If you are a pet owner or you plan on spending time outdoors this summer you should prepare for a possible encounter with fleas. Fleas are not only considered a nuisance but they also pose a health risk to humans and pets. Although you cannot prevent fleas from entering you home or infesting your property, you can minimize your risk. At Dave’s Pest Control we encourage you to enjoy the summer season while being aware of these pests and when they are the most active. We invite you to contact Dave’s Pest Control today and talk with a customer service representative about our comprehensive pest control programs. Schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced technicians who will guide you in all of your pest control needs. We take care of pests so you don’t have to!
All About Fleas
There are over 2,000 known species and sub species of fleas. One of the most prevalent fleas is the Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). As the name suggests, the cat flea is most commonly found on domesticated cats, but they can also be found on dogs and wild animals. Fleas prefer a warm humid environment. Under optimum conditions, the cat flea cycle takes approximately 18 days, from egg to adult. Fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and biting adult. Fleas can enter the home taking a free ride on pets but fleas are also great jumpers and enter on people’s shoes and clothing. A flea can jump 8 inches high, or 150 times its own height.
Flea Bites on Pets and Humans
Pets with fleas can develop anemia or intense bouts of itching. Some pets develop an allergy (dermatitis) to flea saliva causing severe irritation and hair loss. Fleas are also hosts to tapewormsthat can infect pets and humans. People with weak immune systems are at increased risk of contracting cat scratch fever. The infection is transmitted between cats by fleas. Infected flea droppings on the cat’s fur or claws are typically the source of human infections. The infection is spread from the cat to a person by a cat bite, lick or scratch. Cat scratch fever can be prevented by using veterinarian approved flea prevention and of course, by avoiding cats that bite or scratch.
Helpful tips to prevent fleas from entering your home:
1. Mow you lawn and other grassy areas frequently to help reduce and control humidity at ground level. An ideal height for grass is 3 inches or less.
2. Don’t feed wildlife and consider a barrier such as a fence to keep wildlife and your neighbors’ pets off of your property.
3. Examine your pet’s fur with a flea comb for fleas and flea dirt regularly. Apply a veterinarian approved flea product.
4. Wash your pet’s bedding frequently and clean areas such as carpet and furniture where your pet likes to lay down and spend a lot of time.