Why Are There Fleas In My Bay Area Home?

fleas jumping on skin

If you have a pet, you're probably not asking this question. Dogs and cats pick fleas up while outside and then bring them inside. As a pet owner, it is likely that you know this. But what if you don't have a dog or a cat? What then? If you don't have a pet, then those fleas came in on some other furry animal—most likely a mouse or a rat. Of all the animals that get into Bay Area homes, mice and rats are the only animals that will explore your entire home. While they explore, they can drop flea eggs and flea dirt. If fleas hatch from their eggs in a location that has enough flea dirt, they can develop into adult fleas. This can result in an infestation. But you can take some comfort in knowing that it is difficult for fleas to survive in a home that does not have a cat, dog, or some other furry pet.

Are you new to your home?

You can inherit a flea infestation. If the tenant or owner that lived in your home before you had a pet, it is possible for flea eggs or cocooned fleas to be in the rugs. As you move about, the vibrations of your foot traffic can wake the fleas up. When they wake up, they can spring onto you and get a blood meal. Fleas can stay dormant for months. So it isn't surprising when we get calls from new homeowners, or tenants that have just moved in.

Do you have a dog?

Every time your dog goes outside, there is a chance of a flea infestation. While cat fleas are the most common fleas in the United States, they readily take domestic canines as hosts. Here are a few tips for protecting your pooch.  

  • Getting a flea collar might be a good first step. While a flea collar won't provide 100 percent protection, it is certainly a big help. Ask your veterinarian if a flea collar is right for your dog and for your family.
  • Creating an outside area for your dog to play in. When you fence your dog in, it does three things to reduce contact with fleas. It reduces wildlife traffic in this zone, which reduces flea eggs or pupae. It keeps your dog in this safer zone, and out of moist, shaded areas of your landscaping where fleas are likely to be hiding. If this play area is in a sunny spot, it will be harder for fleas to develop.

Do you have a cat?

You have to be vigilant if you have a cat. Watch for the first signs of scratching, and use a comb to do a quick check for flea dirt. If you find evidence of flea activity on your cat, apply veterinarian prescribed products to eliminate the fleas, and make sure to wash all of the bedding your cat lays down on.

Do animals frequent your yard?

Every animal that comes into your yard has the potential to bring fleas into your yard. One of the best ways to prevent a flea infestation in your San Jose home is to keep wildlife away from your home. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make sure your trash receptacles are covered and secure.
  • Routinely clean your trash receptacles.
  • Remove bird feeders or move them to at least 20 feet from your home.
  • Remove yard clutter that mice, rats, and other animals can use as hiding places.
  • Trim bushes and remove unnecessary plants in your landscaping to remove hiding places.
  • Address any conditions that allow puddles to form.
  • Remove containers that capture rainwater.
  • Install fencing around food sources that cannot be removed.
  • Install fencing to prevent animals from finding harborage underneath structures.
  • Consider installing a light with a motion detector. These are great for scaring animals (and criminals) away.

Do you have entry points?

If you have gaps or holes that a rodent can fit through, you're going to invite a flea infestation. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime, so look closely, and seal everything.

Need help?

Remember that the pest control team here at Bay Pest is always available to help you with your pest control needs. We can assist you with flea treatments or ongoing pest control to prevent pest infestation in your Bay Area home. Reach out to us anytime. 

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