Winning The Battle Against Fleas: The Most Effective Control Method For Houston Homes
A flea infestation can feel like an endless battle when they are inside your home. Whether your pets brought them into the house or they hitched a ride in on your pants, these tiny parasites can be tough to get rid of. If you have tried all you can think of and everything the store has to offer and are still scratching the day away, it is time to find a more effective solution.
Fleas are tiny, parasitic pests that feed on the blood of their hosts. While they are most commonly associated with pets and pet owners, these insects can sometimes make their way into pet-free homes. Wild animals traveling through your property are the most likely cause of fleas in homes without pets.
This guide will help you learn everything you need to know about flea pest control in Houston. We'll start by explaining how to identify fleas, just in case you aren't sure which pest is causing the bites. Knowing what fleas look like can also help you catch a future infestation before it starts.
We'll also review the health hazards that fleas bring into your home. These pests aren't only an issue for the family pet because they also pose dangers to the people in your house. Learning more about the risks of these insects can help you watch for any symptoms in your family and furry friends.
Next, we'll explain why your DIY methods aren't working as well as you might have hoped. Total flea elimination is almost impossible with over-the-counter products and DIY techniques. The quickest and most efficient method of flea control comes from working with a local company that offers flea control services.
After we eliminate your flea problem, it is time to learn how to keep them from returning. We'll provide some proactive steps you can take to keep fleas from getting inside. These tips and tricks can help you protect your family and pets from fleas and their potentially dangerous bites.
Modern Pest Control is here to help you with any problematic pests on your property. We have been helping our neighbors protect their homes and families from pests like fleas for over 70 years. Contact us today to learn more about our flea pest control services or to schedule your free inspection.
Flea Identification: What Do They Look Like?
Fleas look like tiny, dark insects to the human eye. These little pests are only 1/12 to 1/6 of an inch long. Their flat bodies are dark brown to black but may appear reddish after they feed on the blood of a person or animal.
Flea bodies have bristles that point backward, allowing them to travel quickly through their hosts' fur, hair, or feathers. These insects don't have wings but strong hind legs that allow them to jump long distances. These mighty jumpers almost appear to be flying when they jump as high as eight inches in the air.
While it can be challenging to catch sight of a flea, it is possible to see them. If your pets are scratching, you can carefully comb through their fur to see if fleas are on them. It is possible to see them with the naked eye, and they may jump when you get the comb close to them.
Flea bites are usually the first sign of an infestation. For your pets, the first signs will be continuous scratching, licking, and biting at the itchy bite sites. You may be able to see red bumps on their skin and sometimes hair loss from excessive scratching.
Flea bites on humans are similar to those on pets, and you will likely see red bumps with a darker red halo around them. It is sometimes challenging to discern which pest the bites are from. Flea bites remain small, unlike mosquito bites that swell. They are also usually in random, sporadic patterns, unlike bed bug bites that will be in a line or cluster.
Some other signs of fleas to watch for include small, black specks of flea feces (sometimes called "flea dirt") on your pet's bed or the carpet. You might be able to spot whitish larvae also, but they are tiny and usually well hidden behind furniture or in cracks in the floor. If you need help determining whether or not fleas are the problem or want assistance with elimination, contact us at Modern Pest Control.
Health Hazards Of Fleas: Dangers To People And Pets
Fleas are more than just an annoying nuisance that causes itchy bites. Numerous health hazards can come with an infestation, and fleas can spread dangerous pathogens in several ways. With some illnesses, fleas are vectors of disease, which means that when they bite an animal carrying the germ, they can then pass it to the next host that they bite.
Accidentally swallowing a flea can also result in disease transmission, as can inhaling fecal dust. Flea dirt can also transmit illnesses if it gets into an open wound. These insects defecate while eating, so even the flea bite mark can allow flea dirt into your body.
Not every flea will necessarily spread an illness, but they all have the potential. We'll briefly outline the conditions people and pets can get from having fleas in the house:
- Murine typhus: Spread through flea dirt inhalation, getting in the eyes, or entering the bite wound
- Tungiasis: Caused by fleas burrowing into your skin
- Bartonellosis (cat scratch disease): Spread through a scratch from an infected cat
- Tapeworm: Parasites spread to people and animals that accidentally swallow a flea
Flea anemia can also occur in pets because the fleas drink so much blood that the animal doesn't have enough red blood cells. Anemia is most common in small breeds of dogs, puppies, and cats. Eliminating the fleas will allow your pet's body to replenish the red blood cells.
Pets are also susceptible to flea allergy dermatitis, an allergic reaction to flea saliva. This hypersensitivity is the leading cause of dog allergies and can develop at any age. The most common sign is itching and hair loss around the middle of the back down to the tail.
