When it comes to pest control issues, the more common conditions we experience are dealing with ants, termites, bees and rodents. For a Northport, NY family, they had a flea infestation in their home. We don’t hear a lot about fleas but they are more common than you think. Fleas hitch a ride on your dog or cat and enter your home and begin seeking refuge in your carpets.
Our first call from the homeowner advised us of the family members having numerous bite marks on their arms and legs. They also stated fleas were visible in the home. Some live and some dead fleas were observed in a downstairs room in the house. While there are several species of fleas, the treatment for them are mostly similar.
A little about fleas…
- Become more of a problem several weeks after the weather begins to warm up
- They are jumpers
- Like dark environments
- They do not have wings
- They suck the blood of humans and animals
- Typically dark in color
- Have a hard body which makes killing them by squeezing them difficult
- Have a life span of 1 year to several years
- Can carry disease and bacteria
Being that fleas like warm blooded objects such as animals and humans, it is important to have your pet(s) checked by a veterinarian. There are numerous topical treatments available. While fleas are often found on animals, the area in where your animal spends time needs to be treated as well. Fleas lay many eggs. In many instances, they will lay eggs on your dog or cat then roll off onto your floor. Spot applications are successful for smaller scale flea problems. In our Northport home, we were facing an infestation where a spot application would have had little or no effect.
Treatment for This Scenario
Our recommended initial treatment for the flea infestation was to use a fogging product throughout the home. The family members were requested to leave the home for approximately 2 hours as a precaution. With such a heavy infestation, this was one of the only ways to mitigate the issue in the least amount of time. We also recommended and provided a 1 month follow-up to ensure the initial treatment was effective. Our standard follow-up program for fleas includes a visit from our trained exterminator once a week for 3 weeks to retreat. After 30 days, if fleas are still present we come back and provide additional treatment. Luckily, the client was happy to report there were no fleas after the 3rd week.
How to Detect Fleas
- Observing your dog, cat, rabbit, etc. frequently scratching
- Run a flea comb over your pet to the skin surface looking for flea dirt
- Bites on you or your family’s body including arms, legs, ankles and torso
- Drag a white towel or cloth along the floor and watch for fleas jumping towards or on the towel or cloth
- Look for flea dirt, fecal matter from fleas, on your pet or in their hair on surfaces
Although fleas usually cause more of a nuisance then anything, they do potentially carry disease and bacteria as noted earlier. Rectifying the situation as soon as possible is important as small flea problems can manifest into larger infestations as we have described above. If you would like a free consultation, call (631) 868-7023 or visit our Contact Us page and provide us with your information. Lastly, a few preventative measures you can take upon yourself to prevent a flea infestation:
- Vacuum frequently especially the areas where your pet likes to relax. This includes furniture
- Keep your grass mowed. Tall grass and leaf covered yards can host fleas and other insects
- Bathe your pets regularly. Fleas do not like water. Also, soapy water kills fleas
- Fleas do not like sunlight. Place area rugs, door mats and other like materials in direct sunlight
- Regularly wash your pets bedding, blankets and toys