Fleas are one of nature’s more mysterious insects. You’re more likely to notice the consequences of a flea before ever seeing one. But once you see your dog incessantly scratching, you know you might have a problem on your hands.
A flea infestation is uncomfortable for your furry friends, but their bites are itchy to humans too. Flea saliva is a common allergen that leads to rashes and may exacerbate respiratory illness. What’s more, it can take weeks and months to control the issue if fleas get inside your home.
For this reason, it’s far better to take a proactive approach to prevent the pests than to wait and deal with them once you have an infestation.
It helps to know where fleas come from and how to avoid the little buggers to stop them from invading your home and terrorizing you and your pets.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about fleas and how to keep your pets and home flea-free.
Where Do Fleas Live?
Where do dog fleas come from? Are they the same as cat fleas? Fleas are the most common external parasite of domestic animals. Dogs can host several flea species, but the most common flea type for dogs and cats is the cat flea known as Ctenocephalides felis. You read that right—it’s typically a cat flea species that’s bothering your dog! (Dog fleas look the same as cat fleas, but they aren’t as common.)
Fleas originate from another infested animal. They easily spread between different animals and then make their way into your home when the pets come in for a visit or to sleep. Outside, fleas can typically be found in shady areas, near long grass or bushes, while they wait for a host to pass by. Because they can live without a blood meal from a host for as long as three months, they remain a threat even when not on your pet.
With flat bodies and powerful legs, fleas can jump 100 times their height. Once they detect a host, they spring up and latch on to the animal, migrating to places the animal cannot easily scratch with claws or bite away with teeth, such as the abdomen, joints, and under limbs. Fleas tend to nestle in places the animal cannot easily scratch with claws or bite away with teeth.
How Do Fleas Survive?
There are four stages of the flea’s life cycle:
An adult flea spends most of its life on an animal, while the development of the egg, larva, and pupa happens off the pet. That’s why effective flea control must include treatments for both the pet and the environment to stop a recurring infestation. Only eliminating fleas on your pet is not enough to rid your yard and home of the problem. In fact, the pupal stage of the flea is so resistant that a pupa can survive for as many as two years in the right conditions. Unless you eradicate all traces of fleas in all the stages, you may deal with the flea problem’s consequences for a very long time.
Adult fleas living on your pet will feed on blood daily or every other day. The female will then lay eggs on the host animal—up to 30 to 60 eggs per day. While some of the eggs remain on your pet, others fall into the crevices of sofas, chairs, or the fibers of your carpet. Yuck! You may be scratching right now just thinking about it!
How to Avoid a Flea Problem
So what’s the solution to this pesky flea issue? Whether you are trying to avoid a flea infestation or are dealing with an active one now, understanding fleas’ nature and how they impact your pet and your property is an excellent place to start. The next best thing you can do is take action right away.
Here are the steps to avoid or eliminate a flea problem:
- When outside, stay clear of cool, shady, and humid areas where fleas thrive.
- Use flea treatments on your pet. Check with your veterinarian to find the right treatment to meet your pet’s needs. You can also use a flea comb to go through your pet’s coat before letting them inside.
- Regularly clean and vacuum your home, including baseboards, under furniture and cushions, and in any area where your pet spends time. Because fleas avoid high-traffic zones, cleaning those hard-to-reach spots can make a difference.
- Treat your yard for fleas. Eradicating fleas from your property is your best line of defense against a pet and home infestation. For best results, keep your grass mowed, shrubs trimmed, and get professional flea control treatments designed to destroy and prevent fleas.
Freedom from Fleas Is Possible with Mosquito Joe
Are you worried about getting fleas in your home? As long as you keep your pets treated and give your yard the anti-pest TLC it needs, you can enjoy a flea-free zone!
Let your local Mosquito Joe keep pests, including fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks, away with our effective lawn barrier treatments. Call 1-855-275-2563 or connect with us online to schedule expert flea control services designed to keep your backyard activities bite-free.
Fleas like to hide in all of those dark, hard to reach areas of your home. Are you keeping those as clean as you think? Let Molly Maid help by scheduling regular home cleanings. Like Mosquito Joe, Molly Maid is a member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.