When You Lay With The Dog, You Get Fleas
Hot weather brings one of the most notorious pests, for humans and our beloved pets … the Flea. These little boogers cause all kinds of problems and can be very difficult to get rid of once they’ve established themselves in your home. Here’s some information on the “pest of pests” and what you can do to help prevent them from invading your homes and lives.
There are several species of Fleas, but for the sake of space and your time, we’ll just talk about the most prolific Flea, the Cat Flea. Their name is a little bit of a misnomer as Cat Fleas will attach themselves to any mammal; humans, cats, dogs, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, squirrels, rats, the list goes on and on. Again, for the sake of time and space, let’s just talk about how these persistent blood suckers affect humans and our beloved pets.
Adults Fleas are simply parasites that draw blood from a host. Their Larvae feed on organic debris, mostly the feces of adult Fleas, which contain undigested blood. Fleas commonly prefer to feed on hairy animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice and other domesticated or wild animals and they love to hide and wait for a host in carpet fibers. Fleas don’t fly, but they are more than capable of jumping long distances and some pretty good heights.
Adult Fleas lay eggs at an alarming rate and a single female may produce upwards of 5,000 eggs in her life time. This is generally where the problems with Fleas in our home comes from. Most people can make a reasonable attempt at ridding the home of adult Fleas, but there is no known pesticide capable of penetrating the Flea egg. So, what may appear as a slow down in Flea activity quickly turns into an even greater problem when the Flea eggs hatch. This is where everything goes haywire!
Here’s how it goes: So, Fido plays outside in some tall grass in the shady part of your yard. He immediately gets 20 or so hitchhikers that want to suck his blood. The itching begins. Then you call Fido in for the night and he curls up all comfy in his bed for a restful night sleep. But that doesn’t happen because his new “friends” are driving him bonkers. You’re snoozing totally oblivious to his dilemma.
The next morning, and maybe even the next few mornings are a blur as you attempt to get ready for work and, you set Fido back outside where he proceeds to invite more blood suckers. Now Fido, the poor guy, is covered in Fleas and is spinning around in circles chasing his tail just to try to rid himself of this incessant itching. As he digs at himself and eats Fleas and their eggs, the worms start their internal chaos. We all know what happens here so no need to go into details. Let’s just say, it’s nasty and not good at all for Ol’ Faithful.
But when Fido came in for the night, he brought a host of those little blood suckers with him and after a good feeding, they jumped off Fido and laid most of their eggs in your carpet. Perfect. When they hatch out, and they will, they start to work on you. You pass through the living room in your white socks on the way to the kitchen and notice that you have what seems to be 100,000,000 Fleas on your socks and they are working their way up your legs for another feast.
Now things are getting really serious. You rush out to the store and by some “flea spray” and hose down the whole house. The only problem is that you didn’t know about the pesticide not being able to penetrate the eggs and 3 or 4 days later it feels like the Fleas have come back with a vengeance!
Honestly, it’s at this point most Pest Control companies get a frantic call from the homeowner explaining that they are completely overrun with Fleas. We get it. Been there, done that. So, let’s talk about a few things you can do to prevent this nightmare from happening and what you’ll need to do if the dreaded blood sucking Flea takes over your home.
First, and super important, Fido and Kitty must be treated and protected from Fleas. There are a host of fine products available to help, but check with your veterinarian first.
Second, Fleas start outside and only enter your home via hitchhiking. Most times from Fido, or the Kitty, but sometimes just jumping on to your pant legs and going for a ride. Fleas prefer to live in shady areas of our yard and in tall grass. Take a quick look – does your yard qualify as a good candidate for Fleas? If yes, then you have to get after it. Break out the lawnmower and the weed whacker and go to town. By the way, your lawn may be great, but your neighbor’s lawn is where these blood suckers are hanging out. Talk to your neighbor and let them know that this is where the Fleas are coming from – or just send him this blog 🙂
Third, if you have carpet in your home, vacuum it. A lot. Like every day and throw away the bag every time you vacuum. The vibration and suction from the vacuum will dislodge Adult Fleas and eggs that are in your carpet. If you don’t throw away that bag though the eggs will hatch out in your vacuum and you’re back to square one. Some people even throw a cut up Flea Collar into the bag when they throw it out just in case.
If all else fails, and I’m sorry but it probably will, call us. We know the most effective ways to get rid of these nasty critters and help keep them away from your home. We kill the Adult Fleas and use a growth pheromone to keep the newly hatched Fleas from reproducing. This one-two punch, along with your help with keeping your pets protected, taking care of the lawn, and vacuuming will get the job done and keep you and your family (and Fido and Kitty too) happy all summer long.
For more information on what “bugs” you, please call our office as we would be glad to help. Call now 731-285-4982
Hope you have a great week!
“Uncle” Adam Malanga