, the easier it will be to eliminate an infestation. We’ve made a list of five facts about fleas that you need to know.
1. Fleas Leave Behind Clues
When fleas infest homes, there are often signs of their arrival. Discovering an infestation early will make it easier to get rid of these pests.
- Spotting Fleas & Eggs: Spotting adult fleas is the most obvious sign of an infestation. These pests are dark reddish-brown and range in size from 1/12" to 1/6". You may also notice their eggs, which are tiny, white or clear, and oval.
- Excessive Scratching: If you’re pets are scratching or licking excessively, fleas could be responsible. Your pets may deal with hair loss or red patches because of their scratching.
- Flea Bites: You may also notice red bites. These are usually found on your pet’s head, neck, tail, and armpits. Fleas can also bite you. If this happens, they typically bite ankles and marks appear in clusters.
- Flea Droppings: Also known as flea dirt, flea droppings appear as black or reddish-brown specks. They resemble pepper and can be found on your pets, bedding, and the floor.
2. Fleas Have Many Hiding Places
Fleas prefer to spend time on their host, but they often fall off and end up in other places. If they’re on your pet, you can find them on your pet’s waist, neck, armpits, and around their ears. Outside, fleas hang out in overgrown vegetation and organic matter. Once they end up in your home, they will hide in several places. Common hiding spots include carpet, rugs, cracks and crevices in hardwood or tile flooring, furniture, and bedding. Fleas do best in warm, humid environments.
3. You Can Get Fleas Even if You Don’t Have Pets
Fleas are most often associated with pets. However, you can still deal with these pests even if you don’t have furry family members. If you’re in an area with fleas, they can slip onto you and your things. Fleas can be brought into your home on your clothing, in backpacks, in purses, and in luggage. These pests may also be hiding on old furniture. When neighbors or friends visit, they may unknowingly bring fleas in with them. If wildlife walks in your yard, there’s a chance they can carry fleas too.
4. A Flea’s Life Cycle Helps It Survive
Fleas go through four life stages as they develop—egg, larva, pupa, and adult. In two of these stages, they are protected from threats. Female fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day, and pesticides won’t do damage to these eggs. Fleas are also safe during the pupal stage. Pupae are in a silk cocoon that shields them from harm. These cocoons are sticky and can be tricky to remove from carpet and rugs. Sweeping and vacuuming can help to remove flea eggs and pupae. Unfortunately, multiple rounds of pesticide treatment may be needed to help catch newly hatched eggs and pupae.
5. Your Home & Pets Need Treated
When dealing with a flea problem, you’ll need to address your pets and your home. Only focusing on one area of treatment won’t eliminate an infestation. Work with your veterinarian to find the best treatment method for you pets. You’ll also want to spend time vacuuming, sweeping, and washing your pet’s bedding. Using plant-based insecticide sprays can also help to get rid of fleas. Our Bed Bug & Flea Killer aerosol kills fleas on contact and provides residual repellency. Insecticide dusts, like our Spider & Insect Dust and Bed Bug Killer, can also help with fleas. While our products can be used in areas where pets hang out, they should not be applied to pets.
No one wants to have fleas as roommates. Knowing what you’re up against and acting quickly can help keep these pests away. If fleas or other pests are bugging you, we’re here to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.