What It Takes To Get Rid Of A Flea Infestation In Your Pearland Home
Have you had the experience of needing to pass a class to graduate, or you had to complete a project by a deadline, or you'd lose a chance for a promotion? What did you do if you had those experiences or similar ones? Did you lose the advancement by allowing the deadline to pass? Did you go out on the town and fail to prepare for the exam? Hopefully not. Instead, you probably cleared your schedule, hunkered down, and did what it took to pass the exam or complete the project. When pain or fear drives us, we will do whatever it takes to fix the problem.
Many pests can drive us to the edge of insanity, but one of the most insidious is fleas. These minuscule jumping insects are difficult to see and even harder to catch. Once you see a flea, you feel itchy on your head, sides, and back. Just reading this paragraph may be making you start to itch!
When fleas are in your house, you are willing to do whatever it takes to remove them so you can relax without continually scratching. We will give you the information to tackle a flea infestation, but you cannot do this alone. When fleas invade your home, you need help from the best pest control in Pearland, Modern Pest Control. We understand that many similar companies call themselves the best in the pest control industry, but we have the credentials and experience to back our claim. Our independent company has removed fleas from Pearland area homes since 1952. Only a few pest control companies have served their communities for over seven decades, and even fewer have earned the QualityPro designation. Only pest control companies that meet or exceed 18 national and federal standards can earn this designation from the Foundation for Professional Pest Management; Modern Pest Control is one of them.
We know you are willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate the flea infestation in your house, so keep reading to learn what you can do to solve your flea problem.
How To Identify A Flea Infestation
Fleas are not the only tiny insect that causes itchy bites. Mosquitoes, bed bugs, mites, and lice can cause similar reactions, so how do you know if fleas are the source of your problem? Before we get into prevention, let's learn about our jumping enemy.
Fleas are insects with six jointed legs, two antennae, a pair of compound eyes, and a three-segmented body consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. Unlike some insects, fleas do not have wings and cannot fly; however, their large hind legs enable them to jump up to eight inches vertically or about 150 times their body height. Fleas have a 1/6 to 1/12-inch reddish-brown flat body covered with backward-facing bristles that enable them to navigate through animal fur, feathers, and human hair.
Now that we have a description of fleas, we need to know the signs of fleas in a house. If you suspect fleas are responsible for the bites on your body, look for these indications to prove or disprove your hypothesis:
White sock test
Let's unpack these signs and see if they are in your Pearland home.
You can see reddish-brown adult fleas with the naked eye, but a magnifying glass is necessary to see their eggs and nymphs. If you see what appears to be a flea and it immediately jumps away, you can rule out ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasitic insects.
Fleas get nutrition from animal and human blood. When a flea jumps onto a perspective host, it uses the strong claws on the ends of its legs to anchor itself. Fleas and other blood-feeding insects have a needle-like mouthpart called a proboscis to pierce the skin to draw blood. Fleas lubricate their proboscis with saliva that enters the host at the bite site. The host's body reacts to the foreign saliva and dispatches histamines creating a red, swollen, itchy area.
How can you determine if the bites are from fleas and not bed bugs? Comparing flea bites vs. bed bug bites can be difficult because both produce small, red itchy bites, but there are a few differences. First, bed bugs tend to bite in clusters or zigzag lines, but flea bites appear as three bumps. Also, bed bugs often bite hosts on the arms, back, or legs, but fleas most often attack the ankle area.
When fleas eat, they excrete dried pepper-like blood. Because the excrement consists of digested blood, it is dark reddish-brown or black. If you have pets, search their bedding and fur for flea dirt. If you do not have animals, investigate bed linens and chairs for rounded flakes.
One tell-tale sign of a flea infestation is indoor animals excessively scratching. We all have an occasional itch, but when you notice your animal appearing to be agitated, causing it to lightly bite rapidly on itself or constantly scratch behind its ears, that is a sign of fleas.
Fleas are more prone to use a dog, cat, or another animal as a host before they attach to humans. When fleas infest an animal, one result is hair loss due to excessive scratching. Look for baldness in the neck area and base of the tail of indoor pets.
A novel, but effective way to determine if fleas are in your Pearland home, is to wear knee-high white socks. Body heat attracts fleas, so as you move through the house, the fleas will jump onto the socks, and the dark fleas on the white sock background make them easy to see.
Secure flea control for the house from Modern Pest Control. Our Texas Department of Agriculture licensed pest management professionals know where to search to find signs of a flea infestation.
Fleas In The Home Are A Health Hazard
To impress your friends when discussing fleas, refer to the troublesome creatures as ectoparasitic insects. Ectoparasitic is a fancy way of describing blood-feeding parasites that live on the surface of their hosts. Other ectoparasitic animals include bed bugs, ticks, mites, and parasitic flies.
