What do fleas look like?
Fleas are parasitic pests that feed on the blood of their hosts. There are many different species of fleas found living throughout the United States. Some of the most common fleas to cause problems for people and pets are cat fleas. Adult cat fleas are shiny and dark brownish-red in color. They are wingless and have flat, hard bodies which protect them from being squished.
Fleas are commonly identified by their long, powerful back legs. They have a 6 to 8-inch vertical jump, allowing them to move quickly away from danger. Fleas are small in size (about the size of a fleck of dirt), and adults only grow to between 1/12th and 1/6th of an inch in length.
Where do fleas nest?
Fleas are typically found living outside. They live either in the fur of wild animals they are currently feeding on, in tall grasses and dense vegetation, in wood piles and sandy areas, or in shady damp areas. As they hide within these areas fleas wait for a new host to happen by.
Fleas that are living inside homes or other buildings are often found in the cracks of floors, along baseboards, underneath carpets, in the seams of furniture, and in areas where pets sleep.
Why do I have a flea problem?
Fleas are often introduced onto properties on the backs of wild animals that are traveling across your property. Once on your property, it is only a matter of time until you or your pets come into contact with fleas and they are accidentally introduced inside. Fleas may also jump onto the clothing or shoes of people who then unknowingly bring them inside their homes. It is common for fleas to find their way inside on used furniture or rugs that were purchased and already infested with adult fleas, nymphs, or eggs. In addition, if your home was previously occupied by a pet owner, there may be eggs inside your home that have hatched and caused an infestation.
Are fleas dangerous?
Fleas can be considered dangerous pests. They feed on the blood of a variety of people and animals, and have the potential to spread a variety of diseases and parasites. Fleas spread murine typhus in the United States, and are responsible for spreading the plague throughout other parts of the world.
Fleas are intermediate hosts of parasitic tapeworms and can infect both people and animals with them. Some people are allergic to flea saliva and may develop flea allergy dermatitis, an itchy condition which may require medical attention. Dogs and cats that are heavily infested with fleas can become anemic.
How do I get rid of fleas?
The best way to eliminate fleas is to contact a professional. At Superior Pest Solutions, our professionals will inspect your property to accurately identify pests and the conditions that are attracting them. Based on our findings, we will implement a plan of action to eliminate fleas and other household-invading pests. For flea control in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Gloucester counties, reach out to Superior Pest.
How can I prevent flea infestations?
Fleas can be difficult pests to prevent.
In addition to putting into place a professional flea control service, the following tips can help prevent problems with fleas:
- Partner with your pets’ veterinarian and place them on a year-round flea preventative product.
- Inspect the clothing of yourself and family members after spending time outside.
- Inspect your pets’ fur for fleas after they have spent time outside.
- Vacuum your home regularly, especially in areas where your pets spend a lot of time.
- Regularly wash your pets’ bedding.
- If possible, don’t allow pets on upholstered furniture or on your bed.
- Do not purchase used rugs and upholstered furniture for use within your home.
- Keep your lawn cut short.
- Remove bird and wild animal feeders around your yard that could attract rodents and other animals to your property that may be infested with fleas.