a flea on a cat

What are fleas?

One of the most frustrating pests to deal with is the flea. Their tiny size and ability to jump quickly out of sight make them a pest that is difficult to prevent and eliminate. Fleas are wingless insects with hard flattened bodies that are reddish-brown. The hard shell that covers their body makes them very difficult to squish. Their back legs provide them with exceptional jumping ability enabling them to gain easy access to a host or jump out of the way of danger.

a flea on a person

Fleas feed and live on the bodies of their animal hosts. They have specialized, biting mouthparts to bite through the skin of their host and flattened bodies, which allow them to move with ease through animal fur. Fleas only feed on blood and prefer to feed on the blood of animals, including cats, dogs, mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, and raccoons. Though people are not their favorite hosts, fleas will feed on our blood in the case of a large infestation or if we are the only host available.

Are fleas dangerous?

Fleas are pests that bite us and our pets. Their bites are itchy and may lead to a secondary infection caused by excessive scratching. Pets allergic to their saliva develop a flea allergy dermatitis that is very uncomfortable and may lead to hair loss and skin irritations. Fleas do spread parasitic tapeworms to both people and pets. They are intermediate hosts and infect people, our pets, and other animals with tapeworms.

These tiny pets, while annoying and frustrating to deal with, aren't usually considered dangerous, as the spread of disease by these pests is not a big concern in the U.S.

Why do I have a flea problem?

One of the biggest reasons that fleas have become a problem for you is because they were introduced onto your property by wild animals or wandering neighborhood pests. These pests reproduce with lightning speed, and just a few in your yard or home can become many in a short period.

Another reason why these pests are so problematic is that they can adapt to a variety of environments and have the ability to lay dormant for many months — becoming active once suitable environmental factors are met. This ability means you may move into a home without fleas, and when the right temperature inside is reached — you suddenly are dealing with a large flea infestation.

Where will I find fleas?

Fleas live and breed on their animal hosts. Their eggs roll off the backs of their animal hosts, falling to the ground and developing into new fleas. While waiting for a host to happen by that they can jump onto, they hide in damp, dark areas. Common outdoor hideouts for fleas include under piles of leaves, shrubbery, mulch, and woodpiles.

Fleas prefer temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees While mainly outdoor pests, they often find their way into our homes on the backs of our pets, on our clothing, on rodent intruders, or on used items like rugs or upholstered furniture.

How do I get rid of fleas?

The most stress-free way to get rid of fleas and other pests from your Bay Area property is to partner with Bay Pest. Our customers and meeting their unique pest control needs are our top priority!

Our dedicated professionals can identify your specific pest problem, provide the services needed to get rid of them, and the necessary follow-up services to prevent them from returning! To learn more about our solutions to eliminate pests from your residential or commercial property, reach out to Bay Pest today!

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

To prevent problems with fleas on your property or in your home, follow our top prevention tips listed below!

  • Wild animals are one of the biggest reasons fleas have found their way onto your property. Remove food sources that attract rodents and other wild animals — bird feeders, open trash cans, and leftover pet food.
  • Trim grass, weeds, dense shrubbery, and other vegetation back from your home's foundation.
  • Remove leaf piles, brush piles, and excess woodpiles that provide damp areas where fleas can hide.
  • Mow your lawn regularly to keep the grass short.
  • If you own pets, make sure they are on a year-round flea control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.
  • Inspect your pet's coat for fleas on a routine basis.
  • Regularly vacuum your home, especially in areas where pets spend a lot of their time.

Helpful Articles

Why Are There Fleas In My San Jose Home?

The Dangers Of A Flea Infestation In Your San Jose Home

What San Jose Property Owners Need To Know For Effective Flea Control

Ultimate Flea Control Guide For San Jose Homeowners

How Flea Infestations Start In Bay Area Homes

 

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