Do you have fleas? This is a question that can cause you to pause and scratch your head as you think, then scratch your arm, then scratch your leg, and so on. The itching won’t stop. Fleas are a nuisance. Fleas get in our yards. Fleas hitch a ride on your pets into your home and before you know it, a full-blown infestation has occurred right under your nose. You don’t know what to do. You try all the home remedies to kill a flea that you can find. You buy all the over the counter treatments but nothing can get these fleas out of your life. What do you do?
Here are some things to consider when trying to eradicate fleas from your home, pets, yard, life.
Did you know that there are about 2500 different species of fleas? These fleas live all over the world. However, there is one common flea that pesters those of us (and our poor pets) in America today. Ctenocephalides felis is its scientific name. The common name of this flea is ‘cat flea’. Poor Fido’s fleas are really cat fleas. Who knew? No matter the name, the bite is still a bite, and it hurts. Or itches. Or both. And you don’t like it. No one likes fleas. Not Fido. Not Fluffy. And certainly not you.
The pesky little flea that invades your home is really hard to find. Fleas are tiny. Like, really tiny. Fleas are a mere 1/12 to 1/6 inch long. That’s much smaller than a grain of rice. What makes it even harder to find a flea is its color. Since it is a dark reddish/brown that looks black at a distance, a flea will often blend into its surroundings or be mistaken for a piece of lint on a lighter carpeted floor. Fleas like to hang out near the skin of your precious pet so you cannot tell it is there unless Fido or Fluffy start the tell-tale scratching that makes you know there is a flea in there somewhere. Fleas also have really long back legs that allow them to jump a great distance. They can jump about a foot with one heave-ho, jump!
Here are some more facts about the appearance of fleas:
Fleas live all over the United States. Their habitat is anywhere they can find a source of blood. Fleas live on rodents, raccoons, skunks, opossums, just to name a few. Fleas aren’t picky. Fleas will be quite cozy on Fido and Fluffy as well. Fleas move from one place to another quite easily. Fleas will even hitch a ride into your lovely home on your shoes, your socks, your pant leg and, of course, on Fido or Fluffy. Once they get into your home, fleas will easily overrun the place and you will soon find yourself in the middle of a flea infestation. A flea-ridden home is not a happy place to be.
If you suspect a flea is on your pet, check these areas:
Fleas do not pack their bags and walk up and down the street. Fleas gain entry into homes and businesses by getting a ride on pets and humans.
Fleas are a huge nuisance to your well-being. Fleas cause turmoil and nights of unrest. First of all, a flea on Fluffy will cause her to scratch. She will scratch and try to chew the flea off of her. Why? Because fleas BITE! And flea bites STING! As if that isn’t bad enough, a flea also leaves their spit when they bite which is a source of lingering irritation to many animals. Once a flea is on your precious pet, it begins biting right away. Blood is their source of food and your pet is a buffet for the fleas. A single flea can eat about fifteen times its weight. Once they eat, they leave behind their feces which is really just dried blood. It quickly turns black and looks like a speck of black pepper when you see it on your pet, your bed, and your carpets. I know, this flea dirt sounds pretty gross, right? Soon, fleas start reproducing and the eggs fall off your pet and onto your couch, your carpet or anywhere your pet likes to hang out. The flea eggs become larvae which will turn into cocoons or pupa (which insecticides can’t kill). In about 4 weeks, the flea eggs become adult fleas that start the whole cycle over.
Not only are flea bites a nuisance to your pets, but fleas can also transmit diseases. Here are some things to watch out for if you think your pets may have fleas:
Elimination of ant infestation requires proper identification of what type of ant you’re dealing with. Different control methods are required for certain species. Also, getting professionals to do the work ensures that the entire colony is removed and the ants do not come back. The control process starts with the removal of the food source followed by thorough inspection to find the origin of the ants. Tracking the trails that they follow can lead to the surface opening to the colony. Once the colony entrances are found, baits or non-repellents can be used.
Baits have an attractant that foraging ants think is food. The ants take the bait to the colony and share it with other ants. Homeowners usually notice an increase in ant activity because baits because more ants are being drawn in by the baits. The active ingredient in the bait is untraceable and usually slow-acting, which ensures the ants survive long enough to spread it through the colony until it reaches to the queen. As the colony begins to die off, there will be a progressive decline in ant activity.
Because non-repellents are undetectable, applying the liquid near or directly on the entrance area of the colony means the ants will pick up the products and carry them back inside the nest. Just like bait, this product takes advantage of the ants’ most endearing qualities: taking care of each other. As they groom each other and pass chemical for communication purposes, using a non-repellent insecticide lets the ants spread the intoxicants without knowing what they’re doing. Depending on the species being targeted, it may take several treatments to control the colony.
If you have a flea infestation, one treatment type is not enough. You must be diligent in several areas to get rid of fleas. It is important to keep in mind that over the counter remedies rarely work to eradicate all stages of the flea infestation.
A peaceful home is a flea free home. Fleas wreak havoc on our daily lives until we can get the fleas out of our lives. No one likes a flea. Not Fluffy. Not Fido. No one. So, to keep your sanity, be sure to keep your yard treated by a professional. Take your pets to their veterinarian annually and use a flea preventative approved by your veterinarian. The best treatment for a flea infestation is preventive. When you keep your yard treated, your pets clean and treated with a preventive treatment, and keep the rodents away, you won’t get fleas. That’s the goal, right?