Fleas In Cypress Can Be Hard To Get Rid Of
Flea crawling on fabric.

Fleas In Cypress Can Be Hard To Get Rid Of

Fleas are ectoparasites, meaning they require a host to feed on to survive but live on the outside of this host. These external parasites consume warm blood from mammals and birds, including humans.

Even though we are accustomed to thinking that fleas only infest homes with pets, they also infest homes that don't have pets. The most common way this happens is when a wildlife pest, rodent, or bird infestation occurs, they can bring fleas into a home and deposit eggs, adults, and larvae. 

Another way fleas come into a home without pets is inside second-hand goods. A person can also pick fleas up in the yard. Fleas don't have wings but instead use their long, powerful legs to jump onto a host.

Fleas are tiny pests, but they are not harmless. Flea-borne illnesses we see in the United States include:

  • Cat-scratch fever: Occurs when an infected flea bites a person or animal and leaves flea dirt, which is waste created by fleas.

  • Flea-borne typhus: Occurs similarly to cat-scratch fever.

  • Plague: Occurs when an infected flea bites a person or animal after feeding on a rodent. 

  • Tapeworm: When you accidentally swallow fleas, these parasites occur, and children and pets are at higher risk.

Because of the diseases they can transmit, fleas are considered a dangerous pest. They can also affect allergies, asthma, stress, and sleeping, among other health concerns. 

Modern Pest Control wants to tell you about fleas and your options for pest control in Cypress. Please keep reading to find out how to identify fleas, why their lifecycle is essential, the challenges they present, and the correct method of eliminating them. 

How To Identify Different Types Of Fleas

There are more than 2,000 species of fleas around the world. Out of those 2,000, you will find about 300 in the United States. You might be thinking; a flea is a flea; well, maybe. There are three different types of fleas common in our area:

Ctenocephalides felis, also known as the cat flea:

  • The most common species in the United States

  • The primary host of this species are domestic cats

  • They are about 3/32 an inch long, light reddish-brown to dark brown

  • Their life cycle is approximately two weeks

  • They also infest dogs, rats, opossums, foxes, and other animals

Ctenocephalides canis, also known as the dog flea:

  • This species can live for several months without feeding, but females will not be able to reproduce until they have taken a blood meal.

  • The primary hosts of these pests are domestic dogs, with cats and humans also high on their list.

  • They look similar to cat fleas but slightly vary because they are about 1/16 an inch long, brownish-black to brown, and turn reddish-black after a blood meal.

Pulex irritans, also known as the human flea:

  • Their preferred host is humans, but cats, wild boars, pigs, and rats can all be hosts for this species.

  • They are larger than dog and cat fleas, growing to 1/8 an inch long.

  • Their bodies are reddish-brown to rust-colored.

Fleas have gotten their names after the animals they most commonly infest, but they are not necessarily species-specific. Cat fleas can live on dogs and vice-versa. But some species in the world are host exclusive.

Although these are distinct species, when dealing with a flea infestation, it may not make a difference what kind of fleas you are dealing with as long as you get rid of them.

To help you catch a flea infestation early, here are several signs to look for:

  • Change of behavior in a pet, such as excessive scratching, insomnia, restlessness 

  • Noticeable hair loss, red skin, and white gums on your pet

  • Flea dirt that is small red-brown or black specks

  • You or someone else is experiencing bites around the ankles

If you think you might have a flea problem, don't wait to take action. As you will learn below, the lifecycle of fleas works against us.

The Lifecycle Of The Common Flea

Understanding the lifecycle of any pest is essential to properly eliminating an infestation, but this is especially true for pests like fleas. 

Fleas have a four-part lifecycle, eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Here is a breakdown of each stage of a flea's lifecycle:

Egg Stage:

  • After taking a blood meal, a female lays eggs and cannot do so without feeding.

  • The eggs are white and smaller than a grain of sand; although you may be able to see them with your eyes alone, chances are you won't realize they are flea eggs.

  • One female flea can lay up to 40 eggs a day.

  • They usually lay eggs in an animal's fur, but they can fall off.

  • When eggs fall off a host, they can survive as the early life stages don't require blood meals like adults.

  • Eggs can develop between 2 to 10 days, depending on the environment.

  • Warm and humid conditions provide a better environment for this pest so that they will hatch more quickly than in cold and dry places.

Larvae Stage:

  • Larvae emerge from hatching flea eggs.

  • During this life stage, fleas are blind and avoid light.

  • They grow up to 1/4 an inch long, are white, and are legless.

  • Larvae can take several weeks to develop but, in the right conditions, will form a cocoon between 5 to 20 days after hatching.

  • As larvae, fleas feed on flea dirt, which we mentioned above.

Pupae Stage:

  • As larvae, fleas spin a cocoon that protects them during the last stage of development. 

  • Again, this stage can occur in several days or last weeks, depending on the environmental conditions.

