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FLEA IDENTIFICATION & PREVENTION

(Formicidae)
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Average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 354 reviews. 4.8   

What are fleas?

flea on human skin

Fleas are a surprisingly dangerous group of 2,500+ species, despite their almost microscopic size. These common pests are small, reddish-brown insects, no more than ⅛” long, flattened on either side.

With their powerfully built legs featuring a“pleural arch” on their exoskeleton, fleas can leap to impressive heights, enabling them to travel between hosts. enabling them to reach distances over 100 times their body lengths. 

Fleas feed on blood from their hosts, hanging on using the spines that line their body from the mouth to the feet. They are considered “ectoparasites,” since they stay on the outside of the host.

Cat Fleas

This is the most common variety of flea, feeding on humans, pets, and wild animals alike. Although named the “cat” flea, they feed on just about any available host. Another species of flea, the dog flea, feeds on the same hosts but is not as widespread.

Other common flea species include:

  • Human flea
  • Oriental rat flea

Although there are many species of flea, they are typically only differentiated under a microscope and share the same characteristics

It’s important to nip a flea infestation in the bud as soon as possible. The females can lay between 25-40 eggs per day, growing the population exponentially.

Are fleas dangerous?

Don’t underestimate fleas on account of their small size. Fleas transmit several diseases, some of which can be fatal.

Fleas transmit several zoonotic illnesses and parasites, meaning animals can transmit the disease to humans. The most well-known are:

  • Murine typhus
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Plague 
  • Tapeworms in the egg or larval stage

Pets and people bitten by fleas can become quite sick, suffering secondary bacterial infections, dermatitis, hair loss, and intense itching.

Why do I have a flea problem?

Your pets can introduce a flea problem into your home before you know it. All it takes is for the fleas to settle into your dog’s or cat’s coat and to lay some eggs inside your home. 

This is especially likely with homes with outdoor or semi-outdoor cats. When these pets hunt or interact with feral animals, a flea can hop from one animal to the other and move into your house. 

Additionally, remember that fleas can jump up to 6 feet high, enough for them to latch onto your shoes or pants. In these cases, they can also hang around long enough to start an infestation.

Where will I find fleas?

In Maryland, you’re more likely to come across fleas from March to December, which also happens to be tick season. During this time, you can find fleas in several places, including:

  • In your pet’s coat, hair, or feathers
  • Hiding in your clothing, carpets, bedding, and upholstered furniture
  • Moist, shady areas in your outdoor space
  • Dark, secluded areas in the home, such as the attic, basement, and crawlspace

Since fleas are more likely to target your pet before you, it’s best to know what signs indicate your pet has had a run-in with these pests. Watch out for:

  • Scratching or kicking
  • Flea bites: Small, red bumps on your or your pet’s skin
  • Flea droppings: A mixture of blood and waste that look like dark brown flecks
  • Adult fleas or tiny white, oval flea eggs

How do I get rid of fleas?

The best way to get rid of fleas, especially for an extreme infestation, is to contact pest control specialists. You don’t want to make any mistakes that can lead to re-infestation in the future. 

Instead, it’s best to entrust this task to a pest professional from Phenom Pest Protection. This team has years of knowledge and top-of-the-line tools to eliminate the pests, ensuring your satisfaction. 

Phenom Pest Protection is a local, family-owned business that’s dedicated to fulfilling the needs of your property with a customizable pest control program. Call for more information on how these pest control experts can help you.

How can I prevent fleas in the future?

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, protect your property from pests with the following prevention tips:

Exterior tips

  • Vacuum your car often, especially if you allow your pets in the car. Make sure to dispose of the collected debris as soon as possible. Flea eggs, pupae, and larvae may still be viable after they’re vacuumed. 
  • Leave ample distance between your house and exterior vegetation. Fleas like moist, shady environments and may gravitate to plants that grow alongside your home, collecting sprinkler water. 
  • Keep an eye on your pets during outdoor activity. Talk to your veterinarian about safe insect management products for your pet’s outside space. You want to maintain their safety but not risk their health with hazardous insecticides.

Interior tips

  • Vacuum the home frequently. You’ll want to cover as much ground as you can to ensure you wipe out the infestation altogether. Clean all upholstered furniture, floors, corners, and pet areas. 
  • Shampoo rugs and carpet. This is one of the most effective strategies for eliminating an active pest infestation and preventing future outbreaks. 
  • Check house plants. Make sure your plants aren’t hosting any sneaky flea populations. Have a look at plant containers regularly to stay on top of potential pest problems.

Got my first service done today and was happy to see that not only did I get a great deal, but they did everything they told me they were going to do, and they were right on time!! Heather did my service and she did a great job! Highly recommend this company if you like working with organized and reliable people who have a vision for growing a company through customer service! “PHENOMenal!!”

a happy customer in his home in fort worth texas

Matt B.

Phenom Pest Protection received an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 354 reviews.

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