Flea Identification & Prevention Guide

What are fleas?

Adult fleas are tiny and only grow to about the size of a speck of dirt. They are wingless, and their dark, reddish-brown bodies are flattened from side to side. Because fleas are wingless, they move around by jumping. These tiny insects use their strong back legs to catapult themselves into the air and can jump 150 times their height. If people could jump that high, it would mean we could jump effortlessly over skyscrapers! Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of animals. They prefer furry hosts like cats, dogs, rodents, and other wildlife, but they will also feed on people if the situation presents itself.

a flea crawling on a person inside of a home in south congaree south carolina

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas bite people and animals, and should never live inside of our homes. A flea bite appears as a small, red spot encircled by a reddish halo, and is typically very itchy. If allergic to flea saliva, the person or animal bitten may develop allergic dermatitis which is extremely itchy and uncomfortable, and can lead to a secondary infection. An animal that has become severely infected with fleas eventually becomes anemic, which makes them very weak and ill, and can be potentially fatal if left untreated. Fleas are also intermediate hosts for parasitic tapeworms and other disease pathogens.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Fleas are commonly introduced onto properties by wild animals. After spending time outside in a camping site, park, your backyard, or any other outdoor spot where fleas are present, you and your family could introduce them into your home. These insects are prolific breeders and, once inside, can quickly create a large-scale infestation. Fleas can also get into homes in used furniture or rugs that are harboring adult fleas or their eggs. Another common way fleas get inside is on the backs of rodents or other animals that come inside to nest or forage for food.

Where will I find fleas?

Adult fleas are almost always found living within the fur of their hosts, but they also can live successfully both outside and inside homes and other structures. Outside, they hide in damp, shady areas – waiting for a new host to happen by. Areas of tall grass, under leaves, or in the dirt under bushes, decks, and porches make excellent hiding spots for fleas. If fleas are inside your home, they are either going to be living on your pets (if you own any) or hiding in bedding, in upholstered furniture and rugs, the cracks of floors, or behind your baseboards.

How do I get rid of fleas?

For home and business owners who want to eliminate fleas from their property, partnering with a professional is the best way to be successful. Here at Jury Pest Services, we provide exceptional pest solving strategies that will eliminate fleas and prevent their return. Our green pest control solutions protect the environment, while still being effective against our area’s toughest pests. Serving Richmond County in Georgia and Aiken County in South Carolina, Jury Pest Services is committed to our customers and to providing trustworthy pest control services. We also provide our professional services to homes and businesses in Columbia County, GA, Edgefield County, SC, Barnwell County, SC, and beyond. To learn more about our pest control services, contact Jury Pest Services today!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

In addition to the professional flea control services you can find at Jury Pest Services, use the following tips to help prevent problems with fleas:

  • Remove bird and other wild animal feeders that will attract rodents and other critters to your yard.

  • Make sure your pets visit a veterinarian regularly and are on a year-round flea preventative.

  • Do not buy used rugs and upholstered furniture for your home.

  • Regularly wash pet bedding.

  • Keep your grass cut short.

  • Regularly bathe and groom your pets.

  • Vacuum frequently, especially in areas where your pets spend most of their time.

  • Trim back overgrown shrubs and bushes to allow the sun to hit the ground and dry out the soil.

  • Seal up holes in your home’s exterior that could allow rodents and other wild animals to gain access.

 

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