Flies, cockroaches, and stinging insects are an annoyance and potential threat to humans. Fleas represent a similar threat to our four-legged companions.
With pet ownership at record levels – 114 million households own a dog or cat, according to the American Pet Products Association – dogs and cats are part of the fabric of life for thousands of California households.
National Dog Day is Tuesday, August 26 (in the interest of fairness, National Cat Day is October 29). Clark, your friendly pest control, termite, and lawn care expert, enjoys pets just as much as you do. Listed below is some valuable information on how you can protect your furry friends, as well as your home and human family, from annoying fleas.
The inside scoop on fleas
There are an estimated 2,000 species of fleas worldwide, and more than 300 types are found in the United States. Fleas feed on any warm-blooded body, including humans. However, they prefer to dine on furry animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, opossums, raccoons, and skunks.
Fleas are prolific breeders, and that can make them very difficult to control once they establish themselves in your home. In fact, one flea can produce as many as 400 to 500 offspring in its lifetime. This is why an effective flea management program requires treating infected animals by a veterinarian, cleaning flea-infested areas, and taking preventative measures to keep the fleas from returning.
The principal flea threat to dogs and cats across California and northern Nevada is the cat flea. These bothersome little insects prefer living in areas frequented by pets and other animals while they await their next meal.
As with many insects, fleas can adapt to both indoor and outdoor settings. An adult cat flea survives on a liquid diet of blood from the unlucky animal to which it selects to attach itself.
These tiny insects – only measuring one-eighth inch in length – are typically brownish-black in color, but turn red when engorged with blood after feeding. Fleas are also quite the little athletes, possessing the ability to jump six inches straight up. This gives them the ability to leap from the ground onto an animal, or even onto the pant leg or shoe of an unsuspicious human.
Fleas can be a problem for you even if you don’t own a pet, because non-pet animals, like the ones mentioned earlier, are also readily available flea transporters.
Tips on preventing fleas
What can you do to help prevent fleas from becoming a problem for your pets and family? Clark offers the following tips:
- Regularly clean all surfaces that your pet frequents, and vacuum carpets (especially under furniture), upholstered furniture, under cushions, and in crevices.
- Seal vacuum bags in a plastic bag, and discard that bag immediately after use.
- Wash pet bedding, collars, plush toys, and throw rugs regularly in warm water.
- On the exterior of your home, focus your efforts on areas when your pets spend time, including lawns and shaded areas under landscape bushes. Keep your grass cut, and trim weeds and overgrown shrubbery that give fleas shelter.
- Check pets' coats thoroughly for fleas, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
- Talk with your veterinarian or animal groomer for recommendations regarding on-animal prevention and treatment options.
Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify you before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.
Call or text Clark at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) if you think your home has fleas. We will have one of our highly trained technicians come out for a free inspection to see what you are dealing with. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.