Pest Identification: Fleas

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Nobody likes discovering fleas in their home. While they are often brought inside by the family pet, fleas enjoy feasting on any warm-blooded body and leave little red bites to prove they were there. If you’ve experienced a flea infestation in your home, learn more about these pests, including what you can do to get rid of them and how to keep them from coming back.

What Are Fleas?

Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of cats, dogs, and even humans. They appear as a dark reddish-brown color and grow up to 1/12 to 1/6” long with six legs and tiny antennae.

During their short life of about 100 days, females produce an astounding 400-500 offspring. Fleas move from place to place on animals and rodents and are capable of jumping up to 13” high (roughly 200 times their own height!). While fleas mostly stay with their hosts, they can also be found on shoes, blankets, or pant legs which enables them to transfer to new environments.

Are Fleas Harmful to Humans or Property?

Fleas feed on the blood of a host to survive. If a flea enters a home on a mouse and the mouse is eventually trapped and removed, they would focus on the other people and pets who live inside.

You may recognize flea bites as small painful itchy marks on your skin. Flea bites can become dangerous if they transmit the rare bubonic plague or bacterial diseases through contact with infected rats. A flea’s saliva can even cause an allergic reaction in some pets and humans. Fleas can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets. For the health and safety of you and your pets, it’s important to follow proper flea management for pets in your home.

How Do I Prevent Fleas?

To keep fleas from taking residence inside and laying eggs, clean and vacuum your home regularly. Prevention also includes good yard care. Keep your lawn mowed and avoid rodent infestations on your property. You can help prevent your pets from getting fleas by keeping dogs on a leash outside and grooming your pets often. Use flea treatments on pets as recommended to keep them safe and free of fleas.

How Can I Get Rid of Fleas?

If you’re experiencing a flea infestation in your home and preventive measure aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to call the experts. Professional pest control experts can help by finding the source of fleas and keeping their eggs from hatching or spreading in your home. This may include eliminating rodents and other pests bringing fleas into your home and creating an ongoing treatment plan to keep pests out.

At Inman-Murphy Termite and Pest Control, our technicians are trained and experienced at eradicating fleas from home so you and your pets are safe. Call us at 901-730-5989 or request a free estimate online to manage a flea infestation in your home.

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is President of Inman-Murphy Inc., one of the fastest growing pest control companies in Memphis, TN.