Most people also have a flea allergy, which results in red, itchy bite marks. Some people can have a stronger reaction with hives, shortness of breath, and swelling. You can use an anti-itch cream or antihistamine for mild reactions, but a doctor should check stronger responses.
If you are currently dealing with an infestation of fleas and your family or pets have any flu-like symptoms, lethargy, or unusual behavior, make sure your doctor or veterinarian knows about the infestation to help with diagnosis. Children are more susceptible to some of these illnesses because they spend more time near the floor, increasing the likelihood of inhaling flea dirt or ingesting a flea.
The best way to protect your family and pets from flea diseases, parasites, and allergies is to eliminate the pest as quickly as possible. Contact Modern Pest Control today for assistance in eradicating fleas from your house and preventing a reinfestation.
Total Flea Elimination: Call The Pros Right Away!
Fleas can be challenging to eliminate on your own, partly due to the flea life cycle. Fleas reproduce rapidly, laying between 20 and 50 eggs per day. These eggs are typically laid on a pet and then fall off, landing on the carpet, in beds, or in cracks in the floor.
The longer an infestation is in your house, the worse it will get. In their short lifetime, fleas can produce up to 500 offspring. These numbers make it easy to see how quickly a minor flea problem can become a severe infestation and how crucial it is to get rid of fleas as soon as possible.
Over-the-counter flea bombs often aren't enough to eliminate all the eggs, larvae, and pupae hiding throughout your home. Fleas in protected areas, such as cabinets or closets, will not be affected. Additionally, the pesticides they disperse can't penetrate carpets or other fibers.
Store-bought flea foggers and bombs can also be dangerous to use around your family and pets. Breathing in the fog can cause health problems, including difficulty breathing, coughing, intestinal distress, and allergy symptoms.
Flea traps are another option homeowners usually try. While traps may catch a few fleas, they work primarily as monitoring devices. These products will only trap adults, so the eggs, larvae, and pupae will be left behind to mature.
Additionally, these store-bought products do not address the underlying problem of fleas outside or on your pets. Any pets in the home will need appropriate treatments from the veterinarian to eliminate their fleas. Failure to treat pets will mean your infestation will likely return.
The best way to get rid of fleas quickly is to call the pros at the first signs of these troublesome pests. Excessive grooming and scratching are the most common signs to watch for in your pets. With people, the most likely sign is red itchy flea bites, typically around the ankles.
Modern Pest Control has protected homes and families in Houston and surrounding areas for over 70 years. We strive to provide a level of personal service that the bigger chains can't compete with. We also offer several different quarterly service plans to ensure year-round protection.
Modern Pest Control provides the most effective flea control for your house to eliminate these pests quickly and efficiently. Our pest management professionals use the most up-to-date "modern" treatments to ensure your home and family are safe from dangerous pests. Contact us today to learn more about our pest control services or to schedule your free inspection.
Preventing Fleas From Coming Back: Proactive Tips And Tricks
After we eliminate your infestation, we must take steps to keep these pests from returning. Our pest management professionals can provide insight into specific factors to remedy after assessing your property. But you can start with the following flea prevention tips and tricks:
- Regularly wash bedding, including pet beds and blankets.
- Vacuum frequently to eliminate eggs, larvae, and fleas in the carpet.
- Regularly bathe and groom pets.
- Maintain your lawn.
- Keep dogs on a leash outdoors so they don't wander into overgrown areas.
- Keep pets on year-round flea and tick prevention medication.
Sanitation is one of the best ways to prevent a flea infestation. Keeping pets well groomed and regularly washing all the bedding in the house can eliminate fleas before they can breed. Frequent vacuuming and sweeping will also pick up any potential eggs that have fallen throughout the house.
Bathing pets can also help eliminate any fleas they may be carrying. Wash them with soap and water (or with a shampoo recommended by the veterinarian) and then comb through their fur with a flea comb. You'll want to pay extra attention to the area around the face and neck and close to the tail.
Keeping your yard well maintained can also help to prevent these pests. Mow the lawn regularly and thoroughly rake up any debris these insects could hide or breed in. Fleas prefer a humid environment, so be careful not to over-water the yard.
Rodents are another common cause of fleas around your home. Fleas frequently feed on rats, mice, and squirrels, and when these rodents find their way onto your property, they bring the fleas along with them.
To help prevent rodents, store trash securely, and remove clutter and debris from the yard. To keep rodents outside, seal any potential holes on the home's exterior that are larger than 1/4 of an inch. If you suspect a rodent infestation on your property, Modern Pest Control can also help you deal with that.
The best way to stop these pests is to prevent them from getting inside in the first place. Modern Pest Control's quarterly service plans offer flea control for your yard to help protect your pets and family from these troublesome pests. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an inspection.