The Best Way To Keep Fleas Away From Your Bay Area Home

flea up close on a blue background

You know fleas can be a problem if you have a cat or a dog. We're betting you have a plan to deal with fleas. Your pet probably has a flea collar. That is definitely the first step in guarding against a flea infestation. You likely have flea control products in a storage closet. When fleas appear, you're ready to deal with them, but do you take measures to keep fleas out of your yard? Do you even know that is a thing? If you want to keep fleas out of your home and prevent flea bites, flea prevention is the way to go. You can apply proactive flea prevention long before you put out the flea control products or contact Bay Area pest control for a flea treatment. Today, we're going to tackle the most important facts you should know about fleas. We'll discuss what fleas look like, ways they can present a danger, six effective ways to keep them out of your yard, and what your Bay Pest technician can do to help control fleas. As always, we want to remind you that you can jump to our contact page at any time if you have an immediate need for flea pest control. The best solution for fleas is to hire a trained and experienced professional to address your problem. You don't need to wait. You can always come back and read this article once you know help is on the way.

What Does A Flea Look Like?

You probably already know that fleas are tiny insects that spring through the air and move easily through the fur or hair on your pet, and you've probably seen a flea if you have a dog or cat. So it might seem strange to talk about what fleas look like. But, when addressing pest pressures, you must consider where the pests are active, what pests you're dealing with, potential breeding sites, what conditions allow for development, and how they could get into your home. Flea identification is the first step in this process of evaluation.

Do you know that fleas don't always look like fleas? Like many insects, fleas aren't insects when they hatch from their eggs. Flies start as maggots. Moths start as caterpillars. Beetles start as grubs. Do you know what flea larvae are? They're little, wiggly worms that look like slender maggots. These worms don't bite or spring through the air. So you're not going to detect them. Since you can't readily see them, it is essential to consider how eggs get into your yard and how flea larvae develop into adult fleas.

When wild animals enter your yard, they bring fleas with them. The fleas living on the animals produce eggs that slide off and land on the ground. Fleas also produce flea dirt, which is fecal matter. When eggs and flea dirt land near each other, they create the conditions for flea development. Flea larvae don't draw a blood meal from people, they get blood from flea dirt. 

Fleas Can Be Dangerous

The fleas in your yard are mostly fleas that developed in your yard. They hatch from their eggs, feed on flea dirt, cocoon themselves, and develop through the pupal stage into the adult stage. At no point in this process are they exposed to diseases. For this reason, you can have a flea infestation and not get sick from flea diseases most of the time. Problems arise when adult fleas bite wild animals and then bite you or your pet. When considering the dangers of fleas on your property, you must consider rodent and general wildlife activity. If you have rats, mice, or squirrels getting into your home along with fleas, there is a greater chance of illness. Fleas pick up and spread diseases from animals to your dog and cat, and also to you. As we look at the methods you can use to get control of fleas in your yard, keep this link in mind. It is hard work to manage rodent and wildlife pressures, but doing so will not only reduce fleas but will also help you avoid flea-related sickness.   

Six Ways To Keep Fleas Away

Now you know a little bit about fleas and how they develop. Let's apply what we've discussed so far. The goal of flea prevention is to manage wild animals, alter conditions that allow fleas to develop, seal entry points, and protect your pets. We'll break these down into six steps.

1. Reduce food sources that attract animals.

Wild animals eat many things that you might have in your yard. You deter animals when you remove food sources and protect potential food options.

  • Animal love nuts. Do you have nut-producing trees?
  • Animals eat fruit. Do you have fruit trees or berry bushes?
  • Animals eat vegetables. Do you have a garden?
  • Rodents love bird seed. Do you have feeders?
  • Animals get into garbage. We don't have to ask if you have exterior trash. Everyone does. Make sure your garbage is stored in covered containers that raccoons and other mid-sized animals can't easily knock over.
  • Animals eat bugs. When you have residential pest control, your yard will have fewer bugs.

Everything you do to remove food options on your property will impact animal activity and the number of fleas in your yard. Be sure to consider what animals eat, not what you eat.  

2. Prevent animal harborage.

When animals create a nest, they also create the perfect conditions for flea eggs and flea dirt to fall in the same area. Blocking harborage options makes it more difficult for fleas to develop.

  • Use hardware cloth to seal voids underneath exterior structures, such as your back deck or stairs.
  • Repair damaged wood on your shed or use expanding foam to fill in holes animals may use to get inside.
  • Move wood piles or junk away from your home. Some animals dig burrows underneath organic debris, wood, and junk piles.

Consider the animals that enter your yard and the places they may attempt to nest. Sometimes, blocking harborage is all that is needed to stop animals and reduce fleas.

3. Remove clutter and hiding places.

The worst animals that come into your yard are rats and mice. These critters need yard clutter for a few reasons. 

  • They use clutter to help them navigate. Rats and mice use their whiskers like a blind man uses a cane. Remove yard clutter and you'll make your yard less accessible. 
  • They use clutter as hiding places. Rodents can use any object that has a void inside.
  • Rodents will hide in your landscaping, so trim bushes and shrubs and remove weeds.

Consider all the places a tiny mouse might hide, and you'll be well on your way to keeping fleas out of your yard. One little mouse can have dozens of fleas on it.    

4. Address moisture problems.

A damp perimeter promotes pest activity. Water is a building block of life. Moisture is also a requirement for the development of fleas. Here are a few ways you might provide a drink of water for pests.

  • Clogged gutters allow spillage, which promotes ground saturation and the formation of puddles.
  • Overwatered vegetation can have broad leaves that hold water.
  • Objects in your yard may capture rainwater.
  • Tall grass provides shade and moisture for developing fleas. Keep your grass trimmed.

These are only a few examples. We're sure you can think of other ways to control moisture.

5. Seal potential entry points.

When animals get into your home, they'll not only bring fleas in with them, they go in and out and deposit fleas around your home. Neither is good.

  • Seal gaps around pipes and wire conduits.
  • Seal your window and door frames.
  • Repair screens.
  • Ensure all exterior doors are properly sealed.
  • Fill in rotted wood holes.

Seal all exterior holes, no matter how small. Rodents can make small holes larger. 

6. Protect your pets.

You're likely already doing this but it bears mentioning. Getting flea control products for your pets, such as collars, powders, bath products, and oral medications, is critical. Talk with your veterinarian about the best products for you and your pets.

All-natural flea management is a process. If you take the time to apply the tips given here, you will reduce flea populations on your property and guard against flea-borne diseases. 

How To Get Fleas Out Of Your Home For Good

The best way to stop fleas from getting into your home is to not have fleas around your home, and the best way to not have fleas around your home is to get flea control for your yard. At Bay Pest, we don't just provide flea treatments for the interior of homes, we offer ongoing pest control services that eliminate fleas in the places they hide on your property. If you want the best protection possible, reach out to us. We'll guide you through the process of getting flea control for your property. Your pets will thank you. 

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