Fleas are tiny parasites that can cause a lot of problems for both pets and humans. They can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even tapeworms.
In this blog post, we will discuss the signs of flea infection in both pets and humans, as well as some treatment options. Thanks for reading!
Causes of Flea Infestation
Fleas are irritating pests that are typically linked with pets. Having said that, I believe we have already stated one big factor that contributes to flea invasion in our households- pets.
Cats and dogs do carry thousands of fleas, especially if no precautions are taken to eliminate those pests from our friendly animals.
There are cases where you find you do not have a pet, but there are fleas in your house. In such a case, your neighbors or friends’ pets could be the ones bringing the tiny parasites into your place.
Also, you can bring the parasites to your home after visiting the wildlife.
In particular, if you get in touch with or visit places that are highly populated with opossums, rodents, and raccoons then the chances of carrying these parasites back to your premises.
Fleas incursion can happen when fleas, carried by the host animals, hop off the host and onto open surfaces like furniture cushions or outdoor carpeting.
Similarly, if you are a lover of second-hand furniture, then be warned that you could be bringing fleas into your homestead.
The fleas hiding in the furniture can multiply into hundreds of them after you have bought and taken that furniture into your premises.
Last but not least, if you are someone who does not maintain general cleanliness in your homestead, then you could be offering a conducive environment for these parasites.
These pests like dirt places where they can bleed and multiply without being disturbed. For instance, if your dog’s house goes for days without being cleaned then that makes it a perfect place for the pests to infiltrate plenty.
Signs of Flea Infestation
Any of the following signs are clear indicators that you may be under attack by fleas. Basically, It does not matter much if you have a pet or not, or whether your house is ever clean.
Just take the necessary preventive measures when you notice that:
#1 Your pet is exceedingly scratching itself more than it normally does.
Your pets are ever sensitive to fleas and because of the itchiness caused by these parasites, you will see your dog or cat spending most of its time scratching its skin.
When you see your pet in this condition, you are required to confirm if it is the fleas that are disturbing it.
If you do not see any fleas on your pets, then they could be suffering from a skin disease that required medical attention. Take your dog to a specialist for further instructions.
#2 You or any member of your family is undergoing small, itchy bites.
Such feelings of itchy and small bites, especially when you are sleeping or sitting on your couch could be an indication that your house is under flea invasion.
This should act as an alarm for you to take appropriate mechanisms to inhibit the spread and heavy manifestation of these parasites.
#3 Your pet’s poop contains “pepper and salt”
Inspect your pets’ feces and if you find pepper and salt-like specks, those are indications of a flea attack.
Usually, those are eggs and digested blood meals from mature fleas. Take the appropriate preventive measures when you find this.
#4 You notice a consistent presence of fleas
You will know that you have fleas when you see two or more fleas hopping around your dog, cat or furniture. This is a precise indication that you are in a serious problem.
How Do Fleas Survive?
At any opportune time, approximately 56.5% of the fleas in our homesteads are in the larval stage of their life cycle. These larvae create a cocoon where they live and in there they can develop into a pupa.
After seven days or so, they become adults, which may still remain in that cocoon for over three months up to when there is a presence of carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is usually released by all animals, therefore, if your cat or dog passes near a cocoon containing an adult flea, the parasite will be awakened to feed.
At this point, the flea will hoop onto your dog to have a blood meal, after which it will lay eggs and reproduce more fleas increasing their population on your pet.
Those fleas that live outside our houses or your pet’s houses, usually prefer shady, moist, and cool areas. They particularly like leaves, shrubs, and trees and do not survive well in regions with hot sun.
A recent study has established that fleas if they have a constant human blood supply can survive for several days- up to 185 days even if their preferred hosts are not present!
Can fleas live in a home without pets?
Definitely, they can live, but if their fertility will be greatly declined. For instance, cat fleas can survive at home by feeding human blood, but if the preferred host does not come back in good time, the number of fleas will decline.
How to Remove Fleas Permanently
There are a number of ways you can get rid of fleas from your premises. The easiest of all approaches is employing simple sanitation techniques both outside and inside your house.
In particular, ensure that you change your dogs’ or cats’ beds more frequently and vacuum them meticulously.
Vacuuming gets rid of up to 31.5% of flea larvae and up to 59.9% of these pests’ eggs from bedding and carpets. Always vacuum under cushions, along walls, beds, furniture, and chairs.
Outside the house, you are required to trim shrubs and trees to lessen the areas where these parasites can thrive.
However, in case the pests have already invaded your homestead, you are advised to contact a pest control specialist to give appropriate chemicals and advice on how to get rid of these parasites lastingly.