What Do Fleas Look Like?
Fleas are tiny insects that are about the size of a pinhead and range in color from yellow to dark brown, depending on whether or not they have fed recently. A flea that has recently consumed a meal will be swollen and have a paler brown color than that of a hungry flea. They are parasites that feed on mammals and birds, including cats, dogs, horses, poultry, rabbits, rats, possums, raccoons, and humans. Fleas are wingless, but their hind legs are long and adapted for jumping 50 times their body length.
Flea bites look different from mosquito bites. The red spots of a flea bite are surrounded by red halos. Carpet beetle larvae can produce a similar red welt. Fleas will often target the lower extremities of humans, and an infestation can affect the entire body of domestic house pets.
When Are Fleas Most Active?
If your home is infested with fleas, you'll rarely have a break from them! Fleas don't rest - they just have cycles of activity. Their eggs and feces are produced around the clock, making the growth of an infestation rapid. The ideal climate for fleas is between 70 and 85 degrees, but they are capable of living in cooler or warmer temperatures. Florida and other southern states experience fleas year-round.
Why Do I Have A Flea Problem?
Fleas are common in homes with household pets such as cats and dogs, but homes without pets can also have a flea problem. If your neighbors have pets that like to lounge around your yard or you purchased used furniture from a home with a flea infestation, you could end up with fleas in your house. You can also get fleas from pests like mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, or others that make their way into your home or yard.
Are Fleas Dangerous?
As annoying as fleas are, they are not especially dangerous to humans. They may cause extended itching that could get infected with excessive scratching. In some people and pets with existing allergies, fleas may cause respiratory illnesses and complications.
How Do I Get Rid Of Fleas?
If you have pets, getting rid of fleas involves keeping up with your pets' flea and tick medications, as well as vacuuming daily (and emptying the bag or cartridge immediately). You can also take steps to prevent fleas such as keeping your yard trimmed and keeping landscaping away from the side of your house. Unfortunately, these prevention measures are not 100% effective, and you may need professional flea control treatments from Lindsey Pest Services to fully eliminate and prevent future flea infestations.