Fleas In The Bay Area Can Be Hard To Exterminate Without Help

flea on skin

What do fleas look like? Can fleas bite humans? Here's what Bay Area homeowners should know about identifying different types of fleas that may infest your home, the lifecycle of the common fleas, why fleas are so hard to get rid of, and how you can control fleas with pest control in the Bay Area

How To Identify Different Types Of Fleas

Fleas may look the same, but there are a few different types of fleas in the Bay Area, such as: 

  • Cat flea: Considered the most common type of flea, cat fleas don't just infest felines but also dogs and humans. They have flat bodies with black coloring. 
  • Dog flea: Dog fleas can carry tapeworm parasites and affect wild animals as well as domestic pets, like dogs and cats. 
  • Oriental rat flea: As their name suggests, oriental rat fleas have a preference for rodents. These are the fleas responsible for the spread of the bubonic plague. 

Fleas are known for their itchy bites, but that's not all they can give you. Fleas also have the potential to spread diseases, such as: 

  • Flea-borne typhus
  • Plague
  • Cat-scratch disease

These diseases may be flea-borne, but fleas can also contract these diseases from rodents or other infected wildlife that they've fed on. Any diseases that fleas pick up from previous hosts can put you, your family, or your pets at risk. 

Besides the diseases listed above, it's also important to note that fleas can sometimes transmit parasites like tapeworms. If one of your pets accidentally eats a flea, they'll also swallow the tapeworm. 

The Lifecycle Of The Common Flea

flea on an animal

Most of the fleas you'll encounter in your Bay Area home have four different life stages, including: 

  • Eggs: Once they find a host, usually an animal host, and they can feed without interruption, adult fleas will mate and begin laying their eggs. Most of the time, fleas prefer to lay their eggs directly on the host's fur or nearby. Any eggs they lay will usually hatch within one to ten days, depending on how ideal the conditions are. 
  • Larvae: Once they hatch, fleas become larvae, and they can move around on their own and begin drinking blood from their host. 
  • Pupa: Within twenty days, fleas will spin a cocoon and enter their pupa stage. While they develop into adults, the cocoon helps protect the flea from hostile environmental conditions or pesticides. Fleas will stay in their cocoon until they sense the presence of a host, usually through body heat or movement, and that will signal that there is a blood meal ready for them. 
  • Adult: After they emerge from the cocoon, the pupa become adult fleas and start feeding and breeding as soon as possible. 

Can fleas use humans as hosts? Fleas can bite humans and use them as a food source, but since they can't go undetected on people like they can with pets, most fleas can't use humans as hosts. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean we are any less susceptible to bites. 

Three Reasons Fleas Are So Hard To Get Rid Of

When it comes to how to get rid of fleas, these pests can be tricky to shake for these reasons: 

  1. Fleas are extremely small, which means that it's not easy for you to see them in your home or where they have laid their eggs. 
  2. Fleas reproduce quickly, with their entire life spans taking place within a couple of weeks. 
  3. Fleas have flattened bodies that they use to move around their hosts without detection, but it also makes them hard to crush or kill without the use of pesticides or another treatment. 

Additionally, in order to truly eradicate fleas, you must be able to target them at every stage of their lifecycle. If even a few eggs or pupa are left undisturbed, an infestation will simply reoccur.

Control, Extermination & Prevention Of Fleas

Fleas may not always be easy to get rid of once you have them, but there is one effective solution to keeping them away: working with Bay Pest Solution. With over forty years of experience and a trustworthy reputation that speaks for itself, we're the trusted pest management company for Bay Area homeowners. 

If you are seeing signs of fleas in your home or you suspect that there may be a flea infestation on your Bay Area property, don't wait for these pests to further infest your home – contact us today at Bay Pest to learn more about our flea control services. 

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