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How Dangerous Is It To Have Fleas In My Spring Home?

August 13, 2021 - Fleas

Pet ownership in Texas ranks as average in the U.S., 43% dog owners and 21% cat owners. This makes 64% of Texans pet owners. Of course, many households own both dogs and cats, so that number drops. Due to how many Texans have pets, household fleas are a very common problem.

How Do I Know I Have Fleas?

When fleas are first introduced into the home, most people dismiss them as mosquito bites. But it doesn't take long to understand that you have a problem. Here are some things to look for:

  • Scratching/itching - This is the number one sign (and the most annoying).
  • Bites on the skin of pets - These are raised welts.
  • Pet hair loss - Sudden hair loss in your pet; this is called alopecia.
  • Bites on ankles of people - The sudden appearance of bites in this area are an obvious sign.
  • Pale gums in pets - The fleas are feasting on their blood, which means a lack of blood supply could occur. Pale gums are an indicator.
  • White sock test - Put on a pair of white socks, and shuffle feet on carpeting. If you have fleas, they can’t resist the opportunity to hop on.
  • Flea dirt - Similar to flyspecks. You will see this wherever the fleas hang out. It's reddish-brown in color due to the digested blood.
  • Eggs - You will find these nestled down in your carpet. They are very tiny and white. A female flea lays about 500 eggs in her lifetime.
  • Pet agitation - If your pet seems restless and cannot settle down, it's probably because the fleas are driving him crazy.

Creepy factoid: adult fleas make up only 5% of the flea population in your home. Yikes! So, for every one flea that you find, there are 90 more wanting to reach maturity.

The Dangers Of Fleas

It's your pets that suffer the most when it comes to flea bites. They can be dangerous, and cause diseases. People are at minimum risk for disease, it's mostly discomfort.

  • Bartonella - This is a common flea transferred illness that affects both animals, but primarily the cats. This can lead to eye inflammation, seizures, and heart disease.
  • Tapeworms - While your pet is grooming or chewing on themselves, they can swallow a flea. This is how the tapeworms are introduced.
  • Infections - For both humans and pets, excessive scratching can lead to skin infections.

Interesting flea factoid: fleas can jump further than any other insect. If a typical human had the same jumping ability, they would be able to jump 295 feet across and 160 feet high.

Prevention Tips

If you allow your pets to venture outside, they will inevitably pick up fleas. So how do you prevent this from happening?

  • Treating your pet with a medication that is appropriate to the type (dog or cat), breed, and size of the pet is very important.
  • Plant flea repelling plants in the yard, mulch with cedar, and do not overwater the lawn.
  • Vacuum your carpet daily. If you suspect fleas, add in vacuuming the furniture as well. You can sprinkle salt onto the carpet, and leave it overnight. This dehydrates the fleas, then vacuum them up.
  • Launder pet bedding frequently.
  • Over-the-counter or natural flea sprays.

Even if you do your very best to follow the above list, none of these methods are 100% effective against a flea infestation.

Collaboration Is The Best Way To Go

The most effective method for treating fleas is a collaboration between your local Spring veterinarian, and Pest Arrest. Our combined efforts will have your home flea free in no time. Fido and Fluffy will be back to normal, and you can stop itching your ankles. That sounds like a win! Call us today for a free flea extermination estimate. We provide both home pest control as well as commercial pest management services.

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