When fleas draw blood, they receive protein, iron, and amino acids from the blood. Unfortunately, they also ingest any disease-causing organisms in the host's blood. Although fleas prefer cats and dogs, they feed on raccoons, opossums, skunks, and other wildlife; they also consume blood from rats and mice. These animals forage in unsanitary sewers, garbage dumps, drains, and animal feces, where bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms reside. So, the rodents and wildlife consume infected organic plant and animal materials, transferring pathogens into their bloodstreams; the fleas then draw the contaminated blood, which they later spread to human and animal hosts. Because female fleas require non-human blood to produce eggs, they are prone to bite animals before humans. Since animals are more apt to contract diseases from tainted food sources, pathogens from flea bites most likely come from infected animals, not other humans.
Murine typhus, tularemia, and bartonellosis are examples of bacterial flea diseases spread to humans. Fleas transfer tularemia from infected rodents and rabbits to humans; this bacterial infection causes inflamed lymph nodes, sore throat, mouth sores, and ulcers. Common in tropical and subtropical climates, murine typhus comes from infected blood from opossums, cats, and rats; it causes a skin rash and flu-like symptoms. Bartonellosis produces similar outcomes in addition to swollen lymph nodes and a small blister at the wound location.
Tapeworms are parasites transferred to humans which feed inside the intestine. Stomach pain, weight loss, gas, bloating, and other gastrointestinal issues are symptoms of tapeworms in the gut. In dogs and cats, parasitic tapeworms cause irritability, anemia, and intestinal issues.
Protect your family from flea bites and partner with Modern Pest Control. When we inspect your Pearland home, we will locate flea hot spots and use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques to ensure complete eradication and to help stop future flea infestations.
Why It's So Hard To Get Rid Of Flea Infestation On Your Own
The high reproductive rate makes it difficult to eradicate these pests without professional help. Once a female flea enjoys a blood meal from an animal, it produces four to eight eggs. These 1/50-inch-long white eggs land on the ground. Under favorable, humid conditions above 70℉, white worm-like larvae emerge after two to five days. Over the next seven to 15 days, the maturing offspring feed on undigested blood in the flea feces (flea dirt). Once the larvae complete their growth cycles, they create cocoons and enter the pupae stage. They will remain in their cocoons for weeks or months until they detect a nearby host.
How does a pupa know when a potential host is present? Pupas can sense ground vibrations, warmth, and carbon dioxide. A pupa emerges from the cocoon as an adult and jumps onto its host when these conditions are present. Adult fleas live for one to 12 months; one female flea may produce up to 2,000 offspring during that brief lifespan.
Another challenge for flea eradication is their ability to hide and quickly transfer to new locations. Fleas can hide in the wood floor and furniture crevices, upholstery seams, pant leg cuffs, shoes, and blankets. They find shelter in animal fur, human hair, and carpeting.
Although eradication of a flea infestation requires professional help, you can do the following to reduce the current flea population and prevent a future infestation once the pest management professionals from Modern Pest Control remove them from your Pearland house:
Vacuum the floors
Suction corners, crevices, and gaps
Wash animal bedding and bed linens
Pick up clothing off the floor
Store unused clothing in airtight containers
Wash animals using a veterinarian-approved flea treatment
Inspect pets when returning from the outdoors
Mow the grass short
Thin out overgrowth
When you sweep the house and suction cracks between baseboards, walls, and carpet, empty the contents into a sealable bag and dispose of the contents in a closed outdoor container. Clean fabrics with the highest temperatures allowable in the washer and dry them for at least 30 minutes. Keeping clothing off the floor and storing infrequently-worn clothing reduces places for fleas to hide.
Fleas prefer to hide in tall grass in the yard, so keeping the lawn mowed and pruning away dense vegetation limits shelter possibilities and deters them from remaining on the property.
Implementing these tips helps prevent a future flea infestation; these ideas also discourage invasions from rodents and other insects on your Pearland property. When you contact Modern Pest Control for flea control, a trained pest management professional can also identify additional ways to prevent a future flea infestation.
The Best Way To Completely Eliminate A Flea Infestation
The rapid reproduction rate, the ability to hide in cracks and crevices, and the capacity to quickly move from one area to another make do-it-yourself flea eradication nearly impossible. To save time and money and reduce stress levels, you need Modern Pest Control. When you contact us for a free, no-obligation inspection, we will listen to your concern and dispatch a licensed pest management professional to your Pearland home.
We will inspect the interior and exterior for attractants, entry points, and hot spots. After our investigation, we will design a strategic plan to quickly remove fleas from your home using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. This approach specifically targets the problematic pest and minimizes overusing any treatment product. The IPM method involves environmentally-conscious products that produce maximum pest control results without endangering family members and pets. This technique addresses attractants and exclusion recommendations to prevent a future infestation.
To get rid of fleas in the home, you need an independent company with decades of pest control experience that upholds the highest training standards in the industry. You need a company with the understanding, tools, training, and knowledge necessary to solve pest control issues. Contact us at Modern Pest Control today to set up your free, no-obligation inspection and end days of scratching and discomfort from flea bites.