What are fleas?
Fleas are ectoparasites - they live and feed on the outside of their host. One of the most common species of flea that comes into contact with people and animals is the cat flea. Despite their name, they feed on a variety of hosts using their specialized, piercing mouthparts. Fleas have a hard body, making them very difficult to crush. They are dark reddish-brown in color, wingless, extremely small in size, and are often mistaken for a fleck of dirt. They have large and powerful hind legs that they use to jump; cat fleas can jump up to 150 times their own height!
Are fleas dangerous?
Fleas do pose some dangers to both pets and people. Fleas bite in order to feed on the blood of their host. They typically attack and bite the entire body of an animal, and attack the legs and feet of a person. A flea bite appears as a small red spot that is encircled by a reddish halo.
Fleas are responsible for spreading some diseases and are intermediate hosts for parasitic tapeworms. They can transmit tapeworms to both people and pets. Additionally, some people and animals are allergic to their saliva and can develop flea allergy dermatitis, which could cause a secondary infection that requires medical attention. Pets and animals that are severely infested with fleas may also develop anemia, which can make them very weak and ill.
Why do I have a flea problem?
Fleas are commonly introduced onto properties by wild animals like deer, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and they can become a problem for any property owner whether they own pets or not. Fleas primarily live outdoors on the host animal that they are feeding on. However, fleas often find their way inside of a home or other structure on the backs of pets like cats and dogs after spending time outside in a flea-infested area. Fleas also jump onto people’s shoes and clothing and are unknowingly transported inside.
If you purchase used furniture or rugs, know that they could be harboring adult fleas or eggs. Also, if your home was previously occupied by a pet owner but you personally don’t have pets, there could still be eggs inside of your home that, once suitable environmental conditions are reached, will hatch and cause an infestation.
Where will I find fleas?
Outside, fleas live and feed on the backs of their host. If they aren’t feeding, you will find them outside in shady, damp areas where pets and animals frequent. Flea populations often flourish in areas of high grass, under leaves, or in the dirt underneath shrubs, bushes, decks, and porches.
How do I get rid of fleas?
To rid your Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas residential or commercial property of invasive fleas, seek the help of an experienced pest control expert. At Mid-South Pest & Termite, our knowledgeable professionals provide effective pest control services using environmentally friendly methods. We are committed to our customers and using advanced solutions to eliminate fleas and other household pests from Memphis, Germantown, Cordova, Bartlett, Lakeland, and Arlington homes. To learn more about our residential and commercial pest control options, call Mid-South Pest & Termite today!
How can I prevent fleas in the future?
To avoid problems with invasive fleas on your greater Memphis area property, we suggest the following prevention tips:
Treat all pets with a flea-preventative product, under the guidance of their veterinarian.
Inspect the clothing of yourself and family members after spending time outside.
Keep your grass cut short.
Regularly wash pet bedding.
Do not purchase used rugs and upholstered furniture for use within your home.
Maintain shrubs and bushes to prevent them from overgrowing.
Remove bird and other wild animal feeders from your property.
Vacuum your home regularly, especially in areas where your pets spend the most time.
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