  • In some cases, fleas can remain in their cocoons for years, waiting for the right conditions.

  • Fleas won't leave their cocoons unless a host is present, which they can tell by heat, vibrations, and carbon dioxide.

  • The outside of a cocoon is sticky, so they can remain attached to a host or carpeting if they have fallen off, making them challenging to vacuum.

  • Cocoons also protect them from removal products, making this stage the hardest to eliminate.

Adult Stage:

  • Once a flea is ready to leave its cocoon, an adult emerges.

  • Fleas need to feed on a host within the first few hours of leaving their cocoon.

  • Not long after their first meal, fleas begin breeding. 

  • Adult fleas have a flat body and dark coloring, but after feeding, they become swollen, and their color reddens.

  • Adult fleas usually live for two to three months.

The environment significantly affects a flea's development throughout the four life stages, so reducing conducive conditions on your property is essential to preventing these pests. You will learn prevention tips and why it's vital to understand a flea's lifecycle.

Three Reasons Fleas Are So Hard To Get Rid Of

As small as fleas are, you would think they are easy to get rid of, but the truth is, fleas are one of the most challenging pests to eliminate once they have infested; this is for several reasons, including:

  1. Fleas are quick reproducers, laying up to 40 eggs daily. So if you treat a flea infestation but don't target all stages of life, they will continue to thrive in your home.
  2. In most cases, you have to treat multiple home areas to eliminate a flea infestation; this is something most people cannot do on their own or don't know how to do.
  3. Single treatments will produce results, but often, multiple types and rounds of treatments are necessary to eliminate fleas. Many times, a flea infestation is the cause of another pest issue, which you need to address.

Even though fleas are a challenge to eliminate, it's not impossible. But many approaches and methods don't work, so ensure you take the proper steps if you are dealing with a flea infestation.

When it comes to this pest, avoid using a DIY flea spray. Some of the recipes you can find online for DIY flea spray may contain effective ingredients, but they won't eliminate entire infestations. Putting all your effort into this method will only allow fleas to continue reproducing, and the infestation worsens.

Here are things you can do that will help you remove fleas from your home:

  • While some groomers offer flea treatments, you should work with a veterinarian to have all animals in your home treated for fleas.

  • Along with treating pets for fleas, you should ask your veterinarian about flea preventatives to protect your animals from this pest.

  • When you vacuum, throw away the vacuum's contents in the garbage outside your home. Disposing of the vacuum's contents inside your home can lead to re-infestation.

Although these tips help remove fleas from your home, they will not get to the source of the problem, which is essential if you hope to keep this pest from re-infesting. The best way to combat a flea problem is with professional assistance. Learn about professional flea treatment services in Cypress by reading this next section.

Control, Extermination & Prevention Of Fleas

The best way to get rid of fleas is not with DIY methods but through professional flea control services. Experts will be able to eliminate an active infestation and prevent new ones from forming. 

At Modern Pest Control, we build our flea control services into residential offerings. You can take care of all your flea problems and many other pests under one plan! We offer three different pest control plans for you to choose from, ensuring you are getting what you need, no more or less:

Modern Plus Plan:

  • Starting at $34 a month

  • Quarterly service visits 

  • Service guarantee

  • Year-round protection from most ant species, crickets, earwigs, millipede, pillbugs, roaches, and silverfish

  • Yard treatments for fire ants, fleas, and spiders

Signature Plan:

  • Starting at $62 a month

  • Quarterly service visits

  • Service guarantee

  • Year-round protection from most ant species, crickets, earwigs, millipede, pillbugs, roaches, and silverfish

  • Yard treatments for fire ants, fleas, and spiders

  • Termite control using the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ technology.  

Signature Plus Plan:

  • Starting at $92 a month

  • Quarterly service visits

  • Service guarantee

  • Year-round protection from most ant species, crickets, earwigs, millipede, pillbugs, roaches, and silverfish

  • Yard treatments for fire ants, fleas, and spiders

  • Termite control using the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ technology.  

  • Monthly mosquito treatments from April through October

You can decide which of these services will best meet your pest control needs when one of our highly trained technicians inspects your property to identify pest pressures and conducive conditions. Plus, if you have a problem with a pest between scheduled services, we will return and re-treat at no additional cost.

While ongoing professional pest control will help to eliminate flea infestations, we also recommend implementing these preventative measures to make your property less conducive to fleas:

  • Keep your grass cut short.

  • Maintain shrubs, bushes, and other foliage to reduce shade and allow sun, which fleas don't like.

  • Avoid overwatering your lawn and ensure it has proper drainage.

  • Use cedar mulch in garden beds, under hedges, and in areas where you want to create a barrier to keep fleas away.

  • Remove debris by properly storing garden tools, woodpiles, and other yard debris.

The best way to get rid of fleas is with professional pest control services, so don't wait to call us at Modern Pest Control. We are ready to assist you with a residential pest control plan that meets all your needs and budget.

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