Fleas

What are fleas?

There are two types of fleas living in Connecticut that invade our yards, homes, and pets: dog fleas and cat fleas. Despite their name, neither feed on the blood of a specific host. Both cat and dog fleas are external parasites on dogs, cats, rodents, wild animals, and, if available, people – although we aren’t their preferred host. The cat flea is the more widespread flea species, but both can cause problems inside our homes.

a flea in white dog hair

Physical differences between the cat and dog fleas are microscopic. In general, fleas have bodies that are flattened from side to side, six legs with the hind legs being larger and more robust than the others, tube-like mouthparts that they use to feed on blood, and both species lack wings. Fleas are tiny and are often mistaken for specks of dirt, that is until they use their large back legs to jump out of the way!

Are fleas dangerous?

As fleas feed on the blood of various hosts, they can pass pathogens and parasites, including tapeworms, to both people and animals. Many people and animals are allergic to flea saliva; after being bitten, a raised, red, itchy rash often develops. Secondary infections due to excessive itching can occur. In our pets, excessive itching at flea bite sites can cause hair loss and open sores to develop.

In addition to physical problems, having fleas jumping around is enough to make anyone feel unwelcome in their own home.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Whether you have pets living in your home or not, cat fleas and dog fleas can become a problem in your yard or house. Whether permanently residing in your yard or just traveling across it, wild animals are more often than not infested with fleas. After a female lays its eggs, they roll off the host’s body and into your yard. Once the fleas hatch, they look for a host to feed on – potentially, you or your pets.

When fleas are introduced into a home, they can quickly establish large populations because they breed rapidly and can complete their life cycle indoors. Rodents and other wild animals that move inside to nest can also introduce fleas into our homes. Fleas are also able to get inside on objects like used rugs and upholstered furniture.

Where will I find fleas?

There are many places fleas feed, breed, and live and where we and our pets could come into contact with them, such as the following:

  • Yards
  • Wooded areas and fields
  • Grooming facilities and kennels
  • Campgrounds and dog parks

If fleas have moved into your home, they spend most of their time on the backs of an animal host (if available). Recently hatched fleas and fleas not feeding on a host hide in upholstered furniture, the cracks of floors, rugs, bedding, blankets, and pet beds.

How do I get rid of fleas?

At Rescue 1 Pest & Termite Control, we understand how stressful and frustrating problems with fleas can be and will come to your aid quickly. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, we know how to rid Connecticut homes of biting fleas. We design our pest control services to meet the unique pest control needs of each of our customers. Call today to learn the details of our effective flea control services!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

Prevent problems with fleas and other pests with the following prevention tips and the comprehensive pest control services at Rescue 1 Pest & Termite Control:

  • Keep your grass cut short, cut back overgrown shrubs and bushes, and remove leaf and brush piles from your yard where fleas can hide.
  • Partner with your pet’s veterinarian to place them on an appropriate flea prevention program.
  • Vacuum regularly to pick up stray fleas that may find their way into your home on you or your pets.
  • Place a fence around your yard to keep your pets in and neighborhood pets out.
  • Eliminate food sources from your yard that attract flea-infested wild animals; keep lids on trash cans, remove bird feeders, and maintain gardens.
  • Be careful when bringing used upholstered furniture or rugs into your home, as they could be harboring fleas, flea eggs, or flea larvae.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.

 

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