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HOW TO GET RID OF FLEAS
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Among the many potential unwanted house guests you might find in your humble abode, fleas are among the smallest and itchiest. They can jump from humans to pets and create an overall unsanitary atmosphere.
Wondering what to do if you think these creepy crawlies are in your home or on your pet? You’ve come to the right place. Learn where fleas come from, how to identify if you have them, and how Hawx Pest Control’s flea plan will get to the root of the issue.
What are fleas?
Fleas are tiny, blood-sucking insects that feed on warm blood. Thanks to their long fur in which to hide, your pets are their number one favorite entrée.
Luckily, fleas don’t fly, but they’re so tiny and typically dark in color that they can be hard to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Don’t let their small size of 2–4mm fool you though; they can carry disease and are a health risk to your pets and family.
Where do fleas come from?
Most commonly, fleas are passed from an infected animal to a new one. They can also be found in shady, tall grasses or in the sand, waiting for their next involuntary host.
Carpets are a domestic favorite for fleas, especially the high-pile variety. Those cozy threads aren’t just nice on your feet after a long day, they’re also a prime hiding spot for fleas waiting to hitch a ride on an unsuspecting cat or dog walking by.
Fleas love areas that are warm and not too dark. Intermittent light can get their attention because they perceive it as a potential host walking by.
How do fleas reproduce?
Like butterflies, fleas lay eggs that then become larvae in cocoons. The bad news is that fleas reproduce at an alarming rate of 40–50 eggs laid per day. Eggs hatch into larvae within 10 days. Females can lay up to 2,000 eggs in their lifetimes after their first blood meal, which is why a flea infestation is something you’ll want to get under control—and fast.
How long do fleas live?
A flea’s life span largely depends on the availability of a host. It also varies depending on the kind of host a flea attaches to.
Without any host at all, a flea will die within 2 weeks. They can live for 8 days on short-haired pets, and longer on other long-haired mammals—sometimes even as long as a year if undisturbed. That’s a lot of time for reproduction and for infection and disease to take root.
What are the most common types of fleas in the U.S.?
Cat fleas are the most common—these types of fleas can bite and can live on cats, dogs, and humans. However, there are also specific species called human fleas, rat fleas, and dog fleas.
Sand fleas are another variant of flea that is common in the U.S., and, while they aren’t that different from the other aforementioned kinds of fleas, they can crop up where you least expect them. As you can guess by their name, these types of fleas are found in the sand and can vary in color, including brown, gray, and green.
Can I catch fleas from my pet?
The truth is, fleas usually won’t give up a live host once they find one. Instead, they’ll jump from surfaces or flea-friendly warm habitants, like humans, onto a hairier blood source, like your pet. So you can usually rest assured that Fluffy isn’t going to transmit his fleas to you from the kennel.
Fleas typically won’t survive on the human body since we lack enough hair to provide the protection they need to feed. However, if a flea does land on you, it may bite you even if it doesn’t hang around.
What kinds of diseases could I catch from a flea bite?
Most of the time, you won’t catch any disease if a flea happens to bite you. But, if it comes down to the worst case scenario, you could be looking at something like typhus, cat-scratch fever, or the plague, as in the Bubonic plague that you heard about in history class, which was spread by—you guessed it—fleas.
How to identify a flea bite
Flea bites aren’t the typical swollen, itchy, bubbly kind of bite you typically see from mosquitoes; rather, they’re usually grouped in three or four tiny welts, sometimes with a ring around them (kind of like a tick bite). They usually itch, especially if your pet or you are allergic, and bring a certain level of discomfort even if no chronic infection occurs.
Is it a flea or a bedbug?
While they function similarly and are often of a similar hue, fleas and bedbugs have different body shapes which can help you tell them apart.
If your little hitchhiker is flat and oval-shaped, then it’s a bed bug. Fleas are more oblong and narrow.
Is it a flea or a tick?
The easiest way to tell a flea and a tick apart is by counting their legs; ticks have eight legs instead of six. Plus, ticks are a lot bigger and easier to spot than fleas, so there’s a good chance that you can identify them pretty quickly from just these characteristics alone. Their bite marks do look similar, but a flea bite will be smaller and have a less distinguished “bullseye” ring mark.
How to treat a flea bite
There’s not a lot you need to do to treat a flea bite unless infection or other chronic symptoms occur. Most of the time, any kind of topical anti-itch cream will work to keep you and your pet comfortable until the bite heals. Be sure to wash the bite with an appropriate antiseptic, and reach out to your doctor or vet if symptoms persist or worsen.
To treat flea bites on your pet and get rid of fleas living on them, give them a bath with flea shampoo. These shampoos typically kill off any living fleas, prevent flea eggs and larvae from maturing, and contain antihistamine to relieve itching.
How can I prevent a flea infestation?
For the home, sweeping and vacuuming is your best line of defense. You’ll also want to routinely wash your pet’s bedding with soap and water. Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance you can put on your carpet or pet’s bedding to make sure any living fleas are killed.
Remember to wash your pets with flea shampoo on a regular basis and give them flea prevention medicine once a month to stop any new fleas from landing on them.
How do I get rid of fleas in my house?
That’s where we come in. At Hawx, we prioritize your well-being and satisfaction. Here’s a breakdown of our most popular flea treatment options for your home.
Our Indoor & Outdoor Flea Service stops fleas at the source because we know that the root of the problem comes from the outside in. This service addresses both areas to ensure the results we all want—a flea-free home and yard.
For an indoor flea infestation, our topical product is applied to the floors of your home to get the bugs out of your way. From there, we’ll check back routinely to inspect if the fleas have left and stayed away.
Outdoors, we apply a treatment around the circumference of your property, paying special attention to structures and other features unique to your yard. We know that your needs are particular to your family and you, so we are ready and willing to adapt whenever necessary.
What else should I know about Hawx Flea Services?
We offer a 30-day service warranty, which ensures that you are happy with the results of your flea-free home and yard. If you’re not, we’ll come back for a warranty service to help you get the results you hired us for.
Great core values are literally in our name; Hawx stands for Honesty, Attitude, Work Ethic, and Excellence. From the smallest to the biggest and most complex, we take care of them all. We offer extermination for your current problems and preventative treatments to eliminate threats before they happen and keep them away for good.
As a bonus, we also support reforestation and restoration efforts that allow us to give back to the delicate ecosystem we find ourselves participating in, such as Bayer’s “Feed a Bee” program. This allows us to keep your home, and all of our wildlife, safe and fruitful for decades to come. Most pests are actually beneficial in nature, so protecting them in their natural habitats allows our planet to function and thrive the way it’s supposed to.
Plus, with free estimates at Hawx, you’ve got nothing to lose by giving us a call about your newest home intruders.
Ready to address your flea infestation? We’ve got you covered, and can’t wait to discuss the best options for you.