This month, let’s talk about a pest everyone deals with. Everyone that has pets anyway. This pest is the flea. Many people think fleas will only attack animals such as dogs and cats. However, they will also attack another animal called a human. In the event there is no more suitable host in the home such as our fur-children, these will actually attempt to feed on us.
There are many species of fleas. They do have a significant importance for us in terms of medical issues and humans. They have been found to carry and transmit many diseases including bubonic plague, murine typhus, tapeworms, and cat scratch disease to name a few.
Probably the most common flea which infest both dogs and cats is the “Cat Flea”. This one accounts for more than 90% of the flea problems on dogs and cats. Since it is the most common flea for our pets, let’s talk about this one. These can produce thousands of mature fleas over the life of the female. They have a 4-stage development: egg, larva, pupa, adult (complete metamorphosis). They are controllable in all stages except the pupal stage. This is an important part to understand.
Recommendation for control include making sure the pet is being treated, the lawn/shrub areas should b treated, and the inside of the home must be treated. Also of significance – if your home sits over a crawl space, you really need to make sure no feral animals can get access to that crawl space.
Post treatment on the inside of the home, we always recommend daily vacuuming of any carpeted areas. This is to stimulate the pupal stage to develop into the adult.
Fleas are a problem throughout the year for most households; however, summertime temperatures and weather conditions create a prime opportunity for these creatures to reproduce and harm our pets as well as our family members.
Many assume that fleas will only attack animals such as dogs and cats. The reality is that fleas can also attack people. In the event that there is no suitable host in a home, such as our fur-children, these ectoparasites (external parasites) will actually attempt to feed on us.
Not only are the bites from these small bugs painful, they can also lead to disease in both animals and humans. Bubonic Plague, murine typhus, tapeworms, and cat scratch disease to name a few are transmitted via flea bites or by the unintentional ingestion of fleas.
The most common flea, the species that infests both dogs and cats is the “Cat Flea”. The Cat Flea accounts for more than 90% of the flea problems affecting household pets. These can produce thousands of mature fleas throughout the life of the egg-laying female. They have a 4-stage development: egg, larva, pupa, adult (complete metamorphosis). They are controllable in all states except the pupal stage.
If there is evidence of any flea activity on your pet or in your home or yard, it is vital to request an inspection from a qualified pest control professional before a full-scale infestation begins.
Control begins with treating all pets with a flea and tick prevention medication as well as lawn and shrub treatment. Interior treatment, especially homes that sit over a crawlspace that may house feral animals, should be completed to ensure that an infestation does not occur indoors.
Post-treatment or households that do not currently have a flea issue are recommended to vacuum carpeted areas daily to stimulate the pupal stage of fleas that may be living inside of carpet fiber. Remember, fleas in the pupal stage are not able to be treated so encouraging development will allow for successful elimination of these pests from the interior of your home.
If you believe you have fleas at your home or business, the experts at Fort Myers Pest Control offer a full range of flea identification and elimination services. Contact Fort Myers Pest Control for a complimentary flea inspection at (239) 543-3100.