What do fleas look like?
Fleas are small, have six legs, no wings, are reddish-brown in color, and grow to about 1/8 of an inch. Their mouths are shaped like tubes that enable them to suck blood. They are flat (thin) which allows them to easily move through hair. Fleas have strong claws that help them grasp their host. Fleas vary in size and shape depending on the species. There are over 2000 types of fleas throughout the world. The most common ones to the Houston area are cat fleas, dog fleas and human fleas. Fleas don’t only feed on pets and animals they can feed on humans too.
Fleas don’t typically pose any significant health risks to humans. Fleas can cause itching that when prolonged could lead to infection. They may make respiratory illnesses worse. Some pets suffer from allergic reactions to the flea's saliva. In bad cases, pets may become anemic from loss of blood. Another problem fleas pose to pets is tapeworms. These are parasites that are passed to a pet when it ingests an infected flea. Tapeworms can be the size of a maggot or they can grow to be almost 12 inches long. Tapeworms attach to the intestine wall and feed off of food passing through the pet’s system. Since there is enough nutrient there for both of them they aren’t usually harmful. Tapeworms can cause weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen abdomen and lethargy.
Outdoors, fleas will live in moist, shady areas. Places like leaf piles, tall grass, lawn debris, thatch in lawn, and woodpiles make great flea hideouts. They can even be found under decks or porches where it is damp. Of course, you can find fleas happily living on warm-blooded creatures like dogs, cats, opossums, rats, other rodents and even humans.
Inside a home, you may find them on carpets, rugs, blankets, bedding, upholstered furniture, and the laundry. If left untreated, fleas can cause a serious infestation very quickly.
How can I prevent flea problems at my home or business?
Start off with a routine maintenance pest program from a pest control expert like those at Grand Slam Pest Control then following these tips should help prevent any flea problems in your home:
Keep grass cut short and rake clippings
Don’t leave food out for stray or wild animals to get to
Keep pets on a vet recommended flea treatment program
Recurring preventive flea treatment for lawn
Vacuum home regularly and dispose of the bag outside not in the trash bin inside
Bathe pets regularly with a shampoo formulated to remove fleas
Use a flea comb on your pet
If you suspect you may have fleas in your yard, home or place of business or want to try and prevent them we strongly recommend contacting a professional pest control company such as Grand Slam Pest Control. We do NOT advise attempting to utilize DIY chemical application as these chemicals can cause environmental damage and/or health issues if not utilized properly. If you see fleas on pets we recommend contacting your vet.