Protect Your Pets: How to Get Rid of Fleas

How to get rid of fleas

It’s terrible to see a beloved pet being tortured by fleas. Just a few bites can make your pet miserable night and day, and it gets even worse when you find them on yourself! Because fleas breed very quickly, it’s important to take action before a widespread infestation takes hold in your house. Read on to learn about fleas and how Turner can help you get rid of fleas.

Flea Facts

  • Fleas have a short lifespan, but during that time more than 400 offspring can be produced. Eggs need only seven to 14 days to hatch, depending on environmental conditions, so you can go from a few fleas to hundreds or even thousands in just days.
  • Fleas don’t have wings, but they do have effective modes of transportation: They can jump 150 times their own height and they hitch rides on all types of mammals. They’ll hang onto your shoes and pants, moving along with you.
  • If you see rats or mice in your house or on your property, there’s a good chance they’re carrying fleas. Don’t wait to have rodent control professionals come take care of the problem.
  • Fleas thrive when the humidity is around 70 percent and the temperature is between 70 and 85 degrees. It’s no surprise that fleas can be a serious problem for Florida residents!
  • Adults make up less than five percent of the flea population in your home. That means more than 95 percent are in other life cycle phases: egg, larva or pupa.
  • Fleas can be confused with bed bugs. Although both types of pests feed on blood, there are many differences. Fleas are reddish-brown with a long, skinny oval shape, while bed bugs (which are also reddish-brown) are seed-shaped and flat.

Flea FAQ

How should I check my pet for fleas?

First, watch for excessive licking, scratching and biting behavior in your pet. When your pet comes in from outside, check it over for fleas, and frequently inspect bedding and soft toys. PetMD recommends closely checking your dog’s most vulnerable flea hiding places, such as their ears, belly, groin and base of the tail.

Use a flea comb to go through the fur on your dog’s legs and back close to the skin. If you comb out any live fleas, immediately put them in a bucket of soapy water. PetMD also suggests putting a white paper towel or sheet of paper next to your dog while combing—you’ll see flea feces fall off and land on the paper if fleas are present.

How long can fleas live in the house?

Without a host to get a blood meal from, undisturbed fleas can live longer than three months. Their average lifespan is two to three months, and female fleas that have just reached adulthood can start laying eggs as soon as she has her first meal.

How many different kinds of fleas are there?

Around the world, there are approximately 2,000 different kinds of fleas and more than 300 species in North America. The flea species you’re most likely to encounter in your home is Ctenocephalides felis, the domestic cat flea and the one that prefers you, your dog and your cat as its host. There is also a species known as the common dog flea, but it’s most often found in Europe rather than the U.S.

Can fleas spread diseases?

Fleas can transmit some types of illnesses to you and your family, such as typhus and cat scratch disease. According to PestWorld, they are the most common transmitter of bubonic plague.They can also be a host for tapeworms that can infect your pet or even humans. Make sure to pick up after your pet in your yard and keep litter boxes covered.

Can fleas survive the washing machine?

Fleas can stay alive in water for about a week. However, washing clothes, bedding and other washable items in water hotter than 95 degrees and using detergent will kill fleas, as will the heat of the dryer.

What To Know About Getting Rid of Fleas

With the flea life cycle in mind, it takes a sustained, ongoing effort to completely eliminate an infestation. Take these steps:

  • Vacuum frequently for several weeks. Use a new vacuum bag each time, sealing and removing the used bag after you clean.
  • Use hot, soapy water to thoroughly launder your pet’s bedding and toys. This can kill eggs, larvae and pupae.
  • You can use foggers and sprays, but these must be applied cautiously.
  • Kill adult fleas on your pets with dog flea shampoo or cat flea shampoo.
  • Check with your veterinarian to see if prescription flea treatments are appropriate and safe for your pet.
  • Keep your lawn maintained to eliminate food sources and hiding places for rodents.

Call Turner For Expert Flea Control

Trying to kill the fleas you can see while there are eggs and pupae still in your home is often a losing battle. To break the cycle and eliminate fleas in every stage of their lives, it’s best to call on flea control pros who have the knowledge, equipment, products and experience. At Turner Pest Control, we develop programs to stop fleas’ life cycles and keep them from coming back. Contact us for a free inspection and estimate today!