We love our pets, but they can be a handful, especially when they bring fleas into the home. These tiny pests will hitch a ride on your pet and quickly spread throughout carpet, bedding and upholstery. You may notice black flecks or even jumping fleas, which means it is time to take action. To help you prevent infestations, here is some more information about how fleas behave.
What Fleas Eat
While we treat our pets with flea prevention, these pests can also be attracted to humans. Both male and female fleas suck blood and while they tend to prefer pets, they will seek out any warm blooded animal, including humans. A flea bite delivers an injection of saliva, which causes irritation. This is why one of the first signs of an infestation is a pet who is constantly scratching. With humans, bites can usually be found around the ankles and feet and reactions will vary. Some people will experience extreme irritation while others won’t have any symptoms.
The Life Cycle of a Flea
In ideal conditions, a flea will take 25-30 days to transform from an egg to a larva to a full grown adult that can live up to a full year. Indoor environments with warm temperatures and controlled humidity provide the perfect breeding ground for fleas. Once a female is fertilized, she will lay anywhere from two to 14 eggs every time she is able to dine on blood. Over a lifetime, that can reach up to 800 eggs, which is why flea infestations are able to quickly spread.
Since fleas need a host or source of blood, in order to survive, the first step in controlling a flea infestation is to treat your pets. Most soaps are effective at killing fleas, so a simple bath can rid your pet of fleas. Next, you will want to wash all pet beds and clean other places where your pet spends time. Remember that fleas can develop away from the host, so you will also want to clean and vacuum all your carpets and other fabrics where fleas, larvae and eggs may be hiding. Learn more about pest control services.
Call the Professionals
More extensive infestation can be complex since fleas will be at different stages of the life cycle. You may be able to effectively remove adult fleas, but leave behind eggs which will emerge as adults in a few weeks and signal that next phase of your infestation. If you suspect that you have a large infestation, it is a good time to call in the professionals and take care of the problem for good. PMi Pest Management can help you eradicate fleas from your home and protect your family and your pets from these biting pests. Call today to get a free estimate and schedule an appointment to have your entire home treated for fleas.